(I’ve written about Thomas Peisker once before. He’s a kind-hearted, well-mannered, thoughtful soul… who plays the banjo. Now, his mother thinks the way I’ve described my nephew doesn’t sound very cool. I completely disagree. Please welcome to the Ramada Inn stage, Thomas Peisker…)
It happens to all the greats: Edison, Newton, Dylan, and you.
The light bulb goes off, the bell rings, and your eyebrows shoot up off of your forehead. Or maybe in a less cartoonish display of enlightenment, you think to yourself, “Ohhhhhh!” or “That’s it!” or, appropriately, “Aha!”
The “Aha!” moment happens to everyone. For some reason, our brains can’t always get it the first time. Eventually, it clicks. Maybe:
- you realize what your college professor meant in a lecture 20 years ago.
- you have a breakthrough on that novel you’ve been penning or
- something you read on some sort of awesome imagination advisory blog clicks.
It happens to everyone.
98% of the time, it’s pretty neat. Another 1% of the time it changes your life. But, unfortunately, another 1% of the time, the “Aha!” moment can be dangerous when arrived at misguidedly.
The reason we have these moments is because of something that I’ve learned over a vast (read: three weeks’ worth) knowledge base of college-level communications study: intrapersonal communication. Those familiar with Latin (ot-nay is-thay ind-kay) will recognize the prefix “intra” as signifying “within”, meaning communication with oneself. The fact is, we all talk to ourselves. In reality, we talk to ourselves more than we communicate in any other way.
But here’s the thing:
If you only realize that you’re talking to yourself when you have these “Aha!” moments, you’re not acknowledging that most of your talking is only heard by you. If you don’t acknowledge that, there’s no telling the conclusions to which you can arrive if you’re not careful about your self-talk. So:
- Stop. Pause. Reflect. How did you get here?
- Think sequentially. Retrace your steps. Don’t put the horse before the cart.
- Think about your customers/family/friends/spouse/coworkers/self. If you want some tips for the business world, I’d recommend The First Order of Business. Otherwise, I’d take some time for introspection, thought, and reflection. That means no screens, no books, no kids (if possible), etc.
I dare ya.
My grandpa always says that before you go on a journey you should always take a moment and just sit and breathe. If you’re about to take a big step, I’d urge you to try it. You don’t want to forget anything.