I often wondered why do people say ‘My mind says no…but my heart says yes’?
People use this phrase in different context. In sports, when a die-hard fan of a particular team feels his/her team is in a losing position, s/he would typically say ‘My heart says my team will win, but my mind says my team will lose.
Similarly, a die-hard lover whose girl friend walked out would say ‘My heart says she will return to me, but my mind says she won’t.
In most cases, people tend to associate the heart to an outcome what they believe should happen in their favor and the mind is associated with an outcome which is not in their favor.
So, the heart is the hero we love, an outcome we secretly dream and the mind is the villain.
Biologically though, we humans can think only from our brain – the mind. Thinking from the heart is often associated with emotions e.g. empathy. However, the feeling of empathy also resides in the human brain.
Science may have discovered the connection between the heart and brain though.
In practical life situations, we bring the heart and mind together when we need to make some critical life decisions. Either a job or a life partner or relocating to another city or any life changing decision.
What we believe our heart thinks is our intuition – our gut feeling. We often make safe decisions where we know the probability of a positive outcome is high. But then we also take risks at times, in those times we go by our gut feeling. Sometimes, it works in our favor, but sadly, many a times it doesn’t.
When it comes to career choices, most people follow the traditional route of university education and then a job. However, there are people who follow their heart. They are passionate about making a career in either music, arts, cinema or sports.
Those who followed their heart have endured struggle, adversity to be where they are today.
I have always followed my heart all my life. I do not stress my brain too much.
Being an Aries – I always believed my heart can’t lie to me. Aries are impulsive people. They make decisions first and ponder over it later. Most times, this trait lands them in trouble, yet they have no regrets.
There was one incident in my life though when in a debate between mind and heart, I followed my heart and paid a heavy price – but recovered later.
Almost over 5 years ago, I worked for a very popular mobile phone retailer based in in London. This multi-national company was the sponsor of a highly controversial episode of Big Brother which became infamous for the racism row between a Bollywood actress, Shilp and a British woman. My employer withdrew sponsorship as soon as the row began to heat up.
It was a great gesture from the CEO of the company, whom I admire a lot even today, as he stood for his values. When this announcement was made, I held my head high in pride to be part of such a company.
Sadly, what happened inside the corporate office was a different story.
I had a fantastic first year in the company. Few projects delivered and a ‘Best Project Manager’ award – I couldn’t have asked for a better start.
Sadly, in a years time, things changed with a restructuring announced.
I was forced to work for a Program Manager and his boss who was the Head of the department who did not fancy Indians much. When the new structure was announced, one of the Project Manager had to go in 6 months time. However, I had the least doubt because I had delivered.
Unfortunately, that is not how it was meant to work. I was meant to be the target.
What followed was public humiliation, yelling, berating, constant nit picking and setup for failure. The humiliation went about to such an extent that every employee on the floor noticed. All this happened while the Head of the Department who was the mastermind laughed.
I was given no support to any of my project, blamed for no reason and constantly ridiculed for any project issues.
While the Program Manager, who knew quite a few people in senior management, continued to bully while my manager sat next to me and watched the fun and sometimes giggle when I panicked after being yelled at.
One fine day, out of the blue this Program Manager pulled my ID card and passed a comment ‘Look everyone…look at this ugliest man in the building.’ Each and every co-worker had a huge laugh.
He behaved like an attention seeking toddler. He would complain to my manager at the slightest problem. My 4 year old son then was more mature than him.
In another instance, my manager informed me some weird idea that this Head of department had. He wanted to do a video recording of my face. I asked what is wrong with my face. Apparently, he found my face a bit off. I informed my manager that my wife is okay with my face, what is this man’s problem ?
He also made a comment that I was not up to the mark. This comment really sent shivers down my spine and continues to .
At that time, I did not know about the major workplace hazard called ‘Workplace Bullying’. I had not done my research then. However, the impact of bullying was felt. I used to have panic attacks at home. I would lock up in a room and cry. I did not let Aadarsh enter my room. No son would like to see his dad cry.
Finally, on 20th May (my wedding anniversary), I was taken to a room and was told that my role no longer exist.
When I walked back to my desk to collect my bag, I saw these two gentlemen – the Program Manager and the Head of Dept. with a huge smile on their face.
There were other jealous co-workers who did not like me getting an award came out to give me a send-off smile.
It is true that when the lion is wounded, all monkeys come out to dance.
I walked out of the office alone. I did not expect this kind of end to my service where I gave my life and blood for the company.
My manager, who is a woman, got emotional though. She got an extra 2000 pounds added to my severance pay. That meant nothing to me. On that day, I also realized that all the dram and bullying for so many months was just to accommodate a common buddy of the Program Manager and the Head of the Department.
It was the self-respect that I had lost and it was difficult to regain. I did not know what was in store for me next.
That day, I did not let this incident affect my family life. I took my family out for dinner to celebrate the anniversary. I believed these setbacks are minor and not the end of the world. There is something good that was meant to happen. That has always been my belief.
I could have pursued the legal route too. My mind said claim compensation but my heart said ‘Let them go.’ I did not want to damage the reputation of the company just for these two jerks.
For 2 months, I struggled to find another job. Then one fine day, I got a call from the same company. This time, my ex-manager gave an instruction that I should not be interviewed and asked to join as soon as possible.
It was a miracle I never expected. Perhaps, my wife’s prayers.
I re-joined the same company and worked for a gentleman called Mark Lane. He is the only manager or a work colleague on my Facebook friend’s list and here is what happened when I started working for him.
He assigned a project that had gone over budget by million pounds and behind schedule by more than a year. I had 6 months to get it live, which I did. It took me 6 month of toiling to get this project live. But what he did was spread the word around to everyone that I am a fantastic project manager, including those two jerks.
The sight was worth watching. Their reaction was priceless. They never imagined that I could come back. They knew if I returned, I would expose them. They probably had sleepless night ever since I returned. It was Karma at play. As I always maintained, ‘Karma is a bitch and she comes back to haunt the mean spirited.’
When my 6 month term ended, I got a official send off with few people actually saluting me.
The compensation if I had won a lawsuit wouldn’t have made any difference to the company. My return and my triumph did send out a strong message – foul plays do not work.
I walked out for the second time from my employer’s office. This time with a smile.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.
— M.K. Gandhi