It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
When I walk past a grandpa wearing sky-high pants over a big round belly, I can't help but smile. It's ridiculous and funny and so cute it hurts. I want to know everything about this grandpa. What are his favorite cookies from the cookie jar? Who does he love most in life? What was he like as a child?
I know underneath those high pants and that big belly, there's a beating heart hanging on to emotions and stories and people. I want to know everything about the heart that makes him human.
As a researcher, teacher, and writer, connecting with others on a deeper level is integral to all the work that I do. When I notice the quirks, curiosities, and absurdities in the people around me, I feel a little human-to-human love. We are all flawed and vulnerable.
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
Connecting at the Heart
The further I dive into getting to know people through my work, the more I realize how truly interconnected the heart is in business. Robert Greene captures this concept so beautifully in his book, Mastery.
In the book, Greene studies the greats--everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to modern day masters like artist Teresita Fernandez--and breaks down the role of the heart on the road to becoming a master in a field. He simplifies the journey into three distinct phases: apprenticeship, creative-active, and mastery.
The mastery phase is where the magic happens.
In the third phase, we have access to the heart of life--to human nature and natural phenomena. That is why the artwork of Masters touches us to the core; the artist has captured something of the essence of reality. That is why the brilliant scientist can uncover a new law of physics, and the investor or entrepreneur can hit upon something no one else has imagined.
I built Humans at Heart to explore the existential question: how do we access the heart of life?
I don't know the answer quite yet, but I'm jumping into phase two to learn more. If you are ridiculous, lovable, and at all interested in the role of the heart in life and business, I'd love for you to join me on this journey!