The Aha Life

“We are not given a good life or bad life. We are given a life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad.” – Ward Foley


Your life is indeed your own creation coupled with a little bit of luck. In the above quote, the good and the bad bit is a choice and not something that is pre-decided for you. For example, in a given everyday situation, you can either be happy with two home cooked meals a day or you can beat yourself at the same time for not getting a five-course meal every day. Now, here you had a choice to either be happy and grateful for the food that you are able to eat or feel miserable for not getting the latter. This was just one situation out of the multiple situations that we find ourselves in whilst living our daily lives. Yes, it’s similar to the glass half full and half empty example that most of us are familiar with. Can you then imagine the effect it has on the quality of life when one always looks at situations with the half-empty mindset?

Our current way of living is something we need to analyse and be conscious of. Most of us at some point would have found ourselves blaming God, the world, things, people etc. for all the things that went or are going wrong in our life. It is human nature to blame something and not self, because blaming is in some weird way fulfilling. There is some sort of comfort in familiarity and justification when we blame even when we know that it’s fuelling negativity within us. When we blame, we somewhere tell ourselves that we don’t want to look within and take action. When we do realise the actual cause, we can change our outlook towards things and thus take the required action to correct those things. Constant blaming also makes one develop an inferior view about their own life, which results in one constantly criticising one’s existence, destiny, or for that matter their stars. Moreover, most of us have also accepted it as normal behaviour and something that everyone does and goes through. Just to take you back from where it all started; remember when we were in the toddler/pre-school phase and when you fell and hit the floor/table and cried? Our parents then pacified us by hitting and scolding back the floor or table in front of us. This showed us that the table/floor was responsible for our fall and made us believe that others are responsible for anything wrong that happens in life. Haven’t we experienced or done this with our own kids too at some point?

This way of living has inflicted a lot of pain, stress, and worrying on our life, so much so that it has affected the way we think, act, and behave in personal and professional settings. It has clouded and slowed down our thinking capabilities to an extent where we no more get the aha moments. Yes, those exact moments that could create magic in life.

An aha moment by definition means a moment of sudden realisation, insight, or an idea. It’s a powerful moment which can move things forward for anyone, making life’s journey meaningful. Think of it as a hint from the divine or the universe. Due to the unconscious and stressful way of living, their occurrence has drastically reduced. Did you know that these aha/eureka moments are also behind some of the biggest scientific discoveries and phenomena, along with some of the world’s successful products and services? Out of this list, some of the popular ones are the discovery of gravity (when the apple fell on Newton’s head), the law of displacement (when Archimedes sat in the bathtub). Coming to the more recent ones, Airbnb’s founder, Brian Chesky and his partner offered airbeds and breakfast in their apartment when they found that all the nearby hotels were completely occupied. That’s when they came up with the idea of starting Airbnb. The GoPro founder, Nick Woodman went surfing in the sea and realised he couldn’t take pictures of himself in the sea. That’s when he conceived and gifted GoPro to the world. Do you see what these aha moments did there? Now, imagine getting these aha moments frequently and what they can do to your life, not just materialistically, but overall.

The Aha life, as we like to call it is a life where one doesn’t need to change himself or herself. They just change the way they think and do things, and, in the process, begin to transform themselves. The Aha life means living in complete awareness, in the moment, and embracing and facing all your fears. It is trying to acknowledge and embrace what is because what you resist, persists eventually. It is also knowing that everything is interconnected and your actions can have a ripple effect on everything around you. In the Aha life, you collaborate and not compete as the latter only breeds negativity and stress. Collaboration, on the other hand can yield outstanding results.

Having said all of the above, the aha life definitely doesn’t mean you need not express anger, sadness, and be all happy and cheerful even during unpleasant situations. As humans, it’s important to express whatever it is that we are feeling, but also remembering to not lose one’s inner peace in the whole process.

Remember, only when the mind is free from unnecessary clutter, the aha moments keep coming to you and these very moments add Aha into your life. Think of them as a wow factor that lets you live a fulfilled and a joyous life while you keep doing your daily activities.

Prathamesh Paingankar