“Once you see something from a broader perspective, there is no going back. I stand today, determined to do nothing in life if I haven’t felt the impulse to do it. Not as a favour to a friend, not out of a sense of misguided obligation to a close one and certainly not out of a fear of the consequences.”
I’m not talking about following through on the impulse to smash someone in the face, I’m talking about the impulses that pulsate through you, as surely as your heart beats, since the day you were born. It’s become the golden rule for my best life.
Let’s take the face smashing example, or any other impulse that comes from anger, doubt, insecurity, shame, depression or any other shade of grey you might feel. If you are feeling bad, you simply cannot tap into the impulse I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the impulses that you felt into so easily as a child, when you pulled the sheet from the bed to create the mast of a pirate ship, or the impulse to learn how to draw a flower, or ride a bike. The impulses that you slowly learn to tune out of as you get told time and again “no”, “don’t”, “listen to me, I know better.”
I’m talking about the impulses you feel in your gut or your heart when you have to make a decision, or the ones you felt when you met the love of your life, or the person who turned out to be quite the opposite. These are quite different to the anxiety you feel when your head starts rationalizing things out and introducing fear into the equation, the “what if…” stuff.
You were born with intentions for your life, along the way you have unwittingly discerned what you truly want and don’t want as you have been exposed to more and more of life’s experiences. What I mean by that is, there is a background programme running in your system, every time you’ve experienced what you don’t want, you feel bad, and your background system has noted it; likewise when you feel good.
This background system is your truth, it’s the part of you that ultimately knows what you want and don’t want.
You can’t usually hear it in your head, the subconscious programming that happens in early childhood generally rules your thought patterns. For example, you might have seen your parents repeatedly fighting over something when you were little; so your subconscious mind determines that particular thing is therefore bad, or that relationships are bad.
Your background programming however, the one you connect to through your gut feelings or your heart space, it just knows that fighting is fruitless. It has the same experience as the mind but, instead of interpreting those early scenes of parent’s fighting as you wanting to avoid money or bad relationships, it knows that what you truly want is harmony.
Sadly, from childhood we often get taught to ignore our feelings, and rationalise things out in our head. So many simply tune out of their impulses and learn too late (when their business fails, or their relationship breaks down) that they should have listened to their instincts earlier.
When I left my corporate role almost two years ago, I left with a steely determination to tune in and figure out who I really am, what I really like and what I really want out of life. Along the way I have shared a lot of my insights through these articles, but I can tell you from where I stand today, happy with my life, that steely determination has taken root.
Once you see something from a broader perspective, there is no going back. I stand today, determined to do nothing in life if I haven’t felt the impulse to do it. Not as a favour to a friend, not out of a sense of misguided obligation to a close one and certainly not out of a fear of the consequences.
That might seem selfish, and it is, that is healthy. It’s important to know there really is no need for anyone to be different for you to have all that you want in life – and vice versa, you don’t need to change or do anything to make others happy if it doesn’t make you happy.
When you do more of the things that do make you happy, you’ll start to experience the impulses that come. These lead to something more, more enriching, more fulfilling than trying to control all the people and circumstances around you out of a false sense of how things ‘should be’ as a parent, spouse, child, employee, leader, coworker etc.
Impulses aren’t usually grand, they’re subtle. One day you might just follow an impulse to stop and have a coffee somewhere and that leads to a brief exchange with someone who expands your thinking a little, and you leave feeling uplifted. That puts you in the path of a conversation you might not otherwise have had with a client you were going to see, and opportunity’s door opens.
That is how impulses work, always guiding you in some subtle ways to your best life. Drop all that societal conditioning about what you should do, not that it is an easy task, it requires focus. Understand that unwinding the clock to those early years (when, as a child, your impulses got thwarted at every turn) is not actually feasible, but you can neutralize the effects by becoming aware of it.
Whatever contract you are under, whether by state, employer, marriage or otherwise culturally implied as ‘socially acceptable’, there is no greater contract you have than to be who you are rather than what anyone else thinks you should be. If you have any doubts about his, listen to those nearing the ends of their life, the number one biggest regret people have is just that.
More than that, listen to your inner feelings, what has resonated here? What is your truth? Take root, stand as you are, let all that you are not drop away, and let your impulses lead you to your best life.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. You can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
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