I’ve recently read one of the suggestions I was given: to write about a topic I don’t know too much about. It just so happens that I’ve found one subject, extremely important for me and hopefully for you as well.
A few years ago, before the Internet had shown up and especially in the communist era, the access to useful information was extremely limited. Nowadays the access to information is completely overwhelming. You can find out anything about any topic without having to visit the library anymore.
Because of this – and with the help of on an early stage of self discipline, I immersed myself in the knowledge found in many writings, especially self development books. At some point I noticed I was getting new information only once every 3-4 books, then less and less. That’s when I realized there aren’t many secrets about life and what we need to do in order to excel could be summed up in far less writings then already existed.
If I would choose to divide it in different stages, I’d say theory goes first and then there’s practice, which can also be divided in: creating a constructive habit and using it as often as possible. But all the existing theories – though useful and with a practical functionality, they still have an everlasting block…
What about that little something, usually overlooked, that’s probably the most important component of all? What about the impulse? That tiny urge delivered by the brain, which it’s so tempting to execute, that nothing else matters in that moment. Knowing all the theory in the world is useless when you act based solely on your instincts.
I know human beings are more emotional than rational, so what’s the point of knowing so much if nobody teaches you how to control the impulse, the first command that comes up, which could be good or bad. I know, some people think 10 times the same line before actually saying it, which makes them boring and mind-numbing.
It is like having a conversation with a secret agent who evaluates every word, wasting about 25% of his life to over-analyzing and finding the “right” answer. Real-time communication and all the daily routines don’t allow me enough time to really think through every word and I don’t really feel like analyzing 10 times every answer I have to give.
Who told you to think 10 times before making a decision, has probably done this for a lifetime. Maybe when he had a stomach ache, he thought 10 times before going to the bathroom.
Some people have it in their nature to be calm, pondered, to allow them to easily make balanced decisions. But this doesn’t mean those decisions are the right ones; many of them are chewing their fingernails afterwards because of those decisions.
All the theory and all the principles I’ve learned are equal to nothing when I make an instantaneous decision about a certain fact of life and then I act upon it. Sometimes it is worthy, but sometimes it is wrong and if I would have had analyzed all the information, I would’ve made acted differently.
But sometimes I ask myself why do I make some negative decisions, even though I know the constructive theory by heart?
How can I control an impulse, if I have a choleric or sanguine character?
How can I merge the theory with that nanosecond when I reach a decision that completely disregards the theory?
I know you learn from your mistakes, but this is another theory.
What nobody ever mentions is that you can only learn from some mistake, because others can be too detrimental. If you try to overtake a car and you get hit by a truck, what can you possible learn from that if you’re dead?
I do not know how I can control an impulse without wasting time on over-analyzing every decision before making it (which could also create schizophrenia). My only suggestion would be to make a habit of analyzing, a very strong and automatic behavior that should steer me in the right direction. But this means I would be able to change my character.
Whoever managed to completely change his own natural character?
I’m not talking about being more refined, self-controlled, respectful, but changing yourself completely, without having impulse-based decisions. Even all those successful people who teach important things, they still make some impulse-based mistakes and they admit it. But what does that mean?
That we’re humans and no matter how hard we would improve our personality, there will always be that uncontrollable side that wipes out all those years of self development? I dislike this idea and I completely reject it. If there is anybody out there mastering the art of on-the-spot decisions, and if he can put logic before emotion, it means thre is a chance of having beneficial self-control, which would make all the difference. But is there anybody like that? I would really like to know…
I juggle with theory and practice and these two sides need to be linked and balanced, but I fail on the art of controlling the impulse.
And I tend to believe that some people, by having different personalities, also have advantages or disadvantages over other people, because an impulsive individual faces more challenges than a relaxed one.
And in the end I’m wondering if this impulse must always be controlled or just sometimes. His effects could be positive or negative at the same time.
Personal conclusion: there is no conclusion! I want to find out from you any suggestions that might help me gain a better control over this wild horse called “impulse”, which many times does whatever it wants, completely ignoring everything I know. How do you control your impulses? Do we have to do that? How do I conquer my personality? Am I asking the right questions?
What do you think?