The Being & The Doing EPISODE 21:
What Do You Do With an AHA Moment?
In the first episode of season 2, I answer the practical question of what to do when you have an AHA moment. Instead of leaving your great ideas or brilliant insights on the table, you can close the gap between awareness and action using a simple formula. Tune in to discover 5 ways to put your AHA to work for you.
*A full transcript is at the bottom of this page.
Journal or Reflection Questions
Here are some questions to help you dig deeper into your AHA:
“What is possible now, that seemed impossible before?”
“How can I use this new insight to create change?”
“Why is this important?”
How to Start Making Changes
Check out the free stuff on my website.
This Episode’s Homework
Something to think about:
What was the last AHA moment I had that I ignored?
Which is the AHA I keep having?
Here’s an important thing to remember – if you ignore the AHA – it will show up again….and again….and again, until you actually put it to work to change something.
Something to try:
Pick something that you know, if you did it consistently, would make a positive difference in your life. It doesn’t have to be something big.
Then write down the one habit (what do you need to start doing differently) and the one thing that needs your ATTENTION (what do you need to focus on or start thinking differently about) that would support it.
Then give it a try and see what happens.
You can grab your FREE homework Awareness & Action guide HERE
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CREDITS: The Being & The Doing podcast is produced by Neela Bell. Voiceovers by Jason Harris. Music is GoodMorning Sunshine by Yoav Alyagon and Firefly by Scott Buckley.
Full Transcript of the Show
Laurel: Hey, lovely ones, welcome to Season Two of The Being and The Doing. This is Episode 21. So here I am, I’m back from our summer hiatus. I hope that you had a great summer, ours was full to overflowing. We had our daughter’s wedding and of course, there were lots of preparations and celebrations that went with that. And on the work side of things, there’s also been a bit of a refresh on my website, stonecirclecoaching.com and I have to give a shout out to Neila Bell for the time and creativity that she has put into updating and refreshing the website.
So if you haven’t been on my website, Stone Circle Coaching, for a while, go and check it out. There are some brand new speaking topics and I would love to come and speak at your event or at your workplace or even do a webinar for you, a ‘lunch and learn’. And we’ve put all of the free resources now in one place to make it easier for you to find. So go check out the website, stonecirclecoaching.com. And here in Season Two on The Being and The Doing, I’ve got some great episodes coming up to help you balance both the ‘being’ side of your life and the ‘doing’ side.
So today we are going to dive into this practical question. What do you do with an ‘aha’ moment? Because here’s what I know; we have no shortage of ‘AHA’ moments but we just leave them on the table. You know, I do it too; I have like a flash of brilliance or clarity or an insight, a great idea and then, I don’t make very good use of that information. So think for a moment about the ‘AHA’ moments you’ve had, the light bulb moments. Have you ever had an insight but you didn’t act on it? A great idea and left it on the table.
You know, I had an ‘AHA’ this spring when it became really clear to me that what was happening all the time for my coaching clients or for people who would come up and chat with me after a speaking event, they would have an ‘AHA’. So they would get a great idea or some kind of crystal clear clarity about something and then they couldn’t quite figure out how to close the gap between this idea or this insight, this awareness and how to put it into action.
Because the insight that’s contained in a light bulb moment is not necessarily rocket science. You know, sometimes it’s surprising how simple this revelation is. Because what makes the light go on is simply the perfect convergence of information and readiness. It’s kind of a concrete example of that saying when the student’s ready, the teacher appears. Because you might have heard a message a thousand times and it just never had any practical meaning for you, it just didn’t resonate. And you might’ve read books on the same theme, but you know, they just didn’t quite hit home. And you may have had the knowledge about something, but just not the willingness to act on it. These insights, these ‘ahas’ are moments of connection that we make. All of a sudden you get this, ‘oh, I get it.’ That feeling and it’s about something that has alluded you in the past and now it just makes perfect sense.
So I want you to picture the word ‘AHA’. This awareness, this insight, this clarity, this idea, this new information is the ‘A’ in the ‘AHA’; the first ‘A’. And what we need to do is to be more proactive about what we do with this awareness. And that’s the rest of the ‘AHA’. So the ‘A’ is the awareness or the information part. The ‘H’ is the habits or the routines that if we do them consistently, step-by-step are going to let us create change, make the idea become real, make the insight become tangible. And the other ‘A’ is attention because what we focus on or our mindset determines whether we’re creating opportunities or obstacles for ourselves.
