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Farid El-Nomany red transparent

3#: Impulse Control - Damn it!

3#: Impulse Control - Damn it!

Impulse Control

Impulse Control

Your impulses are very important indicators, just learn to use them correctly!

A friend let's call him Kai, 35, married, two small children (Sarah 3 and Simon 5), successful in his job, sporty, dapper with a good circle of acquaintances and friends has fallen in love with another woman. He is very attracted to her and they are now a couple, he will give up his previous life and leave his wife his children and move to his new love.

It's not easy for him, but he's entitled to his happiness and he thinks he's entitled to it. BANG!


A few weeks ago, I offered my colleague Stephanie the leadership of a large, forward-looking project. It's about the development of a new business branch of my elccon Change Management Consulting. We discussed this intensively and at length over several weeks. We developed content ideas, structures and a business model that was very interesting for all sides. We all put a lot of work into this. A few days ago we brought this into the world and started the "going life" process. The first reactions were promising and extremely positive.

Yesterday she called, crying on the phone and upset. It's getting to be too much for her, it's all way too big and she's giving the project back. BANG!

What do both cases have in common? Well people decide due to a new impulse (infatuation, overload) abruptly (from the impulse) for something completely different, so they quickly create facts for themselves and others, some of which are no longer retractable (facts create facts!). All your right, they are clearly over 18, answer for their lives and that is both legitimate and legal.

So far so good; here I go with it, those who know me know how much I advocate living a self-determined life. Only, is it also wise? Wise in the sense of, is it what this person really wants?

Impulse control: What I recommend

Love your impulse - just check the implementation for a while!

Attention, now it might get exhausting and it took me some years of my life to grasp this: If the human being manages (somehow - I'll get to it in more detail, just keep reading J), to keep his impulse for a while fromSync and corrections by n17t01Holdwithout implementing it immediately, but to keep it parallel to one's life; to look at the impulse again and again, like a sphere that I look at from all 360 degree perspectives - without having to do something with it immediately!

Then the person has the time of over-examination. Do I really want this, is it what I want in the long run, what will this decision cost me (in Kai's case maybe: an emotionally very exhausting separation from his wife, alimony proceedings, custody disputes for the children, missing the children when they are not with him...., friends and family who might turn away and and and .....).

2nd time watch out!!!! It does not concern me that you ignore your impulses, if these prove to be right for you after a little longer examination. But only that you take the time to check them for their meaningfulness for you! In Kai's case, this can mean just feeling this feeling of being in love with another woman for the time being. Ideally without doing anything with it, i.e. not meeting or taking further steps. In short: Do not create facts! Because facts create facts!

So when do I know when a pulse has been checked well enough? What exactly can I do to check a pulse? Here a small guide for impulse control in 4 steps:

  • Occupy yourself mentally with him for a little while - without doing anything!

Just think and contemplate. At least one night, ideally one to two weeks. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the resulting change in your life, the longer gives the impulse time to mature and become big or time to become smaller and smaller and disappear from your life like a fleeting encounter.


  • If you meditate, take the impulse into your meditation (by the way: meditating is a kind of panacea anyway). Deal with the impulse, what drives you to it, where does it come from? What price of your life change does it automatically demand? Try to do this with a loving-critical attitude towards yourself. Don't judge yourself, just look at yourself and the impulse (I know it's not that easy).


  • Speak the impulse to one or more bystanders (2-3 people max). This bystander should be a trusted person who is hardly or not affected by your possible decision. This can be a friend, a good acquaintance, your grandma and of course also a counsellor/ coach/ therapist. Listen carefully and calmly to the other person's point of view/reaction. Please don't turn it into a ping-pong game of reaction-justification, but listen (ideally write down what the other person has to say) and then


  • Then do step 1 (ideally step 2 too) again and see what's up now? Implement impulse or drop it or as I like to say: breathe awayJ


Maybe you think now, boah this takes a long time, this takes away my spontaneity or joy of life, should it be a business issue, you might think, this time investment costs me too much, other competitors are faster, etc.

Well, I don't think so! Implementing impulses too quickly leads to more harm than good.

Quick implementation of impulses is often just thought bullshit to chase an impulse unchecked into the world and only afterwards to understand what I have done to myself and others with it. 

The correction for this is often really complex and time-consuming (example Kai: returning to the family is often hardly possible or involves years of rebuilding trust, the children are insecure and wonder when daddy will be away next time ....; in Stephanie's case it can be that she is not entrusted with any new or very important projects for the time being, that the other colleagues are also irritated and are not immediately interested in joint work assignments "tomorrow" in the sense of "how reliable is she this time").

Yes it may be that an opportunity is missed by impulse checking, absolutely, only in my 53 years of life experience, more damage comes from hastily implemented impulses, which are often irreversible. So, weighing the potential harm to myself and others, I recommend the impulse check.

Impulse control in a nutshell: Life won't run away from you! Wrong decisions, however, often cost you intensive correction loops and are sometimes irreparable. Check yourself and your impulses! If they are sustainably the right ones for your life, do it absolutely and with full throttle; only before that check them and have the courage to leave them where they came from: It was just an impulse!


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Farid El-Nomany, born in Cologne, son of an Egyptian father and a German mother, he combines Cologne humor and lightness, with Prussian acumen and clarity. With Farid you will meet a strong personality with inner freedom, integrity and clarity in exchange. His authenticity, analytical flair and lightness of touch make him a valued advisor to many top executives and managers.


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