A-Ha Moments


Diana led our meeting with the theme of “A-Ha Moments.” An a-ha moment can be defined as the transition from not understanding something to spontaneous comprehension. Diana described it as the brain’s versison of experience of that moment when first learning to ride a bike and the rider suddenly “gets it”. A-ha moments can come in the form of an epiphany or realization. There is what is known as the Eureka Effect, which is the common human experience of suddenly understanding a previously incomprehensible problem or concept. There are some defining attributes of a-ha moments: 1)The a-ha moment appears suddenly; 2) The solution to a problem can be processed fluently; 3) It elicits a positive effect; and 4) The person experiencing it is convinced that the solution is true.

Diana also noted some analytical/research-based components about sudden insight, which comes in two phases: 1) The problem-solver comes to an impasse and is stuck on a problem; and 2) There is a sudden and unexpected solution after mental fixation (some research shows that the impasse is a result of fixation on inappropriate aspects of the problem content. Hence, think outside the box. Some famous a-ha moments she shared were the examples of Sir Isaac Newton coming up with the law of gravity, partly after being hit on the head by a falling apple; post-it notes with the goal of a strong adhesive which ended up weak but could re-stick multiple times; Oprah, who came up with a life philosophy of don’t try to stop time or speed it up; and Brad Pitt, who skipped his graduation to pursue his breakthrough acting opportunity.

Renn gave his Icebreaker speech for the speech portion of the evening. He talked about some of his experiences growing up. Renn had a humorous tone, describing some of his more quirky experiences. For example, he would get marriage contracts from girls at a young age. In elementary school, he described how the school would sanitize certain areas, and Renn was scared he accidentally sprayed a classmate’s lunch box and poisoned him. He described the awkwardness of middle school and trying to fit in, and his friend, who claimed to talk to dead people and water dragons. Renn has been working hard during his high school years, and is looking forward to being a senior in high school next year.

Bill was our Debate Master and the question posed was: If on your device/phone you’re about to make a sale of $1 million and you encounter a technical problem, would you call the 800 number to fix the problem or reboot the device and risk it not coming back online? Team A argued to call the 800 number and Team B argued to reboot the device. Team B (rebooting the device) won the debate.

Harry led our Table Topics session with some thought-provoking questions: Has there been a time when you took a lot longer getting an a-ha moment or just understanding something?; Is there an a-ha moment you wish you could take back or take longer?; and Is there someone you wish had an a-ha moment sooner or understood something sooner and why?

During the business meeting it was announced there is a free and virtual Toastmasters Convention August 24-29 for those interested, and there are available MELE trainings for officers in July and August.

Our word of the day was surprise. We had 12 attendees, 3 of whom were guests. Thanks so much for participating!