Look at the dictionary and you would find meaning of impulsive. It says, "acting without a forethought".
I find this word quite wrongly used to describe me by myself and of course by my friends and family. Let me wear my engineering hat and try to describe the word impulsive and also let us try to figure out whether it is good or bad or it is situational.
When someone describes you as impulsive trust me it will be 90% of the times after you have shopped for something. Now, there are many synonyms for impulsive (synonyms:impetuous, spontaneous, hasty, passionate, emotional, uninhibited, abandoned). Now, my English doesn't let me believe that any of these synonyms mean the same impulsive that people brand you with.
It just happened yesterday, I went to a bicycle shop during closing time of the shop, picked up the bike and came back. Immediately, I was termed as IMPULSIVE. Now, did anyone think of the situation, thought process, timing of this action of mine? No. But, I am normally termed as impulsive.
However, who do you think in this case was impulsive?
Normally impulsive is taken as a little towards negative side of an individual's behavioural characteristic. If people are termed impulsive the perception or the image created is, person who takes thoughtless action. Well, I differ totally in opinion here.
I would like to break down this word in to 2 parts which according to me define IMPULSIVE in positive light.
IMPULSIVE is a combination of IMP (Important) & Pulse (same meaning).
My definition says, one who takes important pulse based action is impulsive. Now, if something is important, do you think that important thing became important just at that moment? I don't think so. There must be many thoughts, many days, nights, discussions which would have gone in to making that thing important, for which you took an action. It might have looked hasty, but for you as an individual it would have been compelling and reaching the break point.
Same thing happens in corporate life as well and many times. When an opportunity strikes, not necessarily it is sudden, in that case you have time to think or you made it. But, many times, you are so engrossed in your work and based on which opportunity strikes, but you know you can take that opportunity. May not be sure how to handle it, but you decide immediately based on your gut feeling, aspirations and accept to go for it. This is being impulsive in a good sense.
Some people might argue how? If you take a decision you have the responsibility of its success or failure. If it succeeds you would never regret taking the decision, if it fails, you would most of the times still have a chance to correct it, sometimes you may not have chance to correct it, but that is the responsibility you have taken. But, imagine not taking the decision or opportunity and realising later when the time has passed, that I SHOULD HAVE DONE IT...this is nothing but REGRETTING not taking decision.
Summarising it all, being impulsive is not bad at all. And I trust we all grown up people have an idea of consequences before taking decisions even if it is quickest one (that's brain power), so, we know what are we doing and where are decision can land.
So now, you decide, you want to take a decision (impulsively for some people) and move on with probable SUCCESS or REGRET ?
Note: All images from internet