Controlling that impulse

Acting impulsively is easy, as long as you can cope with the consequences or forget the last time you felt them. If you want greater choice in your future, better not to be impulsive (at least where it matters). How to do this? I’m finding that I have two competing tendencies and while I work on dialling both of those down, a little controlled indulgence helps.

My first tendency is to idealise a lot when following an impulse. I look for the best possible outcome, usually ignoring constraints on the decision making process. This is good in some ways; it can help me push back against those constraints if necessary, or set a longer term goal for when circumstances change.

My second is to be combative when discouraged from idealising. I don’t want options taken off the table for me; I think it miserly to narrow the range of possibilities. Frankly, this is silly and I’m working on it, but I acknowledge that this happens and recognise I need a strategy that works for me.

Giving room to explore the options to my satisfaction, I tend not to idealise to the extreme – I consider things more realistically than if I felt I weren’t “allowed” to. Once all the options on the table, I then think more carefully about the compromises that each of those options would lead to. If I want to spend that money, then I’m not creating a financial cushion. This could create a problem is the unexpected happens, and the unexpected can be fully expected to turn up at least once in a while.

This isn’t a post about money – it’s about consequences and compromise. Think freely, then choose wisely.

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