The Myth Of “The Spur-Of-The-Moment” – Josh Journal
How many times have you witnessed someone do something, good or bad, then attribute it to a spur-of-the-moment feeling? How many times have you done the same thing?
Looking back now, was your action actually a spur-of-the-moment? Do you think the other person’s action was a spur-of-the-moment too?
The length we go to prove that we took time to think and prepare for the things we did right is unbelievable. But when we mess up, we want to dissociate our logical and reasoning ability from the situation.
On the flip side, when our ego is bruised, we want to prove it is no fault of ours. We claim to have thought it through. While when we get praised and want to display performative humility and be self-effacing, we claim it is a spur-of-the-moment.
The reality though is that spur-of-the-moment decisions never tell the full story. Hardly is anything ever that impromptu.
Knowingly or unknowingly, you are constantly preparing for every moment. Most times, unknowingly.
We are products of experience. We assimilate knowledge from things and happenings around us.
Someone says something in passing, it gets stored in your memory. Even if you weren’t exactly listening.
Even if you didn’t try to process this new knowledge, at least, when you sleep, it eventually gets processed.
When you are eventually faced with a situation that requires you to utilize that information, experience, and emotion, it gets flooded into your memory and in an instant, you act.
This is why in heightened and tense moments, you suddenly remember things you are not aware you knew. It is also why you experience De Javu.
Also, those moments you picture yourself doing something, but can’t tell if it is a memory or an imagination.
I hope with this in mind, you now understand the root of some of your actions. If you find yourself making decisions you are not proud of, you need to start taking better cognizance of what you assimilate knowingly and unknowingly.
Out of the abundance of the heart…
With this knowledge, I hope you also understand why people you just met, or you’ve had a good history with suddenly acting weird?
Most times when people seem angry with you in the spur-of-the-moment, it’s not exactly a “spur-of-the-moment” incident.
If you live in Lagos, then you know everything about transferred aggression.
From the man with blue balls to the sex-starved woman, you don’t know why someone is prickly.
Let’s not talk about the one who got home by 1 AM because of traffic and is out of his house by 5 AM to beat the traffic. How do you expect them to respond to your “good morning” when you show up to their office with an ear-to-ear grin?
I won’t talk about class captains who were flogged by a teacher because the class was noisy, so next time, they write everyone’s name as noisemakers. Then put ×10 in front of your name.
All of these are not excusing people who have been holding one grudge or a dozen against you. Little or small. Real or imagined. They have something against you and nothing else you say will sound smart. Or funny.
They might have even forgotten what they are holding against you, but they know they are upset with you. And they also remember you never said sorry.
A final category of people we should consider are those who look at you being you, they notice something that reminds them of their long-held disappointment in themselves, now they can’t be happy with or for you.
Your actions remind them of their unmet potential, short-lived success, inadequacies, or disgraceful failure. Now they are wondering where you got the audacity to challenge what is practically impossible to them.
It just doesn’t make sense in their puny minds.
They’ll compare and contrast themselves with you. Next, they’ll try to project their fears and insecurities on you. Finally, they’ll try to rationalize, minimalize, and explain your success away.
If you go on to be your awesome self irrespective of their pathetic attempt to obstruct you, then they can’t help themselves.
Out of the blue, in the spur-of-the-moment, before they can stop themselves, they would have spoken or acted out in hatred and envy.
Now that you know all these, I hope you will be less bothered when haters hate, beefers beef, and potatoes potate.