Sunday, August 3, 2014

Impulsivity and Self Control

We are all motivated by some force whether it be love, revenge, success, power, etc., there is always a reason behind why we act the way we do. Motivation is much different than acting on impulse. When we are motivated by a certain force we know what it is we are trying to achieve and we work towards it, much like a plan. Acting on impulse, however, is often done in a hurry without much thinking or planning behind it. There might be a giant freshly grilled cheese burger and warm salted fries placed promptly in front of you, your mouth starts to water and you can practically taste it. And out of impulse, the entire cheeseburger is gone within five minutes. Some people may say that these people have no willpower but that is not necessarily true, they may just not have the best self control. When you truly want something and it means a great amount to you, then you will have better willpower. I thoroughly enjoyed the videos with the children and the marshmallows because you could obviously see how difficult it was for these children to not eat the marshmallow right in front of them, they were really struggling and I could not help but chuckle. They wanted that marshmallow so badly you could see it in their faces, their eyes just staring at it, their hands starting to play with it and pick at it, but their self control was applaudable! They would have rather had two marshmallows than one and therefore they restrained themselves from acting on impulse because they knew what they wanted. As for me, when I am placed in situations where I want something badly but try to control myself, I think of the long run and how it will benefit me if I refrain from doing what I want so badly in the present moment. Having self control is very important because it is healthy to think things through before acting on impulse.

1 comment:

  1. Alexandra,

    I really enjoyed the video of the marshmellow test as well! I had to wonder as I watched it, how the one kid that ate it right away turned out as an adult. It would be an interesting follow up study. I wonder if they grew up to be a criminal or just a go getter. I like that you mentioned that its healthy to wait things out before acting on impulse. Short term sacrifice, long term reward. My mom worked very hard to get this principle through to me growing up, and it has dramatically impacted my life. I watch people make immature decisions and wonder if they will ever learn self control. All in all, its an important lesson in life that we all should learn at some point or another.