In life, we’re often faced with choices.
We have to choose what outfit to wear, what classes to take, and decide what we want to do with our lives. We’re constantly planning ahead, whether it be for a vacation or simply for a career path. We fear not knowing and often prefer to have some sort of schedule in place.
Because of all this, it’s hard to be impulsive.
Being impulsive means taking a leap. Going on a trip suddenly without having a clue where it’ll take you. Making a choice that may impact your life. Trying something new and facing the consequences.
Being impulsive is honestly terrifying.
And that’s exactly why you should try it.
As a kid, I was pretty reckless. I ran into recess football games without knowing how to play. I climbed up on top of playgrounds just to see how high I could get. I almost broke my nose once.
But everything I did tended to be on a whim. If I saw a climbable wall, I was too tempted to just ignore it. If it was raining outside, I’d say screw it and play basketball anyway.
Despite growing up, I’ve somehow kept this knack for being impulsive. I impulsively apply to different clubs at my college. I impulsively send out job applications. I impulsively audition for acapella groups and debate teams because I’m excited by the idea of joining and want to see where it’ll take me. I do it because it’s a risk and a challenge, and I’m up for an adventure. Plus, if I let myself think too much on it, I may lose my nerve to try something I really care about.
Many people will tell you that being impulsive is pretty stupid. Because yes, it is possible it will bite you in the butt. There are some decisions that can vastly impact your future if you make them on a whim.
But at the same time, there are so many benefits.
For one, it can open new doors. If you’re uncertain about some job or organization, impulsively applying for it might lead you to a place that you never expected to be. This is exactly what happened to me last year. I saw a club that I really didn’t know anything about, but I decided to apply because I was curious. In the end, I fell in love with everything it stood for and really found a family I hadn’t been intending to come upon. Maybe being impulsive means going on a trip you didn’t plan to attend. But because of that trip, it’s possible you’ll meet new lifelong friends who you never would have found had you not decided to go.
Being impulsive can also help you overcome fear.
Fear is a strong motivator, especially fear of change. Sometimes, you’re so terrified of some possible outcome that you refuse to even start down that path. While sometimes that fear may be well-placed, other times you’ll realize that your true fears were disproven by your experience. For example, maybe you’re terrified of going on a cruise because you think that you’ll constantly be afraid for your life. If you impulsively go on one, maybe you’ll find that it’s easy to get so lost in the vacation activities that you forget you’re on a cruise altogether.
But lastly, and most importantly, be impulsive because it’s an adventure.
I’m an adventurous person. I like traveling and trying new things and seeing all the world has to offer. A lot of my stories come from impulsive actions. Anytime you do something unplanned, you’re leaping into an unknown where anything is possible. You may head out to some restaurant for the night, then somehow end up somewhere else. But no matter what you do, it’ll be a story to tell. Even if things go wrong – even if your impulsive decision turns out for the worst – you’ll still have that story. You’ll be able to tell it at parties and laugh over it a couple years from now.
I’ve never felt more alive than when I’ve done something impulsive. I’ve found myself in so many interesting and unique situations (including me accidentally running into Cardi B and Usher on separate accounts – if that’s not incentive enough, I don’t know what is). But if I’d never jumped into that abyss, if I’d decided to stay safe in my plans and schedules, I wouldn’t have those stories to tell.
Don’t wait for your story to come to you, go find it yourself.
Also published on Medium.