I finally saw Moana. After all the good things I heard about it, and the fact that it is a Disney movie, I felt like I had to see it. And I loved it. From the first note to the closing scene after the credits, I was enthralled by Moana. But what no one prepared me for was the short before the movie even started.
This wasn’t a Pixar movie, I had no reason to think that there would be a short before the movie that would tug on my heartstrings.
Instead, I was confronted with a beautiful short about a man named Paul. Paul is a straightlaced, somewhat boring man. We see Paul’s organs each with a mind of their own. It doesn’t sound good enough for a whole article to be dedicated to. But throughout the whole of the short (all ten minutes of it), we see Paul’s pragmatic Brain playing tug-of-war with his passionate Heart.
Paul’s Brain wants to walk him to work, where he can enter boring data, eat lunch at noon, and then go home, just to go to bed so he can start it all again. Paul’s Heart wants to soak in the sun, go to the beach, talk to the hot girl, and just enjoy the life that he’s been given. Paul’s Brain quickly takes control and shuts down everything his Heart wants. Paul becomes sadder and sadder in his life, and the Brain begins to see this. Soon, the Brain gives the Heart the reins back and lets Paul go to the beach, feel the water, talk to the cute girl, and enjoy his life all on his lunch break.
For just one hour, he puts himself first.
The trailer for the short asks you: do you follow your head, or do you follow your heart?
And this got me thinking: which do I do? I’d really like to think I follow my heart more – indulging in my passions, following my dreams, loving my life. But I also do follow my head – I study a lot, I push myself to be the best I can be, I work hard.
But sometimes, when I’m feeling sad about my work, overwhelmed with all my obligations, and anxious about everything on my to-do list, I wish I could go to the beach, or talk to the cute guy, or buy those sunglasses I’ve been thinking about it.
I wish I could listen to my heart.
Instead, I end up doing more work, or stumbling into bed to watch Netflix to avoid everything, or make more to-do lists. Even when I’m trying my hardest to listen to my heart, I don’t.
And why? Why don’t we listen to our hearts when we want to? Why can’t we follow what we really want to do during the day when we’re on our lunch breaks or when we have a few free hours in our days? Is it really so awful to let our hearts do the driving for awhile so that we can relax and daydream and take a little break from our busy days? No.
So here’s my resolution. Not New Year’s resolution, just my daily one. I’m going to start listening to my heart more. I’m going to start letting myself do the things I want to do. It won’t be all the time – we do have responsibilities to pay attention to, after all. But just sometimes, when I have free moments, I’m going to listen to my heart, follow my passions. And you should, too.
Whether it be little things – reading more, watching the sunsets, going to the beach, dancing in the living room, and singing in the shower – or bigger things – leaving your job to follow something that is actually your passion, driving a few hours to see a friend you’ve lost touch with, asking that cute person you’ve been crushing on for their number, or even finally spending that money you’ve been saving on something nice, we should all listen to our heart more.
It’s a good lesson to learn, the one Paul teaches us. We have to love ourselves, give ourselves self-care, and sometimes take a day off so that we can feel happier. We have to put ourselves first. Yes, it’s good to please others, do well in work to make our bosses happy, and help people when they need it.
But just remember: the more we love ourselves, the better our hearts will feel, and the happier we’ll be.
Featured Image via screengrab from Disney Inner Workings.