AHA Moments: Finding the Unexpected Solution
By Marcia Reynolds
Countless stories tell of famous inventors who made their greatest discovery when playing with their children, eating a meal, or by taking a nap and dreaming.
What goes on in the brain to create these AHA moments?
The sudden, amazing solution to a problem is a creative, not logical process. “AHA” moments don’t come when we are determined to find the answer. In fact, the more you go over the problem in your mind, the more you will get stuck and frustrated.
You have to access many parts of your brain. Here are some tips: Tip 1. Do something else. Have you ever tried to remember a name but couldn’t, and then it popped into your head while you were thinking of something else? Give your brain a chance to work on its own. Go play tennis, call a friend, clean out a filing cabinet…anything to get your “thinking” brain out of the way.
Tip 2. Give it a rest. If you can, take a nap or put the problem away for a day and sleep on it. While you sleep, your middle brain goes to work making new connections. You might wake up with a brilliant idea. Keep a pad of paper next to your bed just in case.
Tip 3. Have fun. Laughter and positive feelings such as appreciation, pride, and enjoyment cause neurochemical reactions that help your brain operate more efficiently and creatively. Stop and look at something inspiring or funny. Your brain will love the break.
Tip 4. Work with your coach. A coach can help you break through the frames to connect other memories so that a new idea "pops" into view. A powerful question disarms the logical brain and instantly rewires it. Your way of seeing the situation, and even the world, will be changed forever.
In short, when you find yourself stressed over your problems, step back, take a nap, do something you enjoy, and meet with your coach. You will be far more productive than sitting at your desk mulling over your limited options.
About the Author
Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, works with clients worldwide focusing on emotional intelligence and change. She is a Master Certified Coach and a past president of the International Coach Federation. Her website is www.outsmartyourbrain.com.
Contact her at 602-954-9030, Marcia@outsmartyourbrain.com