By Kevin Cottam
Definition of Aha moment by Merriam Webster: a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension
Have you ever had an Aha Moment? Of course you have, and I would hazard a guess that they are appearing at a rapid rate throughout your day. However, you may not consciously recognize them. Maybe you do? How do we learn from the Aha moments that come to us throughout our lives?
Oprah: the ‘Aha Lady’
Oprah, the ‘Aha Lady’ speaks highly about the term “Aha Moment”. It has become a huge part of her trademark. So much so, that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2012 announced they would add the definition to their dictionary; ‘Aha Moment = a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.’
Oprah has said, ‘That when interviewing others and the information makes her see life in a completely different way, she says ‘Aha! I get it!’ Light bulb … and the little hairs on your arm stand up. That is an “Aha” Moment.’ When was your last ‘light bulb moment’?
Creative Insights From the “Aha” Moments
Daniel Goleman (Mr. Emotional Intelligence) scientifically says, ‘Just before a creative insight, the brain goes into a relaxed Alpha Rhythm, which is then followed rapidly by a Gamma Spike, which brings about a congruence that something new is going to happen like it has never happened before – that’s the Aha Moment’. This is the flash of light or the moment of Wow.
Your Aha Moments are moments in your life when wisdom appears in a flash. What is key is that you must consciously realize that these are “Aha” Moments. They are flashes of light, moments of realization, the ‘hang on, what just happened there’ moment. Being aware of having an “Aha” Moment can shift or change your life forever – if you are open to learning from it!
Positive or Negative Stories
Back in 1995, I was the producer for a very large show and three weeks into the rehearsal I was fired. I had been working as a director and choreographer for many, many years and this had never happened to me before. As you can imagine, I was devastated, torn apart and thought I would never work again. So many negative stories constantly ran through my head. About eight months later, after all the grief, the real “Aha” learning moment happened. I learned to listen to my heart and not my ego. I can say I was amazed. I was so grateful for being fired as the learning I was able to eventually take changed the way I work and live my life.
Your “Aha” Moments come out of the organic stories in your life. You are constantly filled with stories and therefore have a bottomless treasure chest to be able to discover new ways forward. “Aha” Moments can be presented as both positive and negative stories and it depends as to whether you have the skill and awareness to turn a negative into a positive and become your own alchemist.
There is a saying: Behind every cloud is a silver lining. This is true of every “Aha” Moment. I find the greatest reward in life is when a truly negative situation happens and this amazing “Aha” Moment appears to change my life and mindset. It is like rising from 0 -10 in a flash. The positive situations that lead to “Aha” Moments are also brilliant; I am grateful for them as well, but my mindset is not as altered. This may be different for you, of course.
My Last “Aha” Moment
My last “Aha” Moment was when I arrived in Canada from Singapore on December 28th and it was freezing cold. I thought, “What am I doing here? I don’t need to be here!” The backstory to this is that I had been arriving in Canada on the same date or over the same period for the past 10 years. I was living the same routine over and over again. This was because of my dear, elderly, mother. Sadly, my mother passed away 2 years ago, but I have continued to travel to Canada. My “Aha” Moment collided with the shock of the cold weather. It made me realize that I was I acting on autopilot. Recognizing this default action, if you will, I was able to change my behavior. I am grateful for this light bulb moment; thank you cold weather!
To hear an “Aha” Moment you need to listen deeply for the signals and be open to receiving them. In our busy lives we tend to be immune to our inner selves, our surroundings or what is happening in our environment.
Often “Aha” Moments happen very quietly over and over again in our bodies, mind and spirit, and we don’t listen. Then all of a sudden the ‘Divine Smack’ happens and we have to listen. It is like the universe saying, ‘when the hell will this person get it, I guess I have to really show them. Here you go! SMACK!’ This tends to throw you sideways a bit and you wonder what has happened.
Some of us still don’t listen. It has been my experience if the divine smack happens once or twice and we continue not to listen, then it will reappear until we do. Has this ever happened to you?
Learning about the Stop Light
How do you use the learning from the “Aha” Moment? Do you say, ‘Oh wow that was powerful, I must remember that,’ and then you rapidly forget the learning and proceed on the treadmill of life? Or do you stop and take the time to integrate it into your life?
I suggest that you might want to think of a traffic light – red, yellow, green. The “Aha” Moment is the Red Light (which makes you stop in your tracks), the Yellow Light is the learning (you discover) and the Green Light is putting this learning into action and integrating it into your life.
If you don’t integrate that learning you have thrown away the innate wisdom of the universe that is giving you important, conscious information. These “Aha” Moments are gifts, presents and blessings of your Wisdom appearing in the conscious form.
What have you done with your “Aha” Moments?
It is worth reflecting upon as you are worth all the Wisdom that exists within you, and more!
Please share with me, if you wish, your “Aha” Moments and what you have learned from them at firstname.lastname@example.org