Awareness, Habits, Attention. Cause that first ‘A’, the awareness, without the ‘HA’ part, the habits and the attention, it’s kind of pointless. Because information or insight is great, but it’s not sufficient. Knowing is not doing. Let me say that again; knowing is not doing. The sad thing is that most people let their light bulb moments kind of fade into the dark. That’s because we can get stuck in the gap between this insight or this clarity of information and actually acting on it.
So, really, an ‘AHA’ is only as good as what you do with it. Now, let’s think about an example. So you’ve had an ‘AHA’, the light bulb has gone on. ‘Oh, I get it! When I do this, this happens.’ Or ‘When I don’t do this, this happens.’ Or maybe the ‘AHA’ sounds like, ‘Oh, I really need to start doing this.’ Or ‘I need to stop doing that.’ A moment when you connect the dots, you solve the puzzle. That’s the ‘AHA’, that’s the light bulb going on, ‘Oh, I get it.’ But then we abandon it, we just let it go. The light bulb goes off, the ‘AHA’ fades away.
Why do we do that? Well, probably because to take action on that insight or great idea or clarity or awareness actually requires some effort. We have to change something. We have to probably step out of our comfort zone. And so the how-to part of this becomes the excuse: ‘Oh, I had that great aha, that great clarity, insight, super idea and I would do that, but I don’t know how to do that.’ So that becomes our excuse for staying stuck between the idea or the insight, the awareness and the action. And you know, the other reason we probably abandon our ‘AHA’ is that we get distracted. Who’s not distracted? Distraction is at an all-time high. And we particularly like to let ourselves get distracted from something that might require us to change in some way, even if it’s not that big a change.
So I want you to think about that light bulb moment as a little gift from the universe. It’s your personal invitation to take a step forward towards your best life. Now you’re going to hear me talking a lot more about ‘AHA’ and this power of closing the gap between ideas and action, between insight and implementation, between having awareness and clarity and actually doing something with it. You’re going to hear me talking a lot more about that on the podcast and on the blog. And I’ve even created some speaking topics about this idea because I’m really excited about it. This idea of being able to close the gap between great ideas, awareness, insight, clarity, and actually putting it into action. And so, I’ve left some links in the show notes too about new speaking topics.
I really invite you to take the light bulb moment as your beacon that’s pointing you to a new direction and how you can begin to actually operationalize it or translate this new awareness into action is by asking yourself, now what? So when the light bulb goes on, when you have the ‘AHA’, Oh, I get it. Ooh, dots connected, ask yourself, now what? Because ‘now what’ points you towards something to do. I mean, it’s kind of the perfect marriage of ‘the being in the doing’, right? The ‘ah’, the first ‘ah’, the awareness, the idea that that really is about being, it’s the sense of knowing. And then the other part, the ‘ha’ is the doing. So it is this beautiful marriage of being and doing to making ‘AHAs’ work for us.
So how can you start to do that? How can you make your ‘AHAs’ work better for you? I’ve got five ways that you can start with this. And the first one is journal about it. Now I know for some of you, you’re going to hear the word ‘journal’ and you’re going to go, “Aaah, journal? I don’t want a journal.” So first before I even talk about that, I want to kind of make journaling okay for you.
Journaling is a terrific way to explore ideas and to brainstorm with ourselves and just dig deeper into our understanding of something. If you’re someone who kind of is like, “Eh, I don’t want to do journaling,” it’s probably because you haven’t found a way that really resonates with you. And there’s no one right way to journal. So you might take your paper and your pen and your notebook and you journal in words and sentences; great. But maybe that doesn’t feel good for you. So, okay, mine map it, draw it, doodle it, I don’t care. It’s just about helping to move the ideas out of your head onto the paper in some way to begin to make them more tangible. So just make up your own rules, get rid of whatever you think the rules are, and just make up your own rules to be able to journal.
So journaling about your ‘AHA’. So you’ve had this moment of insight; take some time to explore it. You could write some ‘before and after’ statements. ‘So before my aha, I thought this, and now I think this.’ So that you begin to see the shift that has happened for you. Or you could journal some reflection questions, which I’m going to tell you in a moment, some questions that you can begin to explore, but just a way to begin moving the information out of your head onto the paper so that you can begin to explore it.
So you could ask yourself some questions and whether you journaled them, yeah, that’s great. You could use them as journaling prompts or you could just spend some time having conversations with yourself. So think about this new insight, this ‘AHA’ and ask yourself, what is possible now that seemed impossible before?
Or, how can I use this new insight to create change?
Or, what dots are now connected for me?
Or, why is this ‘AHA’, this light bulb moment important?
Because I can tell you if you have that, “Ah, Oh, I get it.” If you have that moment where it becomes clear, something about that is really important for you. Now, don’t worry, I put those questions in the show notes for you so you can go back and check them out there.
Now, the third thing is about actually taking some action because really those first two are about digging deeper into the awareness part of the ‘AHA’. It’s still in the reflection piece. It’s not action there. So we want to be able to take action. So yes, you can work with your ‘AHA’ to expand your awareness, but that’s not sufficient. Remember, we have to take some action to make it real. So change only occurs when we actually start to do something different. I mean, you could have a thousand light bulb moments, but if you never take action on any of them, you are essentially just still in the dark. So you have to decide, how can you begin to translate this insight or this great idea into concrete action? And then you have to do it. So it will be some combination of habits and attention that move you forward; the ‘HA’ part of the ‘AHA’.
Number four; share it with someone. So you don’t have to just be in conversation with yourself, you can share your light bulb moment with someone you trust because it’s another way of, again, stretching the insight. And this person, whoever it is, your partner or your friend or your sibling, whoever it is, someone that you trust and you can have a great conversation with, they can help you brainstorm ways that you might act on it, that might help you get over the, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’ Because someone who’s not as close to it as you, can see a million ways that you can begin to do something with it. So just pick somebody who’d be willing to be supportive in that conversation with you.
And the last one I want to say is about being nice to yourself. Have a little compassion for yourself. Because sometimes when you have that light bulb moment, ‘Oh aha!’ You kind of experience a bit of a, ‘well, duh.’ There’s this rush of, ‘Okay, why didn’t I get this before?’ Particularly when you think it seems really simple, it’s like, ‘Okay, why didn’t I get that?’ Well, you didn’t get it because sometimes it’s not easy to see the forest for the trees. So it’s not important that you didn’t get it before. The fact is you get it now. So who cares that you didn’t get it before? Usually, everything has to line up for the light bulb to go on, right? We have to be ready to have the insight and all the pieces need to be there.
So personal growth is a lifelong journey. You’re going to ‘AHA’ your way all the way to the grave. But instead of beating yourself up about, ‘Oh, I should’ve seen that sooner,’ you have to give yourself a little hug for finally making the connection, ‘Yay!’ And now use the insight to change your behavior, to do something different. Because it’s only when we’re continually repeating the same, ‘ah, ah, ah,’ and never doing anything with it that we can feel really discouraged. So when you have the ‘AHA’, act on it.
Now as always, I’m going to leave you with a little ‘being and doing’ homework. Homework is a great way for you to start to do something with this idea. I’m going to give you something to think about and something to try. And so if it works for you now, you’re going to grab a pen and write it down and don’t worry, it’s in the show notes. And there’s also a little guide, action and awareness guide, that’s got a bit of a note-taking sheet that can help guide you through this as you’re working with it. It’s helpful for the homework and so you can also grab that in the show notes. Use whatever works for you.
Here goes something to think about. What was the last ‘AHA’ moment that you ignored or which is the ‘AHA’ I keep having? Kind of your own personal Groundhog day, you know? So here’s an important thing to remember. If you ignore the ‘AHA’, it’ll show up again and again and again until you actually put it to work, to change something or to move forward.
Now, something to try. Pick something that you know if you did it consistently would make a positive difference in your life. Because you know what, you’ve already had some of the ‘AHAs’. There’s already one like lurking around that you already know you could act on. It doesn’t have to be something big. So pick that thing and then, write down one habit and one thing that you need to focus on that would really support you being able to move forward with that. So essentially what do you need to start doing differently and in what way do you need to start thinking differently or focusing differently and then give it a try for a week and see what happens.
Next time, on The Being and The Doing, we are going to focus on habits; specifically, the top 10 habits that are going to help you be at your best. So until then, lovely ones, pause, breathe and enjoy each and every day.
Outro: You’ve been listening to The Being and The Doing with your host, Laurel Vespi. If you liked this episode and think other people would, please, subscribe, rate and give a review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to tune in next week for another conversation about The Being and The Doing. Thanks for listening.