Have you always had a part of you that feels unfulfilled? Or the feeling that you should be doing more, being more? I had this feeling for 39 years, until the year I found my heart.
I used to refer to the hollow feeling as ‘my soul crying’, but I knew that it was actually my heart yearning for fulfillment, desperately trying to be heard. I had read many self-help books in my life, and thought that I was trying to work out what I wanted – but I realise now that I was scared to know the truth.
So, on the 1st November 2011, I embarked on an expedition (it was much harder than a journey) to find my authentic self, and to find a way to satisfy my heart’s desire – whatever that might be.
I did this through a self-development project that I developed, based on the popular talks from TED.com. Called My Year of TED, it involved completing 21 life altering 30 day activities throughout the year, all based on TED Talks. There were a range of activities from the simple ones, like 30 days of less meat and 30 days of more happiness, through to very challenging and complex activities like 30 days of choice and 30 days of being wrong.
During the year I also blogged about my experiences, the things I was learning about myself and the changes I was making to my life. The blogging was partly as a means of opening myself up and being more vulnerable, but mainly to share the experiences with the aim of inspiring other people.
Brené Brown’s vulnerability and shame TED Talks were very important to the project – the concepts of improving my connection, courage and compassion were part of the core requirements that I had for My Year of TED. More importantly though, I wanted to understand who the authentic Kylie was, what my unique voice sounded like, and what I could do to fulfill my heart.
It was Activity 6, 30 days of drive, when I had my first major leap towards discovering what I should be doing, by uncovering my Why. This activity was largely based on Simon Sinek’s TED Talk and book, but there was some Tony Robbins thrown in for good measure. Through a ten step process I discovered my Purpose, Cause and Belief – and then started working out how I might satisfy them.
Throughout the year I learned a lot of other things about myself, all of which have contributed to the person I am today, which is someone who understands their authentic self and is taking action to live a fulfilled life – with heart.
The most amazing and influential discoveries I had were that:
- I am more courageous and braver than I ever imagined possible
- people do not require me to be perfect, and dropping that facade allows me to connect with people on a deeper level
- the regrets that I hold in my life are centred around the things I wasn’t brave enough to do, rather than the ‘decisions’ I made for myself, and
- aligning my life to my values is one of the most important things I can do for my mental health and happiness.
When My Year of TED was complete, I understood that I wanted to find a way to help people reach their potential – that was my purpose – but I had no concept of exactly how I could achieve that. I knew that my current career wasn’t going to meet that need, and that led to an ever increasing feeling of frustration. This is part of the danger in finding your heart and understanding your Why, you need to be willing to make the changes in your life that are required to satisfy them.
In early 2013 I came up with a business idea that supports my Why – just imagining this business and the impact I could have on other people made my heart sing. As my workplace became even more divergent with my values I knew that it was time to leave. I had done all I could to try to improve the culture, the best way for me to inspire the people I worked with was to show them that they have the option to go.
Life blessed me with a fantastic opportunity that allows me to work from home and gives me a lot of time to pursue my goals. I launched dinkylune on 1st October (it’s an anagram of my name) and launched my first eBook, 30 Days of Drive, that same day. My experiences and honesty have had a huge impact on a number of people in my life, and an impact on people in my online community as well. By finding my heart I have helped others find theirs, and that is what I want to keep doing with my life.
How about you – do you know your heart’s desire? Are you living a life that is aligned to your values and to fulfilling the needs that your authentic self has?