Have you ever jumped into something before careful consideration or let a bunch of words out of your mouth before really thinking about them? I think we are all a little guilty of this at some stage in our lives. For me, acting impulsively has caused all sorts of problems that I just didn’t need, mostly in the area of relationships. Why do we continue to do it if we know it causes a whole lot of new problems???

One of the most interesting things about this problem however is that we have been having these kinds of ‘outbursts’ from a very young age. One might think we would learn from our mistakes… but no… we repeat them over and over.

Taking control of our impulses is such an important thing to do, but it is very hard work too. When were are successful though it helps in so many ways e.g. remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberate in tricky situations. When we manage our impulses we find that we are thinking before we act and speak, we take our time to first be curious, which informs our words and actions and sets us up for a course towards great outcomes. It also empowers trust and builds stronger relationships.

This idea of managing impulsivity is the second habit in the Habit of Minds. When it comes to great thinking being able to take our time, stay focused and calm means we can find all sorts of new possibilities right within reach. It also provides us time to think outside the box, look at old problems with a new perspective and assists us to find others who can support and grow our ideas. When we are rushing from one thing to the next all this ‘thinking goodness’ is often lost.

Here at Thinkers.inq we work on managing our impulsivity in a couple of ways. One way we do this is by having a daily ‘huddle’. This is where we, learning leaders and children, take the time to stop and articulate our growth and identify an action of change for that day. (Yes, even 3 and 4 year olds can do this). The huddle helps everyone to prepare for a day of play with purpose.

The other thing we do to manage our impulsivity is to collaborate; teacher to teacher, children to children and children to teacher. Collaboration strengthens every bit of our relationships and deepens our thinking, it offers new thought opportunities and provides a partner to help us stick with the change or challenge we are facing. Everyone at Thinkers.inq collaborates we do not co-exist! (But that is for another blog entry.)

Your challenge today is to find ways to manage your impulsivity with the goal of not having any more outbursts in word and/or action but rather deep thoughtful responses which change people for the better. My suggestion is that you measure the impact of this change in terms of quality of your relationships and the positive impact of your thinking upon those around you. It’s hard work to do this kind of change but the pay off is worth every ounce of energy and mindfulness.