The other day I spoke up in a meeting reacting in opposition to what had been presented. My reaction was automatic and impulsive. I’ve been trying to spend less time in my head thinking, and more time developing my intuition. I certainly didn’t spend time in my head before I responded but this behavior is not what I’m going for! My reaction got me wondering what is the difference between an impulse and intuition. Personally I’d like to be more in tune with my intuition and less thoughtless with my impulses.

My impulsive response seemed like an immediate, indoctrinated action, something based on past behavior. Something I did without thinking twice. Indoctrinated actions are certainly useful reactions to a hot stove but not so useful in conversations. Being in the present moment and adding new perspectives to the discussion is more useful (and welcome) than answering the same way one always does.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”

Albert Einstein

One phrase I came across described an impulse as an urge and intuition as an understanding. That sounds good to me. Is an impulse is an urge to act and intuition a guide of whether and how to act? Impulses come from the head based on some prior experience. Intuition is a gut feeling that doesn’t need to refer to the head for reassurance. So I am going to continue practicing curbing the impulsive responses and developing the intuitive responses and being a much more useful participant in discussions.

How do you tell the difference and curb those impulses that can get you into trouble?