Good advice not straight from the heart

Let’s play a guessing game. There’s one vital organ that is supposed to be responsible for leading you in the right direction through all of life’s hard decisions. This organ is supposed to lead you to happiness. I’ll give you a hint: It also pumps blood.

Ding, ding, ding! How many times did your high school guidance counselor tell you to follow your heart?

Some of the stupidest things in the world came from following the heart. Those electronic singing fish named Big Mouth Billy Bass, gerbil figure skating, Crystal Pepsi –all the result of people following their hearts.

Remember that show Felicity on the WB? The lead character, Felicity, followed some dude to college because her heart told her to.

Her show got canceled.

You’ve heard of World War II, I assume. Adolf Hitler was simply looking inside his heart when he led Germany to invade Poland.

Listening to your heart only leads to trouble.

Your heart tells you to do things like become a musician or get back together with your baby’s daddy’s loan shark cousin Gerald.

That’s dumb.

It’s true that your heart is linked to your emotions. But according to MSNBC researchers at the Institute of HeartMath, the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.

It won’t shut up, and it doesn’t listen.

Feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and insecurity change heart rhythm patterns, making them erratic. These erratic patterns are sent to the brain, and the brain interprets them as negative or stressful. All this leads to the actual feelings experienced in the chest or heart region of the body.

Researchers also say the erratic heart rhythms block the ability to think clearly.

Following your heart is like following a severely deranged, alcoholic penguin through an enchanted forest on a quest to find the perfect dry martini.

Follow something else – like your spleen.

Your spleen will tell you to major in finance instead of art history.

Or better yet, follow your pancreas.

Your pancreas will tell you to date that nice, young communications major instead of the rebel who drives a 1996 Dodge Neon and makes you feel just a little dangerous.

Follow your liver, perhaps? You can always count on your liver to say, “Hey, buddy. That hot girl in your political science lecture will never be attracted to you.”

If your heart’s decisions leave you in agony – eating out of dumpsters so you can keep a job you love or pining for Chelsea Clinton when she’s clearly unattainable – you need to tell it what’s what.

Don’t quit your day job, heart. Go back to regulating the circulatory system. Or better yet, start doing standup at open mic nights. Just stop ruining people’s lives.

If your internal organs aren’t reliable, a wise toucan once said: “Follow your nose.” And look where he is now: a utopia of “frooty” flavor.

Indiana University, Indiana Daily Student