One issue I’ve found myself constantly dealing with in my life is the issue of doing too many things that I end up regretting shortly after. This is usually due to impulse – people have impulses and these impulses tend to make people think in an “act now, consider consequences later” sort of way.
– It’s part of the reason why our prisons are so populated.
– It’s part of the reason why we have so many father/motherless children.
Now you may notice in a lot of my blog posts and tweets I spend time analyzing the things people do (including myself) to better understand how humans work, and I’ve come to the conclusion that most don’t even know how humans work themselves.
People don’t understand the psychology that drives them to do certain things, and they feel like human nature is wrong. Judgement, tribalism, evolution/adaptation – these are all facets of human nature that we would rather not admit, as they make us feel ashamed.
However, shame is a mood and not an impulse, and in a second I’ll explain the difference between the two. Now, when you are in an embarrassing situation, embarrassment is a natural impulsive emotion to have as no one likes being made a fool of. This is common and usually expected, however it is your next reaction to the issue that will decide whether you will be made or broken .
Liken it to internet trolls attempting to get under your skin by saying rude or degenerate things, it can irritate or embarrass you for a second but your response afterwards will determine how your irritation will proceed.
This is what I mean by the difference between an impulse and a mood – the impulse is something you can’t control and the feeling you get from it may be negative or irritation, but you can control your mood and your reaction.
Think about it, if someone tries to embarrass you in front of a group of people and you keep your composure and play it off, wouldn’t you feel better than if you had blown up or let it get to you and sulked in a corner? Wouldn’t you look more mature to the people around you?
Impulses are things that happen, and once they happen you can choose how to react and respond to them. Moods are developed from environments and impulses, and both of which can contribute to you changing the mood you are in. Attitude sort of ties into this and can be a contributing factor, but that’s another topic for another blog post entirely.
The important thing is to realize that everyone has impulses, everyone feels certain ways about things and due to personal bias some people take things more seriously than others, however it is irrational to live your life based off of impulses. It doesn’t make sense to let your emotions and feelings rule you, and make you do things you haven’t even considered the consequences of just because you feel some type of way.
You don’t want to live a life full of regrets, spending days remembering days you spent not contributing anything to your life do you? You don’t want to have to remember all the opportunities you missed and time you wasted because you spent your time doing what felt you should be doing, instead of identifying and working in your bests interests?
I’ve discussed the controlling your own emotions aspect in a previous post, hell it’s even a major aspect of my book and it’s something that I have spent a lot of time analyzing and reading out. The human mind and human nature is interesting to me and I often watch people just to learn as much as I can, and from what I’ve learned people are very hesitant to accept human nature & their own flaws, and one of the main flaws people have is giving in to their impulses.
You can prevent a lot of regret in your life , by preventing yourself from giving in to your impulses. You can prevent a lot of regret by cautiously considering the consequences of your actions. Yea we get mad, irritated, angry and upset, these are all normal and parts of human nature that people shouldn’t try to deny.
The challenge becomes how you handle these impulses, how they make you feel does not always have to be noted or shown. How they make you feel does not always have to have major control over your mindset and mood, and the best way to prevent regret is to make sure that everything you are doing is cautiously considered and calculated to be best for you.
After all, like I always say – nobody came out of the womb with you, and no one will go in the casket with you, so putting other people before yourself (unless it’s your children) will only lead you to being in deep regret later wishing you had spent more time on you.