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Follow the Heart to Success

Posted by Ormella Cummings, Ph.D., ACC | September 4, 2018 | Comments (0)

Frequently our role as a coach is to help clients rediscover passions, so they can align who they are with what they do.  According to a recent Gallup poll, 85 percent of people hate their jobs.  This statistic is a deafening distress call to coaches that there are countless opportunities with C-level execs, office personnel or any individual where services rendered generates a paycheck.  This means that an overwhelming percentage of well-intentioned workers spend eight, 10, 12 or more hours every day performing tasks that are taxing to the heart.  Long term, this lifestyle produces a parasitic poison that eventually weakens the body and robs the heart of happiness.

An alternative to this far too common existence is the focus of the coaching moment, “follow the heart to success.”  Although philosophically it sounds easy, it can be challenging to identify what the heart really wants.  This concept is a great reminder that we should engage our five senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight) because they provide clues to what truly excites us.  For example, a healing touch or a textured fabric may evoke an electric response in some, while an aromatic trigger or a musical chord that refuses to be silenced may move others.  For the self-aware individual, the senses offer reinforcing signals on the ideal path to follow.

Touch: Find the Sensation

This sense is the first of five to develop, and it begins in the womb.  The value of touch is unquestionable, and research confirms that newborns who are given nurturing touches have improved mental and motor development.  In humans, there is a fetal to centenarian benefit from touch; health care professionals can attest to experiencing this win-win connection.  The sensation of touch helps the patient and is mutually gratifying to the sender and receiver.  Career options ranging from fashion design to clinical professions contribute to the spark that begins with an embryonic heartbeat.

Smell: Sniff Out Greatness

The “nose knows” speaks to the value of this sense.  Although often overlooked, it can have far-reaching career implications and can help us “sniff out” our special gifts (e.g., options ranging from aromatherapy specialists to food scientists).  Although humans have their own distinct “odor print,” it is imperceptible to most except our canine friends.  Just like our unique fingerprint, our sense of smell can enable us to embark upon a journey destined only for our heartbeat.

Taste: Discover Your Insatiable Appetite

Spend a few minutes with children at mealtime, and you will quickly witness the powerful evidence of taste, like what one child may love and eat with gusto, another child may spit it out in animated protest.  Although genetics and the environment may influence both reactions, a discriminating palate may offer hints that a career as a chef, food critic, food technologist or similar occupation may be a tasteful life choice.

Hearing: Listen to Celebratory Prompts

The sense of hearing is particularly insightful, and Bible scholars are familiar with the passage that described how the baby leaped in the womb when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting (Luke 1:41).  Good news will often prompt a celebratory gesture or salute.  How perceptible we are to auditory energy can put us on the path to a joyful, lucrative career in music, arts/entertainment and other related industries.

Sight: Let Your Internal Vision be Your Guide

The last sense to develop is the sense of sight.  Just as the baby in the womb cannot see all that life will offer, we should not limit ourselves by only the things we can physically see.  Rather, we should rely on our internal vision/imagination and follow the sensory breadcrumbs that lead to success so that we can fully engage life with every heartbeat.

ormella cummings

Ormella Cummings, Ph.D., ACC

Ormella Cummings, Ph.D., ACC, is a certified career transitions coach specializing in executive leadership development and human resources consulting. Please contact her at

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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