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Share Your “Aha!” Moment!

  • 4 June 2019
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Share Your “Aha!” Moment!
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You know that light bulb moment of discovery? When you gain new insight, solve a complex problem, or make a breakthrough?

We’re kicking off #ThrillYourMind to celebrate the 'eureka' moments you’ve had on your learning journey.

What’s your favorite “aha!” moment?

Learn more about #ThrillYourMind and look for ways to participate in our blog post: #ThrillYourMind

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it was when i completed introduction to cyber security by NYU . i fell very enthusiastic and optimistic . i was on top of the world when that i got my first specialization certification . it was my eureka moment . it gives me immense relief for that
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While I was taking the Science of Well-being course, every lecture was an 'aha!' moment for me. Each study and anecdote were truth laid out that I had never consciously considered.

For example: The fact that the perception of happiness is relative to something subjective (e.g. your neighbor who just bought a nice car, the friend who got a promotion at work, the relative that makes a higher income than you, etc.) helped me better understand the Buddhist philosophy that "desire is the root of all suffering." It just clicked. If you're content with what you have, and you don't desire to be more, earn more, or have more, then you eliminate a lot of that unhappiness.
Hi, everyone!

I had an "aha!" moment when learning this:
💡The belief that we understand the world by direct perception is not correct.

Before explaining more about it, let me pose a question for you all using an example taken from that lesson. What's the difference between these 2 tables? Why?





(I'll provide the source later on.)
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Hi, everyone!

I had an "aha!" moment when learning this:
💡The belief that we understand the world by direct perception is not correct.
Before explaining more about it, let me pose a question for you all using an example taken from that lesson. What's the difference between these 2 tables? Why?




(I'll provide the source later on.)


I'm intimidated by this, @Maryam! These sorts of puzzles are always tricky for me. My first thought about the two tables is that one looks like it's positioned horizontally and the other vertically. But then again, what does that mean? The surface of the table on the left appears to be a square, and the surface of the table on the right appears to be a rectangle. But then I tilted my head to the right and tried to study the shapes and I'm now thinking they are perhaps both the same dimensions but they appear differently because of the other elements in the drawing – angles, legs, etc. Visual-spatial ability is not my strong suit ... I want to hear from others out there! Help me discern this challenge! 😅
@Laura, your analysis is already spot on without any help. Excellent! 👏🏻

Yes, although the tables are exactly the same as you can watch in the video, the drawing may make us believe that one of them is narrower and longer than the other. The left section shows the table while we're looking at the side of it, and the right part illustrates the same table when looking at it from a different angle. We could make an error here because this is a drawing and an artificial version of the reality, while in the real world this is how the brain naturally processes the table.

The way we perceive the world around us is heavily influenced by our cognitive processes which themselves have biases. It has significant implications beyond this simple example. The lesson, actually, seeks to teach us how cognitive biases could affect our understanding of things. That does not mean that all biases are bad, of course, but some of them could mislead us.

The idea that we understand the world by direct perception is called the illusion of objectivity because it's not true. The illusion of objectivity, in essence, is a cognitive bias. This error is called naïve realism by philosophers. Social psychologists at some point argued that perception is essentially subjective. This is how naïve realism is defined in the psychology field.

(That screenshot and the topic were extracted from this video: The Illusion of Objectivity)
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Humans are fascinating creatures, aren't we, @Maryam? Cognitive biases are great at shedding light on this.

The one "Aha!" moment that comes to mind for me was learning about the trait of high sensitivity. I'd discovered Dr. Elaine Aron's research and book The Highly Sensitive Person because it was referenced several times in another book I was reading about 10 years ago called The Introvert Advantage.

Learning about the trait of high sensitivity suddenly provided a framework for my entire way of being in the world, which had always made me feel a little different than most of the people around me. I felt things deeply. I noticed lots of details. Learning that there is a range of sensitivity among humans, and that this is physiological and innate, was definitely a light bulb moment for me. In fact, I suddenly felt seen, heard, understood. There was a sense of belonging.

Because the world is not built for people who are highly sensitive. And just like anything, it has its challenges and its benefits. It's a double-edged sword. I'm very grateful that I had a family that saw me for the unique person I am, rather than trying to get me to be different. That has made a huge difference in my quality of life – I'm sure of it.

Other beloved 'mini' light bulb moments have occurred for me when unpacking the meaning in poems – something I did a lot of in high school, college, and graduate school.

And on a lighter note – though I'm not quite sure if this counts – I can still vividly remember sitting in kindergarten class as a 5-year-old and hearing my teacher say the word "grapefruit." Grapefruit?! I had spent my entire linguistic life believing the word was "greatfruit!" I guess it was not so much a light bulb moment as it was a moment when the world stood still as my young brain attempted to process this bizarre discovery.
And on a lighter note – though I'm not quite sure if this counts – I can still vividly remember sitting in kindergarten class as a 5-year-old and hearing my teacher say the word "grapefruit." Grapefruit?! I had spent my entire linguistic life believing the word was "greatfruit!" I guess it was not so much a light bulb moment as it was a moment when the world stood still as my young brain attempted to process this bizarre discovery.

@Laura, to me, "greatfruit" sounds like a more fitting name as the fruit is really great in terms of both size and nutrients. 😉

When I was a preschool kid, my brother used to ask me various versions of this famous question: "Which one is heavier? 1 kg of cotton or 1 kg of iron?" I used to answer with certainty that 1 kg of iron was heavier. 😆 The penny dropped, and the "Aha!" moment occurred eventually after learning math in school.
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Haha! This made me laugh out loud, @Maryam. Thanks for sharing! I'm sure I would have answered the same way, and with the same confidence!

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