A Baker’s Dozen Classic Ah-Ha Moments
Bill Cottringer

“We often get the thinking-feeling-behavior sequence mixed up. It is important to understand that it is behaviors and actions, not thinking, that result in our feelings, which in turn often prompt problem behaviors.” ~The author.

Lightbulb ah-ha moments are the wise and useful insights we have about life and people when the timing is right. These insights often come to us in abstract thought, paradoxes, and metaphors which challenge us to figure out how to apply them to get results in our journey to learn, grow and improve into our best selves. Below are a baker’s dozen of these moments which everyone might want to consider having:

1. The best and most useful insight that can come our way is when we slow down our nano-second, instantaneous mania pace long enough to start noticing what we have been failing to notice all along. This gradual but sudden ah-ha moment opens the door for others to come into our awareness.
2. What follows first is the mindful awareness that it is most productive to spend more time in the present moment and less waisted on mind-wandering back to past memories or future expectations. This is without a doubt, the best time management principle there is to take advantage of. After all, time is the one resource equally distributed, but unequally used.
3. Learning knowledge and wisdom to understand governing principles about how things work, and what is the best truth available, is a valuable ah ha moment that far outdoes filling our minds with irrelevant, useless, and unimportant facts. The Internet is already overloaded with those and any time we want, we can look one up and delete it after using when we are short on storage space.
4. Another enabling ah ha moment is when we finally realize the wisdom of insecurity and the pervasiveness of vulnerability. After that, we can start questioning our assumptions and beliefs, realizing what we think we know, may not be so. In turn, that opens your mind to learning about the other 95% unknown that none of us know.
5. One of the most practical ah ha moments is learning that we can’t control or even manage other’s behavior, before we start controlling the controllables in our own life. This process starts with managing our own reaction to situations we are already part of and ends with adopting a proactive approach to improve these situations in the right sequence—from inside out rather than vice-versa.
6. It is not really the things that happen in life that bother us most, but rather our opinions about these things. Similarly, it is not reality that needs changing, but usually our incorrect and incomplete perceptions which result in our opinions.
7. It is good to understand why we have two ears and one mouth, as a version of the carpenter’s rule of measuring twice and sawing once. When we listen carefully with both ears, as to what is said along with what isn’t said, and both what is said and how it is said, then all we usually have to do is talk once. This is another good time management principle to practice. Of course we have to be cautious with the two-handed typing we “talk” with in virtual communication!
8. One quality is usually worth much more than four quantities. In other words, always go deep and not wider. An example is gleaning the value of one book, reading it ten times, rather than reading 10 different books one time.
9. One significant paradigm-changing ah ha moment is realizing that how we define something results in how much or how little of the thing we have. For instance, defining success broader than just money-making or fame, results in more success and the increased happiness that goes with it.
10. Emotionally packed conflicts are usually based on a difference in personal values. We all have an inalienable right to choose which values to embrace and which to reject but that is just about the end of any common ground. Taking some time to understand who already has the most invested in a certain outcome, can speed up the unpacking process.
11. My personal best ah ha moment is that words can create their own realities, much like computers ironically producing more work for us in the attempt to simplify things. We originally invented words to represent real objects, but now-a-days, there is so much abstract space in between the words and what they are intended to represent, that accurate meanings are virtually impossible to communicate.
12. Besides politics and religion, the most difficult conversations to have involve ethics and morality. We all like to think we can know absolute truths, but at the end of any day, the elephant in the room remains the same—the degree of trust we place in the truth of the source our belief comes from, whether that is personal experience, critical thinking, scientific research, experts, books, education and training, trusted friends, established authorities, or even the Internet.
13. The last ah ha moment occurs when we acknowledge where these moments are coming from.

Now if these thirteen ah-ha moments don’t tickle your spirit, then by all means have a big ah ha moment of your own to come up with your personal favorites list!

“Your past decisions don’t have to define your present.” ~Debbie King.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is retired as the Executive Vice President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA, along with still being engaged as a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living on the scenic Snoqualmie River and mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair, (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Thoughts on Happiness; Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.) Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away and Critical Thinking (Authors Den) and Christian Psychology for Everyday Use (Covenant Books, Inc.) Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (206) 914-1863 or ckuretdoc.comcast.net.