Do you remember your very first “a-ha” moment? Not that time when your kindergarten teacher got right in your face to explain something and it finally clicked. No, I’m talking about that moment when you encountered a problem and, on your own, you figured out a clever solution without any help from an adult. You actually felt a genuine sense of accomplishment.
I vividly recall my first “a-ha” experience. I was seven years old and on vacation at the beach with my parents and younger brother. This was to be a two day, one night trip and my brother and I would spend most of our time in one of two places – on the beach or in the motel pool.
Just before bedtime, my brother and I hit the pool one last time (with parental supervision, of course). Then, before crawling into bed, I made sure my one and only bathing suit was hung neatly on the back of a chair in hopes that it would be dry the next morning.
Well, that never happened. Instead, my suit would still be wet and nearly frozen as well, since my folks ran the A/C on full blast all night.
Putting on an ice-cold bathing suit the next morning was always a painful experience; every bit as spine-tingling as wading into the cold ocean for the first time.
However, one morning before putting on my frozen suit, I had an idea. My seven-year-old brain reasoned that since the bathing suit was already wet, why couldn’t I just fill the bathroom sink with warm water, let the suit soak for a while, then put it on. Ohhhh yeah.
Now, as an adult, you might not think this to be a life-altering experience, but as a child, I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with a solution to my problem. I felt like I’d just opened a new door of possibilities – a way of creative thinking that would surely improve my life in all kinds of ways.
As little children, we probably learned something new most every day, but as adults we tend to get bogged down in doing things the same old way. Old habits often keep us from exploring better, more efficient, more comfortable ways of doing things. What a shame!
Since my first “a-ha” moment 50 years ago, I’ve spent countless hours looking for better ways of doing things, both in my personal life, and later in my professional work. In my chosen career, advertising, I’ve helped hundreds of clients take a more in-depth look at their products and services to see if they might find better ways to design, build, market and sell.
My goal for this site is to share with you many of the clever ideas I’ve seen in my years of advertising, some mine, but most originating from others. And while many of the posts are based on business ideas, I’ll also share with you the ways you can use them in your personal life.
If you can remember your first “a-ha” moment, please share.