Impulsivity – If you want to give a name to what ails us, this is it. It’s the root cause of obesity and debt for most people. At its extreme it’s what leads to financial ruin, the destruction of families, and obliteration of health.
It is action without thinking, or even action that has overridden thinking… almost as if we’ve been driven to do something. It is giving into selfish desires without taking fully into account its possible consequences to the individual or the family/community.
In the world of consumerism, this is how you want to train your consumer to act. You want them to be as impulsive as possible.
Just do it.
Just Buy it.
Just Eat it.
Just think of the example of the super-market check-out. Most people do not go to a supermarket to get the gum or candy at the checkout isle…but they do go home with it.
Learned Impulsivity at its best.
Granted, Impulsivity has been shown to have a genetic component and may be inheritable, but the fact remains that it can also be trained and cultivated, which is EXACTLY what is happening right now, and it’s starting at a very young age.
Impulsivity is basically seeking a small, short term gain at the expense of a large, long term loss, so it is NOT synonymous with Spontaneity.
Going back to latin, spontaneus means “of one’s own accord” …truthfully I have no clue what ‘impulsivity’ roots from, but I’ve heard “acting under stress of emotion”
So living spontaneously means a flexible lifestyle, where you do things of your own accord. It’s not that you are doing things without knowledge of the consequences, but that you’re willing to see where the path takes you, without struggling or trying to force events to occur.
Living Impulsively is a mass-consumption lifestyle, where you do things to meet your immediate urges with little to no regard for the long term consequences – it’s not about the path, but the immediate satisfaction.
When living impulsively it is impossible to eat less than you want and spend less than you earn. Highly impulsive people have a very difficult time completing a 24 hour fast. They get cravings they simply can not overcome. However, you can eat less, spend less and fast while living spontaneously.
So the realization is this – Impulse control is incredibly important to weight loss success.
Controlling impulses will allow you to eat a little less, workout a little more, spend less and stress less. Spontaneity will allow you to do these same things, however you may do them while traveling a path you never new existed.