I’ll never forget my first Ah-Ha moment – I was 19 or 20 years old, and I was desperately trying to make changes in my life – or perhaps more accurately stated – I was desperately trying to change myself.
I wasn’t very nice about it, either, to be honest. I was kind of railroading myself into becoming someone I wanted to be – but I certainly wasn’t that person yet.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change – but my Ah-Ha moment came when I finally admitted to myself that part of me didn’t want to change. It was a moment of unbelievable relief: I at once realized why I was resisting myself and for the first time, had an experience of truly listening to myself – even when what I was saying wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.
I have had hundreds of Ah-Ha moments since that day – and I think part of the reason I have a passion for self-help and self-improvement is because these Ah-Ha moments are so enjoyable :: addicting, even ;).
I had another Ah-Ha moment this morning – I’ll share that one separately – and it led me to question Ah-Ha moments in general. What are they? Why do we want them? How do we get them?
So what are Ah-Ha moments?
I like to describe Ah-Ha Moments as those when the intellectual mind, the emotional mind and the physical body all come to an agreement at the same time. It’s when you have an idea or problem that you have struggled with in your mind, it caused icky or conflicting emotions, and your body usually tensed up or got stressed out when you thought about it.
Then in one fell swoop, your mind “gets it” – you have a flood (tiny or huge) of good emotions, and you feel a physical sense of relief and happiness, joy or resolution.
Why do we want to pursue Ah-Ha moments?
I can’t answer for you – but perhaps you will find a bit of yourself in my answer: Ah-Ha moments are the times when obstacles disappear; when problems are solved. They are the moments when decisions are made, and when I am suddenly able to access new resources within myself to find answers to questions and solutions to problems.
To me, Ah-Ha moments are the most priceless moments in life. They are the times when I look at both the past and future of my life and I see everything as a gift, when I appreciate the road that has led me to today, no matter how rocky it was to get here.
So how do we get to Ah-Ha moments?
As I review my past Ah-Ha moments, I find that they have several things in common:
- Usually Ah-Ha moments happen not when I get a new bit of information, but when I finally am able to understand and put into action an old bit of information that I already knew.
- Ah-Ha moments happen not when I know what is going on, but when I am a bit confused, or when I am more open to solutions because what I am currently doing is not working
- Ah-Ha moments happen frequently when I am seeking help – meaning that even though I may already know what I need to know, I’m willing to be wrong or admit I don’t have all of the answers (how’s that for irony?!)
- Ah-Ha moments happen when I am not expecting them – which means that even though it is noble to pursue Ah-Ha moments, it’s when we aren’t pursuing them that we are open enough to allowing them to happen
One last thing to note – can you remember a time when you had a big Ah-Ha moment? Can you go back to that time now? If you can, and you can pick apart the ingredients that made this an Ah-Ha moment, you can use this as a recipe to plant the seeds for future Ah-Ha moments.
And on that note, I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:
It is very easy to see how many seeds are in an apple. You can cut open the apple and count the seeds. However, you never know how many apples lie within each seed.