Today’s post is the monthly reflection from the February 2004 issue of  The Front Porch Newsletter.  If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.

HeartFebruary is National Heart Month. It makes sense with Valentine’s Day just around the corner! Every month, and even every day of the year, is designated for an official observation for thousands of different and often obscure topics, causes and initiatives. See for yourself by clicking here. Each officially designated date is a call for AWARENESS. But some of the officially designated days and months are the BIG ones — and National Heart Month is one them!

If you go to most any website joining in on the celebration of National Heart Month, you are likely to find tips on eating and exercise. They will certainly give you encouragement to eat “heart-healthy” foods. And you will find quick little exercise tips that can be built right into the flow of your life rather than demanding regular blocks of time that you insist don’t exist. Things like parking in “far-away” parking spots and walking. Or standing up while talking on the phone. Possibly taking the stairs, rather than the elevator, even for a floor or two.

These are all good and important. Yet these helpful “heart-healthy” lists will most likely not include possibly the most important suggestion of all … looking INSIDE to discover the HABITS of your heart. Searching to find the MOTIVES that drive you each and every day. Even the purest motives, unbridled, can change over time. They evolve within the context and pressures of what you are trying to accomplish. Recently, a participant in one of my workshops indicated that she thinks people misinterpret her driving passion and love for her work — including questioning her real motives. We talked about a few options she might want to consider and then we talked about the most difficult — looking inside and truthfully doing a personal motive assessment. I can certainly recall times where I have reached inside only to discover a personal assessment of misdirected motives. Not that they were intentional. Just the result of an unbridled evolution towards a set of intentions that were driven circumstances rather than my core values.

Maybe, this year, we can celebrate National Heart Month inside and out! The next time you enter the parking lot, pick the farthest spot you can find. As you start your “longer” walk, pick one area of your life where you are passionately involved and then ponder the motives that are really driving you. You may be pleased at what you find — or you may decide it is time for a motive adjustment. In either case you will discover the habits of your heart. And, hopefully, when the star of success shines for you, it will be hanging in a “healthy-heart”. Wishing you a happy and healthy National Heart Month!