At age 23, I was very impulsive and my life was in disarray.
- I struggled to get anywhere on time,
- My house was a complete mess,
- When I drank alcohol I drank to excess,
- I always spoke what was on my mind no matter how embarrassing that might be,
- I would rage when I got angry,
- I had endless lists of jobs to do that I never seemed to be able to complete,
- I always seemed to forget to do things that were important (e.g. remembering my family members’ birthdays).
As a result of my impulsive behaviour, my life outcomes were always bad. My impulsive decisions typically yielded negative consequences. They undermined my ability to maintain good relationships and achieve my life goals.
My life was about to change forever
At around age 28, I came across the work of a psychologist names Raymond Cattell. Cattel had conducted a lot of research into ‘impulsiveness’. His research had a life changing effect on me. (CLICK HERE
to read my article about Raymond Cattell's research into impulsiveness: 3 Things Successful People Do
I’m now 38 years old. For the last 10 years I have studied psychology and committed myself to learning how to live a satisfied life. However, throughout my life, I have been struck by the number of self-controlled people who, to this day, have looked down on me for what they see as my 'indulgent' and 'impulsive' behaviour.
Most of us who are of a more 'impulsive' disposition, spend our lives feeling judged and condescended by others. Many look down on us for our seeming ‘lack of self-control’. However, being happy means learning to accept ourselves for who we are.
- Being happy means accepting our strengths, and our weaknesses. If we are impulsive, it means coming to terms with the fact that we often struggle to be self-controlled. However, as I have discovered the hard way, being happy also means learning to understand and manage our impulsive behaviour better.