An impulse control failure

An output from a psychometric quiz I took recently told me that I should act more impulsively.

That is… normally not a good thing for me to do. I have issues with impulse control and acting on impulse often leads to me putting myself at risk. That’s apparently something to be avoided.

My impulsive behaviour tends to manifest in a couple of different ways. There’s the engagement in activities that put me at risk. I’m also an impulse buyer, particularly of musical instruments and books (I have largely weaned myself off the latter since getting a Kindle). My first job was relatively close to a shopping area, so I used to come back to the office with bags full of books and – on one memorable occasion – a flute. (I hated the job, so I think shopping was a bit of an outlet.)

And sometimes, poor impulse control can lead to me signing up for things that I would never have done otherwise. I tend to think things through and it’s easy for me to find reasons not to do things – too expensive; too dangerous; what if something goes wrong? Poor impulse control counteracts that, so what happens is that I’ll sign up for something and then get a bit of a ‘what have I done?’ moment.

So today’s impulse control failure: booking a holiday for next February.

To Chile.

That’s one heck of an impulse purchase.

The truth is, though, if it wasn’t for impulse control failures like this one, I’d never have travelled as much as I have. I’m not sure I’ve ever booked a holiday that hasn’t been a bit of an impulse purchase. And I love travelling. My inner voice, that sees all the difficulties, would have been too strong. I would have been too scared; too indecisive. So in that respect maybe it’s a positive force. (If I could learn how to only use the positive side of impulsivity that might be helpful.)

Now I just need to sort out the travel insurance…


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