The expression, “just follow your heart”, get thrown around an awful lot. It’s the kind of advice people give to others, and to themselves when they can’t think of something better to say. And it’s feel good advice, as opposed to say, “stop for a moment and think about the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision”.
The problem with following your heart comes when the hearts wants something that conflicts with what the rest of you wants. For instance, all of my life my heart has desired to be creative and be involved in the arts, which directly conflicts with my desire to have a strong, stable income stream and live a comfortable or even luxurious lifestyle. Unless I get lucky and achieve some level of celebrity, it is unlikely I can have both without compromising.
On the other hand, ignoring your heart and making decisions based solely on the practical considerations of your brain is not necessarily the best choice either. And personal example from my own life is my decision to attend broadcasting school. Though I do not regret my decision, I must admit in hindsight I made it for all of the wrong reasons. I did not go because I was truly passionate about broadcasting, thought I did have a strong interest, I went because my brain told me and was a more practical, smart choice, that theatre school. I thought broadcasting could be a good “day job” for an actor. I was wrong, and this may explain why I have not found success in the broadcasting industry.
Recently I have chosen to follow my heart and get back to my real passion, acting. A curious thing happens when you make a decision that truly resonates with you. Things start falling into place. Several months ago I was ready to sign with a small agency based in the suburbs. Another actor I know told me she thought that would be a mistake. Her opinion was that I should hold out for a bigger agency with more “pull”, as she thought I was beyond what I small, relatively new agency could do for me. She then went on to suggest a list of three specific agencies I should target, with one in particular that she thought would be a good choice. I took her advice and decided to wait.
Now here is where it gets interesting. About a week later I was hard at work making coffee (I work in a coffee shop, at least for now) and a lady came in and as I was making her drink she made a comment about being tired and not wanting to go back to work. I asked her where she worked, and she says, “I am a talent agent, I own _____ Talent”. Well it just so happened that was the exact agency that my actor friend had told me I should try to get into. To make a long story short she ended up asking me to drop an audition DVD off at her office.