Big Decisions with Your Heart

“In life you make the small decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart.” — Omid Kordestani

Are you struggling to make a decision that you know you should but you can’t seem to take the final step? Here’s a simple rule: big decisions with your heart, small decisions with your head.

When I was 27 years old, I was a volunteer at Toronto Dance Salsa and I fell in love with a student at the school. She was the first woman I moved in with and six months after we moved in together, I got down on one knee and proposed to her. It was New Year’s Eve and I proposed in front of her family and mine. It was amazing and beautiful. But I was so scared. I remember shaking, thinking what if she says no? But eight months later, we were planning our wedding.

By then, I was an instructor and she was a volunteer at TDS. We performed together and competed together. We were joined at the hip. If anyone in the dance community saw one of us without the other, they asked where the other person was. Our lives were so deeply intertwined. I eventually became the director of Toronto Dance Salsa and she became an instructor. And yet, a year before the wedding date, something in me said that we shouldn’t be together. But here’s the thing; I’m not a quitter. I’m a fighter. And honestly, there was too much at stake. You know, when something big or monumental is happening, you don’t want all the time, effort and energy to go to waste.

And so we both fought for the relationship. We tried therapy and took trips together. But it didn’t work. Despite our love for each other, we were constantly arguing. And I remember two months before the wedding date, after people’s plane tickets were bought and we had put down so many non-refundable deposits, I finally made the decision.

We were sitting on the bed shortly after returning from a trip to Europe. The trip had been awful, we argued the whole time. So as we were sitting there, I said with a heavy heart, “Hey, you know, we can’t go through with this.”

And I was expecting her to cry or yell or something. But she simply replied; “Yeah, I know.”

And that shocked me and hurt my ego. She answered very quickly. I struggled with this decision. So I looked at her confused and said; “Wait, what do you mean, you know? When did you know?”

“About a year ago.”

I was shaken. “A year! Why didn’t you say anything?”

She smiled and said, “I’m not a quitter.”

And so that taught me an amazing lesson about listening to your heart when you are making big decisions. It was a lightbulb moment for me. We both said we weren’t quitters. The reality is that we ignored what our hearts were telling us.

I regret that I stayed in silence for a year and so did she. I was worried and scared about the consequences and being a failure in my own eyes. But my heart and hers both knew a year before that ending the engagement was the right decision. I don’t regret the relationship. We are still friends today. But I do regret the year of silence.

When you are 90 years old, your regrets won’t be that you didn’t try hard enough. You will regret not listening to your heart soon enough. And so if there’s a big decision that you are sitting on, you already know the answer. Your heart won’t lead you wrong. Big decisions with your heart, small decisions with your head.

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