Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Feature: AHA!

My poor writing doesn't know what to think. Front and center for over a month now, it's been relegated to snippets of time and thrust into the thankless role of being one task among many I'm doing simultaneously. Rather than getting dedicated time, blogs posts have been put on hold as I power through course preparation and await an "aha" moment.

Luckily, they do arise. In fact, an important one just did about twenty minutes ago. I was struggling to merge an assignment schedule with a syllabus and the only solutions I could see made me want to crawl under a large piece of furniture, emerging only after the semester was over. 

Not an option.

I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes, pondering the possibilities, then got interrupted by a voice.

Did I mention I was on a Zoom call with my writing accountability partner? 

Wouldn't it be lovely if that really happened? If, whenever we got stuck, we simply leaned back, closed our eyes and an answer emerged? 

I'm happy to report that shortly after we concluded our call, I did have my "aha" moment. I have no idea what precipitated it (changing gears, most likely), nor do I think I could replicate it. But the answer emerged, nevertheless.

Even better, I immediately knew what today's long-delayed post would be about. Two "ahas" for the price of one.

Though they seem to come from out of the blue, "aha" moments really are a thing and, although we can't wish them into existence, we can create an atmosphere that increases the likelihood of their appearance. Prior to leaning back in my chair and closing my eyes, I was essentially warding them off, mired in exactly the anxiety David Rock and Josh Davis talk about in their HBR article. And, unbeknownst to me, closing my eyes was the best thing I could do.

Having completed this post, what I'd most like to do is close my eyes again -- this time to take a nap -- but, alas, the still incomplete syllabus and schedule are calling. Luckily, "aha" moments can be energizing, so I'm going to try to ride that wave. 

Stuck on something? Try taking a break, closing your eyes, or otherwise walking away from the thing that's got you stuck. Although "aha" moments don't come when called, they're more likely to show up when they feel welcome. So, lay out the welcome mat.

Just don't curl up on it and take a nap. 

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