When was the last time you experienced an “Aha!” moment?
This “Aha!” moment, sometimes also called “Eureka!”, The Greek word for “I have found it!” is defined by a moment of instant, or sudden discovery, one that you didn’t expect, but happened. It may be the answers to a problem you’ve had for a long time, or found new insight that you begin to see the world in another lens.
Let’s take a look at history and how significant “Aha” moments are in these examples:
Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity while sitting under an apple tree.
Archimedes, the engineer who designed the ancient Titanic Syracusia, discovered how to keep his ginormous ship afloat while he was sitting in the bath.
Albert Einstein, who needs no introduction, was working in his patent office when his mind wandered to a thought that eventually led to his masterwork.
Paul McCartney, singer-songwriter, The Beatles, heard the melodies to his songs in his head, which became successful worldwide.
Pak Ngah, the Malaysian songwriter, heard the melodies to Cindai very loud and clear in his head. He didn’t talk to anybody until he got to his studio to write the song, which became a masterpiece.
Buddha attained enlightenment while he was meditating under a bodhi tree.
Do you see the similarity in how these great individuals contributed to the world in science, technology, arts, and a peace-loving world? They may have had their Aha moments differently, but one thing that remained in common was: they experienced Aha! moments while they were doing something else.
They may have thought about it, but I am pretty sure that the moment they stepped out of that thought for a while, a new insight, a profound idea, filled them to give them the answers that they had been looking for. Maybe it’s not the whole answer, but just a spark of what’s to lead something greater. Empty the space inside your head for new thought to come in.
Our mind is like a seed, has its own intelligence and wisdom to grow into a tree. It already knows how to grow into a tree, the way deep down, you already know what you are or how to get where you’re supposed to go. Just slow down for a bit, step back, do something different for a change, and I promise you, you will find it.
For me, personally, my recent “Aha!” moment rooted back to 2008 during my time in secondary school.
My classmate, YG, was one of the leaders of a club called National Cadet Core (NCC) and he enjoyed drawing. In class, at free time, I noticed he would draw Crayon ShinChan characters and I loved watching someone enjoy doing what he does.
He would also stick his drawing on the door of the NCC room and every single time he does, it would get torn down by a naughty/playful student. Yet I never saw YG angry or upset over it. He simply would draw another, and stick it again, to the point he even wrote it down on his poster “You tear one, I paste another.”
At that moment, I thought that was incredibly clever. It was an example of hard work, of doing what you like to do, no matter how many times people try to literally tear your work down. Hard work was important, and YG showed fifteen-year-old me that. Many adults have told me the importance of hard work too, so of course it made sense. Something about it didn’t fit in quite well with me, but at that point of time, I took it as it was.
The “weird” thing for me (it’s not so weird to me now), however, was that the harder I worked, the lower the quality of work I produced. I was more tired, snappy, easily annoyed, irritable. But I thought it was all part of the journey to success. That one day I was going to look back on my difficulties and pat myself on the back and say “You did it.”
Until a few days ago this story flashed back in my head. I thought, “He shouldn’t have done that.” If I were him, I would have laminated the artwork, so if anybody wanted to tear it down, they would need to make an extra effort. I could have spent the time redrawing the same thing over and over on something else. They say work hard now, you’ll thank yourself later. Why would I want to sacrifice my now for an unknown future, when I can choose peace and serenity to be a part of my life right now?
So now, whatever I do comes from this space of emptiness that has allowed new thoughts and ideas to fill in, with little influence from the nagging outdated ideas in my head. I also only work when I’m in “The Zone“. I believe we all have this thing inside of us called the Inner Wisdom.
Now, I’m not going to tell you TEN STEPS TO ACCESSING INNER WISDOM.
I’m going to simply tell you:
When you’re out of ideas, don’t stay at the same spot. Get up, get out, leave that thought for a while. Breathe in fresh air, or allow yourself that nap. The wisdom in you, your subconscious mind, will have space to come up with new thoughts for you.