Should we follow our hearts?

Dave listened to his heart; Sarah did not. Let’s see how their lives turned out?

Dave was a talented basketball player. Ever since he was a little boy, he has dreamed of making it big, NBA big. His dream wasn’t unreasonable; Dave was good, real good. The kind of good that meant winning a one verse five pickup game at lunch.

Dave excelled. He qualified for the local, district, and state leagues all before his thirteenth birthday. 

But that dream wasn’t cheap. Dave had to sacrifice his afternoons, weekends, and even education. He studied and got by, but there was no way he could excel. He didn’t have the time.

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Dreams aren’t cheap, but then again, what worthwhile feat is? Dave followed his heart, so where did it take him?

Sarah was not that different to Dave. She was an outstanding athlete, and her weapon was the pole vault. She was in a league of her own, qualifying for state events years above her age group.

Sixteen came, and Sarah found herself staring at a pronged road. She needed to decide. Was it left and on to possible Olympic glory? Or right, and back to the life of an average sixteen-year-old girl?


“Dave, I’m going to need those stacked by tonight.” Said the manager.

“Yes, boss.” He replied.

Why was Dave stacking shelves over the summer break when he should be training? First, it wasn’t summer break; second, thirty-five-year-olds don’t get a summer break.

Dave gave his dream everything. When the other kids were studying, he was training. When the other kids were working, he was training. When the other kids were interning, he was training.


While Dave was stacking shelves, Sarah was designing them. She graduated in engineering with honours.

There is something poetic about following your heart. We tell it to one another with vigour. It seems to be the answer to every problem. And there is nothing wrong with this advice, so long as you read the fine print, and the fine print is this.

Before you follow your heart, ask your head what it costs.

When we’re wrapped up with the product, we forget to look at the price.

There’s room for the heart and the head. Just ask Sarah. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her pole vaulting locally at the youth training centre she established – her jumps always getting a wide-eyed reception from the locals.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will still be among the stars.

Oscar Wilde

…So long as the stars are the shelves of an out-of-this-world Walmart, where you’ll find Dave.

Should you follow your heart?

Absolutely, so long as your head has taken a look. There’s only one way to fail, and that’s blind.

Everything has a cost, even dreams. It’s about deciding whether we are ready to pay that price. 

Published in Philosophy, Productivity, Self Improvement, Stories
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