Thinking vs. Thoughting: 4 ways to Induce the AHA Moments that Can Change your life

Here’s how I define an 'aha moment’….💡

a tiny instance in time where we realize something that drastically impacts and alters the probable and predictable path of our lives. 

These aha moments help us realize what truly matters to us in life. They tell us when to make a change, or give us the solution to that big problem we’ve been trying to solve. 

But, a true aha moment can be hard to come by. The most authentic 'ahas' are induced by a near-death experience. And many people who have had such an experience can tell you that it’s one of the best things that ever happened to them because it made them re-evaluate their lives and re-focus on what truly makes them happy. You could say, that a near-death experience almost forces us to be present. 🤔

The problem is, that in today’s world, it’s harder than ever to be “present”.

👉🏻 And the less “present” we are, the less likely we are to have these aha moments - which means we are more likely to keep heading down a very predictable path, towards a predictable and probably unfulfilling life. 

We’re bombarded by distractions and information 😫. Most of the time we’re in “reaction mode”. We’re just trying to “catch up.” We’re trying to answer all the emails, respond to the texts, get to the bottom of the to-do lists, read that really cool article that a colleague recommended, or watch that video your friend sent you. 

Life is just kind of coming at you really fast and you’re just trying to respond to it. 

As a result, most of the time you’re just “thoughting.” 💭

Thoughting is what happens when you don’t have much control over your mind.

The thoughts are basically just using your brain and dictating your life. And for the most part, you probably feel like you can’t do anything about them. 

The dangerous thing about “thoughting” is that eventually, you just “thought” your way through life…

and at the end you kind of look back and wonder - how did I get here? How come I never just took a real PAUSE ⏸? I never took the time to THINK about what I really wanted… I was too busy just reacting to everything. 

It’s really hard to find the THINKING time nowadays. I have heard many people say that they do their best thinking on the plane - with no distractions and no wifi. 

🙇🏻‍♀️ THINKING, on the other hand, is an active process. It’s something that actually requires your consciousness. It requires… YOU. Thinking requires a conscious intention, usually with a desired outcome. When you are focused on achieving something in life, you actually have to sit down and THINK about it right? 

But there’s something that comes BEFORE some of our BEST thinking… it’s SPACE. We have to create space, or openings of time, that free us up to do our best thinking. Because it’s in this space that our best thinking can create those aha moments.

So how do we create this mental space and induce an AHA moment?

There are 4 ways.

1. Reflect on Your Death ✍🏼

Yes, do it. Even if it scares you. We really have to get over the fear of talking about death (especially in the American society). We’re all dying, and the sooner we come to terms with it, the more we can leverage this awareness for our own benefit. So, take the time to write your own eulogy. I’ve done this thoroughly and I have re-read what I wrote multiple times. What would be said about the way you lived your life, how you treated people, the experiences you had, the things you accomplished, and the values you stood by. Make it as long as you want. Pretend you’re witnessing your own death. How did you die? Who showed up at the memorial? Write this all down on a Sunday evening when you have some quiet time, or maybe on your next flight…

2. Invest in some kind of intense self-inquiry 👤

Nowadays there are plenty of retreats, and self-development/life education courses out there. And if you’re someone who usually rolls your eyes at this sort of thing, you’re probably someone who would benefit from this option the most 😜. These courses/retreats help break us free from the typical conversations or lifestyle that we are a part of. They create an interruption in our thinking - and immerse us into a new perspective. We need some kind of coach or teacher that can guide us inwards to intensely evaluate ourselves. And it’s during these courses/events that we discover something about ourselves and our lives that we wouldn’t have ever realized in the everyday automatic-ness of life.

3. Get away 🏖

I’m not a big fan of the word vacation. I think society has made it sound like a luxury and that most of us feel guilty to take them. And yet, it’s one of the best things we can do for our wellbeing and mindset. Pick a place you’ve never been. Don’t go somewhere “typical”. The objective here is to get yourself into an environment that creates new experiences - new smells, sounds, and sights. These new experiences exercise the brain. Find a culture that you know nothing about. Go somewhere where people speak another language so that you have to face the challenges of communication. Allow yourself AT LEAST 1 full week to do this. And ideally 2-3 weeks so that you have time to settle into the experience.

4. Get out + disconnect 🚫🔌

One of the biggest barriers to our ability to free up mental space is our use of technology. Being connected all the time eliminates any excess time that we have for “thinking” because there’s always something to do as long as your phone is in your hand. So take time - anywhere from an hour to a full weekend - to get outdoors without your technology. Go for a long walk in the woods, or spend time on the water. There’s plenty of science that proves that nature has an enormous impact on the brain. Book a weekend getaway at a cabin in the mountains with NO wifi. Disconnecting from your technology and reconnecting with nature will expand the mind.

The key here is to make any one of these options a priority. ✅

When our lives are so “busy” it’s so easy to justify why something else should take precedence over any of this. But the value that you get from that “aha moment” pretty much trumps anything else you will do on your normal day. And the toughest problems and challenges that we encounter in life, can be addressed through any of these 4 options.

👉🏻 You could say, that the quality of your life, is in direct proportion to the number of ahas that you experience.

Don’t miss out on a realization that could significantly enhance your wellbeing!


Use the comments below to share one of your AHA moments! What's the specific instance that changed your life forever?? 

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