The “Aha” Moment

Psychologists call it insight but the feeling when it happens to you is, “AHA!” It is a satisfying feeling of discovery, even if you don’t like the information.  My daughter tells me that Oprah speaks about her “Ahas”.  It is an interesting

experience.  When you have this feeling, you know that the pieces have correctly fallen into place.  After listening to people for years, I think that the “aha” moment arrives in the following way:

1. You register “clues.” Clues are bits of information that you file away in your mind, not consciously thinking they will lead you toward some special understanding; but clues seems to stick.

2. The clues pile up, almost to seeing the picture, but you don’t have the puzzle entirely put together yet. You are becoming more aware and maybe you are beginning to vaguely wonder.

3. Someone makes a comment

and uses the right word or phrase. Or, someone behaves in a certain way. Or, you read or see something that results in click, click, ping, and you feel a satisfying thud as the pieces fall into place and lock.

4. And then you know.

It is like finding a name for something you knew existed but, up until now, it had been nameless. Aha, I know that to be true.

If you know of any studies that have actually figured out this process, please let me know. I’d like to see how close I come to understanding the aha moment.

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