Is There an Upside to Impulsive Decisions?
In the last week, I’ve made three impulsive, yet relatively educated decisions.
All the decisions involve taking actions that are good for me. All of them also involve spending money, one of them a lot of money.
After a year of self-employment and the slow start of building a business, I don’t have a lot of money to spend. But in each of the three cases, I listened to my intuitive voice and jumped.
Never mind the net. I don’t need no stinkin’ net.
And neither do you.
Yes, you might crash and burn
There is always a risk of failure. At the risk of tooting my proverbial horn, I can honestly say I haven’t failed too often in this life and I’m grateful. I have, however, experienced plenty of heartache when something didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.
So you see, it’s really a question of how you define failure. Some people take a shot, miss, and watch their self-worth take a nose dive. Others take the shot, miss, crash and figure out a way to try again. Or try something different.
That’s why those of us who fall into the latter category don’t need the stinkin’ net. In order to live our dreams, we have to at least try to fail.
How can you know something won’t work unless you check it out? And there, my friends, is the upside to making impulsive decisions.
You might get to fail. If you do, at least you didn’t spend a lot of time with the whole back-and-forth, should-I or shouldn’t-I b.s.
On the other hand, you might not fail. You might be a roarin’ success. Because you didn’t spend a lot of time second-guessing yourself, you have more time to put into your successful decision.
What do you really have to lose?
Years ago, when I was pretty new in recovery, I’d go to my sponsor with a decision that needed to be made. Invariably she would listen patiently to my verbal pro and con list. After I said, “but on the other hand” 16 times, she would ask me, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
Exasperated, I would do give her the new-to-recovery dramatic response, “Well, I could DIE!”
Trust me, with the exception of one time (and that’s a different post for a much more serious time), there were no life and death situations.
I just realized–seriously, just this second–that I’ve packed around a different version of that dramatic response for some time now. I traded the “I could DIE” response for “I could run out of money.”
Oh wow. It’s true. Running out of money has been my biggest fear. Hang on for a second because I need to process this a bit.
Want to know what my honest-to-God, from-the-gut response is to that fear in this very moment?
Is losing a bunch of money really the worst thing that can happen to me? Hardly.
My friend Tess Marshall, author of The Bold Life and courage coach, says, “Fear is crazy-making; it taunts and depletes you. It keeps you imprisoned, depressed and lifeless. Fear steals your joy.”
Suddenly I’m having a vision of me crashing and burning as a result of one of the decisions I impulsively made this week. There’s a bunch of fire and smoke, but there’s also me walking through it, a little sooty, maybe, but ready to fly again. Without the damn net.
Whether the decisions work is really not the issue. The issue is whether you’re willing to BOOM, make the decision, and then simply let go and enjoy the ride.
Photo courtesy of AcrylicArtist