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Impulse Management: Navigating Them Without Losing Track of Your Vision

Impulse management: We often hear about impulse control, as if they’re bad. Impulses are neither bad nor good. They are pieces of information that reveal a great deal if we mindfully examine them.  “People often fail to make lasting changes because they don’t commit to one path long enough to see results.” ~ MK Mueller

Impulse management? Really? You thrive on trying something new! You start one thing, then impulsively dart to another. Or you get distracted and second guess yourself, “Did I make the right choice?” From impulse buying to impulse eating, impulsive action takes a bad rap. But impulses are not bad. They are pieces of information. And if you listen carefully, they can tell you a great deal.

For example, you go down one career path and discover someone’s already doing it, so you feel there’s no place for you; because surely they do it better, since they were there first. Impulsively you jump to another career path. What does that impulse tell you? It’s very revealing, isn’t it? 

How can you use impulse management to navigate your way to achieving your vision?

Something that puts this process into an easy-to-imagine form is The Helsinki Bus Station Theory that James Clear wrote about. I really enjoyed the analogy that it’s like choosing a bus. 

Here are a few take-aways I gleaned:

  • Get on a bus! Make a choice!
  • No one knows where any choice will lead; it’s futile to second guess yourself.
  • Life is more fulfilling and exciting, when you aren’t stuck on a predetermined outcome.
  • Just because someone else has traveled before you, doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you at the destination. 
  • Once you begin down a road, don’t look back, don’t compare your progress to that of others.
  • Revise your methods, but hold onto your vision.
  • Do what you do and keep doing it better.
  • Stay away from cabs! (You’ll have to read the story to understand 😊)

How do you feel about repetitive work? Many people find it boring and they call it mindless work. And therein lies the answer to why many people don’t become a master or offer unique work. As James Clear points out mastery comes from re-work, from re-learning, from re-writing, from revision. 

Putting re before a word means “again” or “again and again”; it also means “back” or “backward”. Do you know your craft backwards and forwards, because you’ve practiced it every way possible? That’s the secret to mastery and to impulse management.

I would add to Clear’s thoughts that it’s essential to do each thing mindfully with a clear purpose and intent that leads you, always, a step closer to your vision

You eat healthy food mindfully, with the intent that you’ll have the physical and mental energy to keep going. You take a day off mindfully, with the intent of refueling your energy and connecting more deeply with your support system, aka your honey/spouse/mate. You attend a class mindfully, with the intent that you’ll learn one thing that takes you closer to the life you desire. 

Not everything seems to be connected to your vision, yet everything affects whether or not you’ll achieve your vision. Yes, it is all connected. By doing everything mindfully, you connect the dots and make your journey sure. That’s how you embody your purpose. You completely align your actions with your big dream.

For me, sailing analogies really bring the point home to me and my clients. It’s such a highly dynamic activity — sailors have to live in the moment, but their lives depend on their advance planning and continual adjustments to conditions around them. They learn quickly how important impulse management is!

Imagine this: you’re the captain of a sailing ship out of Seattle and your passengers book passage to Italy. Would you start out, and then remember that Columbus made a trip to Italy already, so you jump ship thinking, “I’ll never measure up to such a famous voyage”? That would be ludicrous! Yes, Columbus famously sailed in and out of Italy, but the experience you give to your passengers will be much different, and might I say, more pleasurable. 

You are unique and if you practice, practice, practice your craft, your unique style will emerge. In turn, your passengers — your clients, customers, coworkers, and even bosses — will see the difference you bring to the table. And that’s where the magic happens. 

When you can showcase how you are different, the people who are meant to be in your life will be attracted to you personally and professionally. However, you’ll only know how you are different if you practice your craft so well you can say, “she does it like this; I do it like that”. 

Don’t get caught up in a comparison of value; that her way is better than yours. That makes impulse management more difficult. Do a comparison of method, so you see those differences.  

Stay on the ship, tack back and forth through the storms, and keep moving forward to your destination. View your impulses as gusts of wind. Let them blow you towards your vision, not away.  Make a choice. Make it work. That’s what embodying your vision is all about. If you’d like to explore embodiment further, please download my free report, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice. The principles in it can be applied to both your life and your business. 

Focus, mastery, Personal Growth - Professional Growth, vision


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