The Art of Strengths Coaching

E is for Eureka Moments

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When have you had a Eureka Moment? Like Archimedes in the mythological story, you may have been trying to find an answer to an issue. Then suddenly you felt: “I have found it.”

When has this happened for you? What did you do right to increase the possibility of having such a moment? What did you do afterwards to implement the insights you gained from the breakthrough?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the following things.

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There are many views on how to create such moments. Here is one approach.

Identification

You can start by identifying the issue you want to explore. As in any kind of creative problem solving, it is important to clarify the real results you want to achieve.

If possible, phrase the issue in positive and ‘How to …’ terms. For example: “How to enjoy a good quality of life?” rather than: “How to stop worrying?”

You can then clarify the picture of success. Describe the specific things that will be happening that will show you have achieved the goal.

Information

The next step may be to gather lots of information on the topic. If possible, study what has worked in the area.

You may want to learn from your own positive history, such as the times when you have tackled similar challenges successfully. You can also learn from other people who have succeeded.

People often go through the stages of opening up and closing down when gathering information. They start by choosing a specific topic they want to explore.

They open up and gather lots of information. Some information may immediately be relevant, some may take them along new lines of enquiry.

At a certain point they choose to close down. They sift through the information and clarify what is important. They narrow this down to the things they want to explore in greater depth. People again embark on the process of opening up and closing down.

You will have your own method for making this happen. Keep going until you feel it will be time to move on to the next stage.

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Incubation

Different people have different approaches to allowing ideas to incubate. You will have your own method for taking time to reflect and letting things fall into place.

You may choose to sleep, walk, play music, exercise, do other projects, put yourself in surroundings that stimulate your senses, let your mind wander or whatever. These can lead to the next stage.

Insight

Sometimes you experience small insights. Other times you may have a huge Eureka Moment. You may enjoy a big breakthrough and see a creative way forward.

Sometimes you simply continue on the path of trying new ideas and seeing what works. These incremental improvements can add up and enable you to succeed, rather than everything depending on one transformational moment.

Implementation

Insight can provide a springboard. You can then decide how to use the information.

Some people simply enjoy the epiphany. Other people translate the enlightenment into execution and deliver excellence. You will choose your own path.

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People often find their own ways to make such breakthroughs. On some occasions, however, they can also be helped by other people to see things in another way.

Good mentors, for example, provide a stimulating sanctuary in which individuals can explore challenges. Sometimes this involves helping a person to have Eureka Moments. Such mentors then enable the person to build on the insight and achieve their picture of success.

Looking to the future, how can you continue to make such breakthroughs? If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific example in the future when you may want to have a Eureka Moment.

Describe the specific things you can do to increase the chances of having a Eureka Moment.

Describe the specific things you can do to follow up the insight you gain from the Eureka Moment.

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