A very interesting character in Taoist mythology is a fellow called “act on impulse”. He’s a great teacher that teaches you to ‘go for it’ and I think I particularly like him because he shows us mere mortals how we can take advantage of the situations around us. He would basically act without thought but his actions were always correct because by not thinking he was actually thinking in a deeper level.

It seems that we all have such complex lives now. I wonder what our ancestors would think about the kind of lives that we now have, with all our technology and fast paced craziness. Since we have such complex and busy lives it is sometimes very difficult to see a good opportunity when one presents itself. It is imperative then that we learn to relax and that we learn to take time for ourselves.

When you are able to relax your are far more aware of the impulses that you have. Being able to feel these impulses and being courageous enough to act on them is key to taking best advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. An impulse can be said to be a sudden urge or desire to act. The current belief is that these impulses are just random and chaotic feelings and emotions. We are all told that impulsive actions are careless and primitive, that they will only lead to wild and unproductive action.

There is another school of thought though the believes that these impulses are far more complex in design than we currently believed them to be. This school of thought believes that impulses are the end results of huge internal calculations that involve subconscious material that is far too complex for the conscious mind to process. Impulses, seen in this way, are powerful natural indicators of conclusions that have been arrived at through data crunching that is beyond the conscious mind.

If this is the case, and I believe that it is, then it is very important that you learn to act on those impulses that you feel throughout the day. The reason for this is that these impulses are indicators of opportunity, that your conscious mind has missed but that your subconscious has discovered through its vast array of information and processing power.

Sometimes these impulses go against conventional wisdom. Sometimes it is the case that logical conclusions differ from impulsive desire. What you must realize though is that these impulses are arrived at through information that is beyond linear sequencing. What this means is that while logic and conventional wisdom tend to take on a linear approach, inner wisdom can arrive at conclusions using complex equations that go beyond a simple mechanistic framework. For example it might be logical to take the most direct route to a desired goal but you have the impulse to follow a completely different route altogether. While you’re impulse might seem somewhat illogical and go against conventional wisdom, your conscious conclusions might not have taken into account an infinite amount of variables that your subconscious did consider. It could be that the subconscious took into account, weather patterns or nearly unnoticeable clues that lead it to believe that the fastest route is blocked or dangerous.

If you ask anyone that is considered a genius in his or her field, you will always discover that they place great importance on their inner voice. Whether the person is a great business success or a scientific genius, they tend to be people that follow unconventional wisdom and have great trust in their inner intuition. This intuition is fundamentally an impulse that they have learnt to listen to and to obey. If you wish to excel in any field, I also suggest that you learn to listen to your impulses.

In order to take advantage of opportunities you must be in the right place and at the right time. Sometimes even if you’re off by just a little bit, you will not be able to take advantage of just the right opportunity that can greatly increase your success. Being at the right place and there at the right time involves calculations that are far too intricate for the conscious mind. Your subconscious though can make these calculations and makes these calculations whether you are aware of it or not. In order to take advantage of these great subconscious calculations you need to listen and act on your impulses. In order to take advantage of any and all opportunities you must do as the great Taoist master and ‘act on impulse’.