I was having my morning coffee earlier this week when I had an epiphany.

An epiphany (comes from the ancient Greek meaning “manifestation”, “striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Often used to describe a scientific breakthrough or a religious discovery, it can be applied to any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies generally follow a process of significant thought about a problem.

I had been pondering for some time about the challenge of writing an inspirational book vs the memoir I had focused on before. Which one to focus on finishing first? I asked myself that question every day for a few weeks by then. As I took a second (or third) sip of the strong Lavazza coffee, it felt as if a light bulb went on in my head. I got a strikingly clear vision: both of my books were complete and finished, and they were complimentary to each other. My epiphany generously granted me the clarity over the writing process too: it was seamless. I’ll keep some details of the vision to myself but let me just say: I got all the answers I’d been seeking. It was amazing.

Epiphanies are great for two reasons: they solve a challenge in hand, and by doing so, they help us move forward towards our goals faster and easier.

Each one of you have had own epiphany moments about your life or career. All my clients get their epiphany at some point. Several ideas that they’d been considering merge together and a new absolutely novel and brilliant idea (for a position or a start-up niche or a difficult life situation) emerges and solves all the dilemmas. It is a beautiful breakthrough moment.  It is gratifying to watch my clients transform and get new wings that propel them to move forward in their career and life.

Is it possible to induce a moment of epiphany? That is often determined by how intensely a person has been thinking about the problem at hand, and if they have created space for an ‘aha’ moment to happen. A lot of people get their breakthrough moments in their sleep (think of Paul McCartney waking up at the age of 22 with a lovely tune in his head – the Beatles’ song “Yesterday” was born out of it).

Apart from intense thinking and brainstorming the challenge at hand, we can help ourselves to get to creative breakthrough moments by doing following things:

1. Meditate.
A proven source of creativity, meditation calms our mind, relaxes us and creates space for new ideas and thoughts to emerge. Research shows that meditation is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Our mind is a factory of negative thoughts. Meditation allows us to be less influenced by those thoughts, and to separate thoughts from facts. For instance, “I am not going to finish this project on time” is a thought, not a fact. Once we see it, we can choose to replace it with a more empowering thought.
2. Go for a walk and smell the flowers.
Connecting to the nature is often a powerful source of creativity and breakthrough ideas. The beauty of Parisian architecture – especially in those rare moments when the sun is shining – is what stimulates my mind powerfully.
3. Go for a jog.
Many clients have observed that they get breakthrough ideas while jogging. Again, double benefit here: both mind and body get healthier!
4. Centering
Centering is a technique that originated in the Japanese martial arts Aikido. It literally means “the way of unifying life energy”. In Aikido, we learn to relax the mind during the stress caused while in a fight. If you stop and think for a moment about how stress affects you, you’ll notice a strong physical reaction in your body when you’re stressed. Centering will bring you back down to earth, ground you. It helps you focus on the here and now, and doesn’t allow outside concerns to intrude on your inner strength and calm.
Happy Epiphany moments!


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