Impulsiveness: follow the siren’s cry

Impulse vs. sense, opposite?

Impulsive behavior is very often seen a negative trait related with being reckless, crazy, irresponsible…  Is sometimes considered the opposite to think with common sense judgement. However, I don’t see why acting on impulse and follow your guts would go against common sense. I don’t think acting on impulses goes against being sensible, rather the opposite.

All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization.
Abraham Maslow

I truly believe in the sense of self-preservation and, in general, when we feel an impulse of doing something, whatever, it’s because is not damaging for us.

It’s advisable to evaluate all the options before making a decision but I reckon sometimes we just  put off taking the decision on the grounds of being sensible. Sometimes we don’t follow the impulses out of  a fear hiding behind this aforementioned common sense.

Most of us go through life playing by the rules, behaving according to what society dictates and never truly taking risks. Although this is certainly a valid way of living but think about all the amazing possibilities you miss by choosing not to follow your gut and act on impulse. If you hear your inner voice like Homer the siren’s cry drawing you to take greater risks in your life, follow that voice!

Obviously, each person is different and what works for someone might not work for other. For me, it’s clear, I follow my impulses because they have never being harmful to me, they might have being wrong though, but I still learnt something and grew.

I think I have a balance between reason and passion in my life but if I had to choose between one side I would certainly take passion. Here is the thing. For me, reason equals passive thinking and passion means impulse and action. However, I am having an inner battle between reason and passion, I can’t decide where to go when I leave my hometown this month. The problem? My reason tells me I should stay in Europe, my gut urge me to take a ticket to that crazy destination that scares the shit out of me but that my inner voice tells me is what I really would do if I were all alone in the world. Oh well, I know I would act on impulse as I usually do.

Do you want to be more impulsive?

Listen to your inner voice

Each day, we encounter countless choices which we must evaluate and respond to. Underneath our reflections underlies a quiet inner voice urging us to act on our impulses. Listen to that inner voice before following what the social pressure tells you to do.

Respond to the stimuli

Cultivate your sensitivity to the opportunities risks create. Whether you are considering moving to another country, asking a guy out on a date or quitting your job, think about all the pleasures you could get by acting on impulse and all the possibilities you would lose by not doing so.

Be a child again

Do you remember what it was like to be a child? when we based our choices only on our feelings and emotions? Imagine how good would be to make decisions based solely on whether the choice would offer pleasure or pain. I know, you are an adult, but as an adult, sometimes it is liberating to allow ourselves to base a decision on our feelings instead of our rationality.

Embrace the uncertainty 

Forget the outcomes. Give yourself over to the pure, rich pleasure of impulse and of not knowing how the choice will turn out. It is the not knowing that gives pleasure.

Risks are everywhere

Create opportunities for risk in your life. If you shut up your inner voice, it is sure that you will lose touch with your true desires. Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar named desire put into the mouth of Blanche: “The opposite (of death) is desire”. Think about it: once we stop desiring we stop living and one can’t live out of desires… take risks and make them true.


2 thoughts on “Impulsiveness: follow the siren’s cry

  1. Listen to your inner voice is great advice. The only people who shouldn’t are people who’s inner voices are raving lunatics. Then, they should ignore their inner voice at all cost! 🙂

    But your point of listening to your gut feeling is well taken.

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