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Whereas Intuition and Instinct edify and uplift you, impulse depletes you and diminishes you.

Every year I identify a motto, a theme, a central operating system that will drive my actions for that year. Typically, it’s an area (or areas) in which I’m lacking and need strength. 

This year it took me a while to decide what I wanted to explore, so I decided to expand upon my focus points for the last two years: instinct and intuition.

Now in order to understand why I decided to expand, you first have to understand some things about the original ideas.

The first year, I examined the idea of Intuition – this idea that God has implanted in us the long-term foresight to see what we CAN be.

I learned during that examination period that I’m quite astute in the area Intuition. I can dream dreams and see visions with the best of them. I can set my sights high and expect miracles. I believe the impossible is merely an unachieved reality that is underway. I’m that person, Intuition is no stranger to me.

Instinct on the other hand eluded me. You see, Instinct is God’s short-term insight that enables you to implement action that puts you in alignment with those things your Intuition has shown you so that you can attain them (in time).

For a year, I studied Instinct. I listened to inkling and studied them, investigating their sources and trying to hone this skill of acting wisely so that all the wonderful things my Intuition has alluded to could be manifested.

I wish I could say I learned my lessons, honed my Instincts and maximized God’s opportunities for me. Now…I make up stories for a living, but that would just be an outright lie.

Yes, there were moments that proved beneficial and I DEFINITELY dug myself out of some holes with God’s guidance and I’m certainly nowhere near where I was six months or two years ago. BUT…and it’s a big but, I didn’t get nearly as far as I could have.

Why? I hadn’t yet understood an essential element to deciphering inklings: there are Instincts and there are impulses.

You’ll notice that as I note Instincts and Intuition, I use capitals while the impulse is lowercase. This is because the source of Instincts and Intuitions is greater, bigger and higher than the source of impulses.

Impulses are those self-serving inklings that make you feel good for a moment, but you tend to regret later.

Financial advisers advise against impulse spending. They recommend that you wait a few days before buying that choice item you just can’t live without. But every financial adviser worth her weight in expertise and every apt wealth acquisition specialist will attest that you must have good instincts if you’re going to be fruitful. You have to know how to INVEST.

And therein lies the difference between impulse and Instincts. Instincts multiply your territory, impulses deplete them. When you act instinctively, your time, talents, and energy generate a greater return than whatever you put in. However, impulses will deplete you. When you act on impulse you SPEND your time, efforts and energy. Your impulses turn even the best of your efforts into expenditures rather than investments.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. I love shoes(especially stilettos and peep-toe pumps), but I can rarely find any my size (4.5W). Well one day, while in Payless buying shoes for my son, I saw a pair of 5″ peeptoe stilettos in my size. They were Hollywood vintage style with a vinyl/pantent leather hybrid now right on the front. They were so me!

I paced that aisle for nearly 30 minutes, trying them on and putting them back, explaining why I didn’t have the money for such a purchase. Finally, something in me snapped and I just HAD to have them. I told myself it was an investment, I’d have them for the red carpet when I finally sold my screenplay and I’d wear them to my book release party and some awesome networking event.

Five months later (having forgotten I bought the shoes), my cousin announced her 20th birthday party would be a backyard garden party, complete with….wait for it…Hollywood vintage theme. She had a red carpet where guests were photographed before entry. That was the first time I wore those shoes. Then there were the galas and the socials. And I still have more plans for those shoes.  I believe their first red carpet appearance was a trial run for the real deal. (wink, wink)

Now, this is a small example. There are some others I could offer about the time I chose to pick-up, child in tow and all, and relocate after a nudge from my Instincts said “Let go, then just go!” or I could tell you how two conversations led me to a point of reflection in which my Instincts (and a little divine intervention) led me back to school in a state and town I’d sworn off years before, on a campus I’d come to loathe. Yet, there I was (and here I am – not regretting the decision in the slightest).

Then there are those decisions I made on impulse only to regret it later (and would likely still be regretting some of them if I hadn’t gotten an awesome lesson in forgiveness – including forgiving oneself – from a great friend). It’s especially easy to forgive those situations when your impulses put you in a position to trust your Instincts.  There’s a saying, “When God is all you have, you learn God is all need.”

If you’ve been relying to much on Impulse or perhaps you’re too focused on the things your Intuition has clued you into, but you’re putting no effort into the plan – it’s not too late. It’s never too late. The next time you’re about to do something, inquire of yourself.

Ask things like:
1) Where did the idea come from?

2) Is this a need or a want? For myself or someone else?

3) Is this going to help or hinder me in the long run?

4) How does this action, in this moment fit into my Intuitive glimpses of my life? How does it get me closer to fulfilling what I saw in that glimpse/those glimpses?

The more often you stop to inquire, the more fluid the process until it’s not only habitual but rapid and seemingly non-existent (the key word there is seemingly, it should be very existent). Eventually, you’ll be able to differentiate between your Instincts and impulses, allowing you to act in ways that build you up; that enhance, edify and elevate you.

As always good luck and God bless. Until next time.