Impulsive actions are catalysts for failure

When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons.

Sigmund Freud: The advice Sigmund Freud has offered is that all pros and cons of however minor the nature of decision may be, must be given a lot of considerable thoughts and then decision made – This way decision is based not on a whim but on solid rational reasoning and thought process. This is called   a well thought out and reasoned decision as against the impulsive spur of the moment decision 

To act on the spur of the moment without thinking ahead is an impulsive action. One impulsive “decision” can mean finding yourself in a hole that you may not find easy to get out of. This is what happened with a friend of mine. I will share with you one of his impulsive actions that continues haunting him even today.

An overseas bank had engaged him to set up a staff training and development centre for them He joined them as the head of the Staff Training and Development Centre sometime in 1981 and quit ten years later.

His quitting from the bank was triggered by a person with a designation similar to his being put in charge of the training centre. He received instructions from the HR department that he would henceforth report to the newly designated   Training Manager. He was shocked as he told me. This shock hit him so hard that he did not wait a minute before writing his resignation letter and sending it to the HR Dept. To his utter surprise, it was accepted with the same speed as that of the resignation letter sent.  This shook his confidence. He had not expected this in view of the reputation of his professional competence and honesty.  He could not see any reason for his being asked to report to someone holding a designation similar to his, who was neither a career banker nor a trainer. It was reported that his arrogance, crude behaviour and overbearing attitude was a constant irritant to everybody in the organisation from which he migrated to my friends Bank. The man whom he had recruited to be his assistant changed sides and became loyal to the new training head, He was intrigued about why the bank management behaved the way it did. He had sown the seeds of the centre and nurtured it. It was recognised as a most professional training Institute. His professional knowledge, competence and sense of rectitude were always appreciated by the trainees and also by the management He was rated as an outstanding trainer.

However, management had a second thought.  In view of his spotless record, the management advised him to withdraw his resignation and asked him to continue at the training centre for a month or so; thereafter he would be transferred and put in a department of his choice but he declined to say that the reason for which he had resigned would lose its sanctity if he continued at the Training centre and reported to the new training head.

However, in hindsight I believe that this was an opportunity for him to reconsider his decision which he did not do; I am very sure as I knew him, that had he done that his career growth would have been the envy of many. I wish he had consulted me. This one impulsive decision changed the course of his career growth.  How apt is the remark of Dani Johnson, author of Spirit-Driven Success “You never know when your life is about to change? You never know when one decision will dramatically impact your life and change the course of your destiny. 


  1. Don‘t take decisions dictated by impulses. No rational decision can be taken in haste.  Acting before thinking can destroy your chances of achieving your long-term goals in life.
  2. Don’t let your impulses get the better of you
  3. You are likely to regret your impulsive moves.  You won’t be able to turn the clock back and start all over.
  4. Decisiveness is certainly a good trait, but being too quick to act can lead to rash, impulsive choices that can ultimately hurt you, your family and your business.
  5.  Think about situations; take your time and don’t jump to conclusions
  6. When problems arise, instead of acting impulsively, take a moment to remind yourself of your end goal, and contemplate all the different potential outcomes that will still get you there.
  7. It can be tempting to act quickly, but it’s more important in business to make a decision that won’t take you down an incorrect path

Aritcle By: Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *