We’ve all heard of being headstrong, but what does it mean to be Heartstrong?
Headstrong people are full of will and cannot be governed or advised. They don’t listen to what people tell them and often make the way more difficult for themselves. Headstrong people are led by opinion and are often inflexible.
Heartstrong people are full of heart and are governed by their passion and compassion. They too often don’t listen when the world tells them to conform, and can make their own way more difficult. Heartstrong people lead with conviction and agility.
My pal, Scott Ginsberg (also known as the “Nametag Guy”) recently wrote an article about being Heartstrong and indicated it was inspired by me. Wow!
I love the concept! You can read the whole article here, but what Scott is talking about is leading with your heart and not being led or dissuaded by other people or society.
Truly, I wonder if Scott would have considered me heartstrong before my heart attack? In the past, I spent a great deal of time thinking about what other people thought and about fitting in. Now, after nearly losing my life, I know we all have a brief time on this earth and it is silly to waste it being concerned about how other people think you should live it.
My favorite lines from Scott’s article are:
Heartstrong people crush the confines of convention. Are you willing to become the person you were before the world made you into what it wanted you to be?
Who were you before life came along and told you differently?
As a kid I danced with abandon at any given moment, but as I grew up (even though I was a professional dancer) that abandon withered. I needed to be appropriate, to conform to what was expected.
Having a near-death experience gives you permission to shake off some conventions and live with more passion, but you don’t have to have a heart attack to be you, to live Heartstrong.
In February, I danced with abandon – at the opening session of a conference – so did three tables of other people. Yes, we had a “flash mob dance” check out the video below. (You may want to fast forward to about 2:30 and skip the crowd scene lead-up)
Afterwards, many people came up and asked “How did they talk you into doing that? You were all by yourself for so long!” Are you kidding me? I couldn’t wait! Out came that kid who danced with abandon….
I was Heartstrong.
When was the last time you were Heartstrong?
Finding ways to let the person you were before the world told you differently bubble to the surface is a great way to reduce stress by bringing your activities into line with what you hold dear.
Think about it.
Do you hold back from jumping in because it would “look right” for you to do it? Hogwash! Jump in! Sometimes the best way to gain respect and loyalty from those around us is to do something out of character and share something with passion. So what if you suit might get mussed – dribble the ball, walk through the fountain, roll up your sleeves and dive in.
Do you refrain from doing something because it seems childish? I know someone who likes to color in coloring books. Yes, an adult. It is soothing to her and reduces stress – so why not? Did you love doing something as a kid – why don’t you do it anymore?
Do you stay silent because it “isn’t your place” to speak up? You have unique insight and experience, share it. People respect and value those who have the courage to speak up.
Find ways to let the “real” person come out. Be Heartstrong!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after wellness & stress management speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.