"Everything I do, I do to make my heart sing." This is a quote by Michael E. Angier, founder and chief inspiration officer of SuccessNet. I like this quote because it makes sense to me. However, I don't view it the way you might think.
I can see how someone might interpret this quote to mean they should either feel ecstatic about everything they do or they should elect to do only that which they believe or know will make them feel that way. For me, it represents a tool for self-inspiration.
Even if it doesn't appear as such, everything we do gets done because we choose to do it. We really could choose not to be responsible so as not to deal with paying the rent or mortgage, or meeting commitments. Even if something "makes" you feel terrible like going to a job you're discontent with, you still choose to go there every day.
There are occasions when I opt not to do something based on my needs or wants at that time. Even when I choose to do something I perceive as tedious or serious, I strive to look for an aspect about it that is congruent with head and heart alignment (though, sometimes this may take a while, depending on the emotions involved and the event). Head and heart alignment makes my heart sing; it makes me feel spiritually solid. Head and heart alignment, to me, is about being on purpose. It's about being true to my Self and feeling a sense of personal integrity.
So many people struggle with self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and so forth. Look at those compound words. All of them begin with the Self. Everything, actually, begins with the Self. We're still healing—or need to—from the indoctrinated belief that considering ourselves first is Self-ish. It isn't, not if it’s done in the right way from the right mindset and spirit. For example, when we do something for another, or for any reason, either from guilt or fear of some kind (often of rejection), and resent doing it, we engage in a form of self-destruction. There's no head and heart alignment in that type of scenario, no way for the heart to sing, no way to feel authentic or spiritually solid.
"What's in it for me?" is the question sales motivators tell us is what is foremost in the minds of potential customers or clients. I use this question, especially when I find I'm involved in unpleasant or serious circumstances. At the very least, what can be in it for me is the opportunity to find my place of integrity; an opportunity to observe my thoughts, words, and actions; and an opportunity to see who I choose to be in each moment.
We've heard that even the most giving act is selfish because we do it to make ourselves feel good, or at least, that is the inevitable outcome. Everything we do has a symbiotic effect. There's no way to avoid that. There is a way to make it work for us. If you can approach every moment with a what's-in-it-for-me-at-a-deeper-level process, and do so with a broader purview as described above, and if your heart has seemed silent, prepare for it to sing with serenity, joy, and purpose more often. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer