`Ah-ha moments' are creativity generators

Column by Michael Norton

Posted

Seems like even at this stage of my life I still find myself having those “ah-ha moments.” You know that moment when the light bulb has gone off in your head and you suddenly get it, or a solution to a problem pops into your head.

It's a great feeling isn't it? I mean especially when we find ourselves in a situation where others have already come up with the answer before us, or they just get things faster.

I am also grateful that those “ah-ha moments” keep coming. It means that I have not gotten to that point where I believe I already have all of the answers. I don't believe anyone ever really gets there, however I do know many people who think that they already know everything. Do you know anyone like that?

If you do know anyone who fits into the know-it-all category, you can share with them one of my favorite quotes, one that I use to remind myself to constantly be learning and growing. Eric Hoffer says it this way, “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” We must always be willing to learn.

“Ah-ha moments” can come at any time. There have been nights where I have gone to sleep trying to remember an event, a name, or with a major project or opportunity spinning around in my head. I wake up in the middle of the night with the answer, or idea for a workable solution. I keep a notepad close by just in case these “ah-ha moments” happen in the middle of the night and I can capture my thoughts.

My “ah-ha moments” have happened while driving, at church, eating a meal, or other random places. The point is that when they happen, we have to recognize them as an “ah-ha moment” and not write it off as just another miscellaneous or obscure thought.

The other thing I have really come to appreciate is when I observe someone else enjoying their “ah-ha moment.” When we see the light bulb go off for one of our children, a friend or a customer it is so rewarding. And instead of just watching them “get it,” the best thing we can do is talk them through it, ask questions, get them to expand upon it. Because it is in those moments of expanded thinking where the true learning takes place and they have a chance to internalize and own the idea for themselves.

And we should be open to all “ah-ha moments” large and small and maybe even grandiose. Sometimes just that little spark of an idea can blossom into something much bigger that is in alignment with our personal and professional goals. And even our large or grandiose “ah-ha moments” can help us fulfill the biggest and wildest dreams of our hearts.

I would love to hear all about your recent “ah-ha moments” at gotonorton@gmail.com and when the light bulb goes off this week for you, I am sure it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of www.candogo.com

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