I read an article yesterday in the Harvard Business Review titled How to Have a Year That Matters. While the HBR seems an unlikely place to find inspiration, this piece hit home.
In it, the reader is encouraged to bypass the humdrum to explore meaningful questions like “what’s your true north?” – the belief system that points you towards your true values. For example, the author speculates that Lance Armstrong’s true north was winning trophies rather than championships.
Of all the questions, the one that stopped me cold was “What Breaks Your Heart?” He writes “If you want to find your passion, surrender to your heartbreak. Your heartbreak points towards a truer north.”
I was stunned. While I write many books and articles on the craft of writing as well as topics ranging from computers to photography, nothing in those fields “breaks my heart”. What does?
- disappearing nature
- a rapidly diminishing connection to the past – both individually and collectively
- greed valued over humanity
- lack of critical thinking
- not comprehending that you stand on the shoulders of those who came before
What happens next? I’m going to spend time over the next several days seeing where these heartbreaks lead – and if the course of my own work is in for a drastic departure from what is.
So, my writing friends . . . what breaks your heart? Would love to read your comments.