Have you ever heard people say, “it’s about the heart”? Before I really understood what heart was, I was really annoyed yet slightly intrigued by this. Anatomically, I totally get what the heart is. I even get what it means to trace a heart on construction paper but really, how many people really thought about what it means to put your heart into it. In sports, I knew that meant it needed to be way more than my physical body or my mind because it meant that I was going to get pushed or needed to push myself beyond what I was able to see.
Andrew Carnegie once said, “My heart is in my work”. Have we lost sight of that in our society today? What does it mean or what would it look like for our hearts to be in our work? Who would you say in our history or even in our day today exhibits such a heart in what they do? If you thought of some of the people I did, you might be in tears like I am. It’s absolutely inspiring when someone has that intangible touch. You see it in the Olympians today. You especially see it in the non-profit communities. They believe in what they do so they don’t just pour out their physical abilities. It’s way more than that. There are facets in every one’s life that goes untouched until it needs to be. For example, the sweetest of women will turn into a protective she-bear when she feels that her child is getting threatened. There have also been reports of a woman who literally lifted a car to get her child out from underneath, and no she wasn’t a muscle builder.
So what does it really mean to position your heart? What does it really mean to put your heart into something? Attitudes are often a reflection of your heart condition. In my case, as a Korean, I could say I honored and respected my parents all I want and most outsiders will agree with me based on my behavior. However, just because I did it and well even, doesn’t mean that I did it with the right attitude. My mind was set on obligatory obedience more than honor. The more I learn about honor, the more I realize that honor is all about the position of my heart. Honor says I will treat you not just in who you exhibit you are but who I know you and your potential to be. Acts of honor flow out of that such as obeying and submitting to our authority, confronting those who have done wrong, covering over the mistakes of others, etc.
So there are many things that can only be measured by the position of your heart. Honor is one of those things as previously mentioned. However, another really big one is the difference between excellence and perfectionism. A lot of people can agree perfectionism goes too far but where is the line? What changes when you cross over that line? I’ll use an odd example to show you my perspective. Do you know that moment when you know that one more bite will put you over the top from satisfied to full? That’s how I see these lines. When you are excellent, you are giving it your best but you are so sure you did your best that everything else is beyond your control and you’re able to swing with it. I believe this is why the best improv musicians or artists are the ones that understand technique, tone, rhythm, theory, etc. They are able to adjust quickly because they understand what works and doesn’t work. You’ve been alongside people that were excellent and those who were perfectionist? Who would you rather stand beside? Isn’t there a certainty in being next to one who is excellent and exhibits excellence?
Now there are many lines for many topics. However, if you’re not struggling with the line, you have yet to reach one. You cannot be excellent without occasionally questioning your heart and your motives. Perhaps if you start your day each day setting your heart on excellence that may be a different story but sometimes I don’t really get a chance to do that until I’m doing that very thing that needs that heart check. What would our society look like today if everyone had their heart checked? Wouldn’t people be doing the very thing they love and are completely passionate for and about? Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). What is your treasure? Where’s your heart?
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23)