Following the heart

Happiness reduced to the core of motivation is too simple to be true. So it may seem. And motivation, as we’ve looked at it here, is a bit cold. In the worst case, we alienate ourselves from ourselves following this kind of motivation.

That is why it is important that we embed this functional drive, which is geared towards success and productivity, in the more complex and warm-hearted context of our orientation towards meaning and pleasure.

Here, too, we could focus on overarching goals

And in many articles on motivation, happiness, and success, probably even in most of these posts, we are referred to these great goals. And that’s often what the procedure looks like. We are guided to find out what we want to achieve in life. And in the next step, we are asked to derive projects from those values and get them started.

We talked about virtuosity. And we know that such external achievements are a way in life to bring our abilities and our ambition into play. But when it comes to meaning and pleasure in our lives, then there are more direct ways.

Here, too, I propose a simple, realistic, and effective approach, which is always at our disposal. We can cling to the present moment. We can follow our heart, our body, and our intuition here and now.

Three approaches are always available to us:

  1. We can listen to those of our stories, that are about what we can’t do, what we are not allowed to do, and what we begrudge others. Here we find access to very potent desires of our hearts that we want to hide from ourselves for some reason.
  2. We can mindfully follow our desire, intuition, and impulsiveness. We can take the initiative cautiously and visit contexts that we like to explore. Following our impulsiveness, we can take small steps into exciting fields of life and experience.
  3. We can work intensively and carefully with the feedback that people and things provide us while following our desire, our impulsiveness, and our intuition.

That’s all there is to do when it comes to meaning and pleasure. We think we wanted to get somewhere. We believe we wanted to gain access to very specific areas of pleasure and experience.

Visionary project heroes and bathers in the supposedly sensual enjoyment of the super-rich, maybe that’s who we would like to be in the eyes of others. But these are futile and desperate attempts to compensate for lack of happiness, lack of ease, and lack of fulfillment.

In fact, we also want to be researchers in our own lives when it comes to meaning

We do not want to find meaning and pleasure through the great achievements, nor the wonders of indulgence or superhuman benevolence. At best, these are intermediate stations that pass by in the research projects of our hearts. It is enough for us to take up the trail of our deep longings and to follow this trail in an intensive and respectful dialogue with people and things.

And because the common sense and so many people work in the opposite direction with their stories, I would like to underline here:

Even with the big projects in our lives, we only find meaning when we are able to find meaning and pleasure in a direct manner here and now.