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Impulse

  • Our impulses are our birthright. To alter personality would be unjust, almost criminal, for the impulses that make a fool or worse of us in certain circumstances may be necessary for our happiness.

  • If you don't have imagination you're lost. But it's a virtue that's becoming increasingly rare, especially in its higher form: spontaneity. Mad, happy spontaneity.

  • He acted too often without counting the cost, from some dazzling conception, — one could not say from impulse, for impulses are from the heart. He liked to reorganize and change things for the sake of change, to make a fine gesture, He destroyed the old before he had clearly thought out the new.

  • And she saw now that the strong impulses which had once wrecked her happiness were the forces that had enabled her to rebuild her life out of the ruins.

  • We are rarely wrong when we act from impulse.

  • My life has not been the best possible. The slave of impulse, I have rushed forward to my own destruction.

    • Lady Caroline Lamb,
    • letter (1824), in Sydney, Lady Morgan, Lady Morgan's Memoir, vol. 2 ()
  • I love the abandonment to impulse, I act from impulse only, and I love to madness that others do the same by me.

    • Julie de Lespinasse,
    • 1773, in Katharine Prescott Wormeley, trans., Letters of Mlle. de Lespinasse ()
  • Sometimes, I think, our impulses come not from the past, but from the future.

  • I could never tell where inspiration begins and impulse leaves off. I suppose the answer is in the outcome. If your hunch proves a good one, you were inspired; if it proves bad, you are guilty of yielding to thoughtless impulse.

  • The civilizing process has increased the distance between behavior and the impulse life of the animal body.

  • ... impulses sometimes have logical roots and ought to be given in to.

  • Strong impulses come of strong feelings; and strong feelings are the source of all that is great and good, not, alas! of all that is wise ...