Robbie Vorhaus, author of “One Less. One More. Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly.” Photo by Mara Certic.
By Mara Certic
Robbie Vorhaus has it figured out. Commit to follow your heart regardless of where your head tries to take you, and you will be happy. Mr. Vorhaus has outlined this simple formula for arriving at your destination and achieving your purpose in life in his new book, “One Less. One More. Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly.”
“Every human being wants to follow their heart. That’s why I wrote the book, is because I’ve always wanted to follow my heart,” Mr. Vorhaus said. “I’ve constantly looked for books on following my heart. But nothing ever addressed following my heart because it’s so personal,” he said.
After years of thumbing through a plethora of self-help, New Age and spiritual books, Mr. Vorhaus said he never found the guidebook to happiness that he needed. So he wrote it.
“Happiness is a funny word,” he said. “It’s not something you do, it’s a way of being. We’re here to be, to express and to experience.”
Mr. Vorhaus worked for years as an advisor to the rich and famous, during which time he realized what happy clients had in common. “The people who were the most fulfilled, who had the best attitude in life,” he said, “the ones who were the best adjusted were those who pursued the path of following their hearts. Which meant looking to uncover their authenticity: why are we here? Which is a big question.”
The concept behind the book, Mr. Vorhaus said, came right out of Sag Harbor. In the winter of 2007, a local mother called Mr. Vorhaus’s wife, Candace, after seeing him on CNN as a contributor. The woman was going through a difficult time and wanted to know how to be less stressed and how to be happier. In response, Mr. Vorhaus wrote a column in The Sag Harbor Express explaining his mantra of one less and one more.
One less, he explained, represents a decision to eliminate a negative element from your life. One more is about actively choosing to add one positive thing to your life every day. If one adds something positive and eliminates something negative each day, that day becomes a bit happier and another step to achieving one’s purpose, he said. After his column was printed, Mr. Vorhaus started getting notes from around the world, he said. “So it started right here,” he said in the Express offices on Friday.
Peppered with stories of his life and those of people he has encountered professionally, Mr. Vorhaus outlines the seven simple steps to finding your heart’s desire in his new book.
Step one: Start now. “Make the conscious decision today that you are going to consider following your heart and being happy. You have to start now,” he said. Putting the decision off, he said, “is allowing your head to take you off the path that you’re already open to.”
The next step is to come present, then to consciously choose to follow your heart and to change slowly. After that, Mr. Vorhaus advises choosing one negative, resistant thought feeling or action to eliminate. Something in your life that doesn’t fit, he said. It can have to do with finances, sex, love, fitness, health, he said. But it has to stop.
Then choose one more. Choose to embrace a positive feeling or action, he said. “Allow yourself the luxury of curiosity, the luxury of quiet, laughter and passion,” he said. Mr. Vorhaus believes that every human being has something pulling them, and by consciously making these choices, people alter the course of the universe.
The last two steps are to celebrate your progress and then do it all over again the next day and the day after and so on.
A simple formula, but one Mr. Vorhaus acknowledges is not for everyone. “If you want to consider that there is a greater purpose, you have to believe it,” he said. “You have to prepare, you have to start getting ready.”
“It’s all a theory until you try it,” Mr. Vorhaus said, who described his book as a handbook on the path of life. The magic formula won’t be easy, he said.
“Nothing moves until you commit. You have to be ready to raise the stakes. Once you commit the world changes. People will be against you, people will be afraid,” he said.
“There comes a point where you’re going to have to go all in. If you really want to give it your all, you have to go all in. Once you go all in, you’re going to experience some sort of crisis. You cannot follow your heart without some part of you dying,” he said.
By this he means your ego, or other demons that hold you back from your true purpose. Mr. Vorhaus advises people to let go of blame and have more accountability. “Your life is your life,” he said. “Do less of what doesn’t feel good, and more of what does.”
The Sag Harbor Express will host an evening with Mr. Vorhaus at Bay Street Theater on Thursday, October 16. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the author’s talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. A Q&A will follow. Mr. Vorhaus will sign books before and after his talk. Admission is $10 and the book will be on sale for $25. For more information about the book visit vorhaus.com.