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The Transformative Power of Insight

The Transformative Power of Insight


One of my ongoing challenges is being able to answer the question, ‘What do you do?’ with any clarity. For 30 year or so I was a lawyer. Even if person asking had a different concept of what lawyers do from my actual role, they got a sense of it.

Now, when I say something like ‘I teach people resilience – or wellbeing,’ it means nothing to them. It sounds trivial or hopelessly optimistic, like teaching the world to sing.

Yet what I do is massively more impactful than that. Lives transform and change. Often very quickly. And actually I don’t do it. The client does. I’m just the tour guide showing them hidden gems and magic that were always within them. Yet mostly people are unaware of those resources. The outcomes for the people I work with are intensely practical. Like getting over anxiety, or becoming solvent, or mending a relationship, or solving a business issue.

An example of uncovering a hidden gem is the ‘Aha!’ moment. Until I got into this work I was aware of a few in my life. One occurred lying on a beach in Greece aged 20. One of my law professors was a bit ill-informed and had suggested that a particular branch of law would be closed to me as I didn’t have the grades or a ‘private income!’ As I lazed around with nothing on my mind, out of nowhere came the thought, ‘He’s just wrong. I can pursue this field of law.’ I didn’t do anything in that moment, or for quite a few months, but in an instant the trajectory of my career had changed. And a few years later I qualified as an Advocate [barrister].

Now the content of that insight is probably irrelevant to anyone reading this. But the capacity to have insights or ‘Aha moments’ is available to all of us. And there seem to be some factors which make insight more likely. Insight can occur at any time but it often occurs when a person has ‘let go’ of the problem, even momentarily. Maybe you can remember walking away from a problem to make a cup of tea, only to have a new solution pop into your mind. Having nothing on your mind, as opposed to being obsessed with the issue, seems to help (although a trip to Greece isn’t necessary). And an insight seems to arrive fully formed, fresh thought out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s in the form of the elusive obvious. ‘Why didn’t I think of that before?’

A lovely aspect of this work is waking people up to what is already going on for them. Once someone remembers one insight, they generally start to remember more. And what’s even nicer is that they start to experience more and more insights and Aha moments going forward. And that can become something that people rely on. So that when they are faced with a difficult problem, even when there seems to be no solution, they know that an answer will come.

Our capacity for insight is only one of the hidden gems that I point people to. And it’s part of an invisible mosaic of qualities that each of us has within. If you would like any help in uncovering the magic or if you know someone else who could do with a little more sparkle in their life, please do get in touch

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