Aha! Moment

The Aha! Moment when and individual or a team has a sudden rush of insight that lays clear the solution to a complex problem or the answer to a perplexing question.

This moment is called by several names. Some call it the eureka effect, others call it the magic moment.

Ward refers to it as the "climax" in the Episodic Flow of the Pattern Language, Episodes, that laid the foundation for XP and Agile.

The Aha! Moment feels magical - it is when genius mysteriously manifests. There is no predicting when this moment might happen, but it is often in the midst of a dark, confusing struggle. There is no rational explanation for these moments, just a clarity of insight that seems almost supernatural.

There are many theories around why these moments are so powerful. One of the most likely ties back to the cognition theories of Piaget. Piaget postulated that we live and learn using intellectual frameworks that have been based on our past learning experiences. He called these frameworks "schemas".

Many problems can be solved within an existing schema. By so doing, they strengthen the schema. There are times, however, when problems defy answers within the current framework. As a result, we are forced into deep discomfort as we struggle with questions that are beyond this framework - where we must "think outside the box".

The Aha! moment happens when a new pattern of meaning suddenly comes together that reshapes the architecture of our existing schema.

>No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. > _Albert Einstein_

There is a huge dopamine rush during these moments as neural patterns in our mind are being rewired into a new pattern. What we see and now know, cannot be unseen and unknown. We are forever changed by these Transmutational Experiences where one can Claim the Joy.

Having experienced these moments gives us courage to venture again, armed with our curiosity, into the wild wilderness of the unknown.