That Ah Ha Moment
Have you ever thought about the importance of connections? Or more specifically, being able to make connections? It seems like such a simple thing; some of the obvious connections come in the form of what Oprah refers to as an “Ah Ha” moments or rather a moment of sudden insight or discovery. Insights, according to the ‘Merriam Webster’ dictionary is “having the capacity to gain an accurate and deeply intuitive understanding of a person or thing”. But it’s impossible to gain insight without actually collecting additional information via our 5+ senses to prompt that discovery.
You see it’s all about our ability to be able to connect the pieces of a puzzle and often times, only after we receive new information or process the information that we do have based on additional considerations, can we actually have those moments of discovery?
One of the most important question a “Big Thinker” must be able to understand is the concept of time. Not the thought that there are 60 mins in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a normal year but rather than that. Man first left Africa roughly 40,000 years ago or about 900 grandmother’s ago; As few as 18 people made that journey. That’s potentially 18 people who went on to populate all other parts of the world. There were more than 9 different other types of human who have come and gone over the last 5.7 million years but we are the only ones who survived. Again, only about 18 people left Africa and inch by inch their children became the settlers of all other continents. If you can grasp this concept then you can also very easily understand that we could have been just like every other early human that didn’t make it out…. Thus, the end of all humans.
Now when we think in scale, we need to consider that we, modern human evolved into our current form about 200,000 years ago in Africa, or 5,000 maternal grandmothers. Why do you need to know this? Because the most important thing you can ever understand is that “Time Changes Everything-Always”. But when it happens at such a slow pace, it’s impossible to see it, it’s like watching hair grow – the change is undetectable but nonetheless, change is occurring. But unfortunately, when we don’t consciously work to make the connection, reality can appear implausible or unfathomable. Those connections are the most important part of understanding not just the bigger picture but any picture that presents a successful you.
Whenever I speak with someone about evolution, say “you mean to tell me you think we came from monkeys”? They automatically jump to a belief that scientist are suggesting that we evolved from Chimpanzees. Why do they do this? It’s because they can’t scale in their possibilities. Because their personal beliefs close off consideration of any of the other pieces of the puzzle that are required to fill in those gaps of understanding. In truth, no modern anthropologist has ever stated in the history of man, that we evolved from Chimpanzees. I mean, if the facts suggested it, than there would have been no issue in stating it but it just did not happen.
What scientist know is that somewhere in the area of 5.8 million years ago or about 145,000 maternal grandmothers, both a chimpanzee and an early human child shared the same maternal grandmother. Now be careful with the word human because the word “human” in Latin translates to Homo and there were more than 9 other Homo species before us. We just happened to get the name Homo-Sapiens or Human that is Wise. But this means that those two sisters who looked identical by every sense of the word, wound up finding a mate and the combined genes of the soon to be human pair and those of the soon to be Chimpanzee pair, had a slight difference in their genes that were probably less noticeable than the amount of hair grown by a human in a minute’s time. She’s what anthropologist call mitochondrial Eve because she was the one who started it all and the continuation of a slight change led to the next grandmother and the continuation of another slight change and so on, and so on for about 140,000 more grandmothers until we reached modern man. But during those 140,000 maternal grandmothers, our cousins would have included Homo-Neanderthals who exist from about 65,000, to about 900 grandmothers ago and homo-erectus who emerged about 47,250 to about 2,700 maternal grandmothers ago. Are you making the connection? Remember, time changes everything.
Or consider what happened 50 million years ago with a small fish swimming near the bottom of the Indian Ocean and he dies and slowly falls to the bottom only to be covered in sand. And that’s where it stays – and stays as the weeks, months, years pass. And during that same time period the land is changing at the slow rate of 2.5 inches per year. You see two tectonic plates, the Indian-Australian and the Eurasian plates, came together at the bottom of the ocean and there was no place else to go, but up. So each year the two plates came together and created an uplift pushing the land up by 2 and a half inches, year by year. Now that fish has long since become part of the rock resulting in just the fossilized skeletal remain of what once was. And time moved on. Now, watching the earth move 2.5 inches per year is like watching hair grow over the period of a second and expecting to see actual movement. It’s not going to happen no matter how hard and slow you try to look. But when you consider time, that’s when scale comes into view and that’s when you can more easily make the connections necessary to understand its impact on change. You see, over the course of those 50 million years of 2 and a half inch growth each year, that small fish from the bottom of the ocean has now reached the top of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest and it stands at nearly 30,000 feet above sea level as the highest point in the Himalayan mountain range.
That’s the power of Time and the change that is enviable. So is it still so difficult to make the connection of what change is possible across the course of 140,000 maternal grandmothers whose bodies underwent strong pressures to adapt to its changing environment? The ability for you to be able to make connections can help you to increase your opportunities exponentially.
But what if you had physical impairment that positioned you for a life that was “A-typical” or not the norm? Are you therefore less capable of achieving your goals in life? I would argue that, depending on how you look at your position and whether you are able to make the right connections, that your difference can be your greatest Instinctive Advantage. Because it gives you an opportunity to turn a process of minimizing a negative into a goal of maximizing a positive.
There was once a young lady who epitomized that connection and change beginning at one specific Ah-Ha moment in her life. She was born to an affluent family and at the age of 19 months, she fell sick with what doctors now believe was scarlet fever. Now, she was able to survive the sickness but she lost her sight and her hearing leaving her family unaware of how to help her. I mean the child was truly a hellion if you look at it from the standpoint of the parents. From her parents standpoint, she was truly smart kid. They just didn’t know how to connect with her. Think about it this way. Imagine you lost both your sight and your hearing. Could you survive? Could you rebound back to your original self – and adapt to the new life in which you found yourself? Most likely yes because you could still speak – communicate in sentences and learn brail and sign language to understand incoming communications. But what about if you were only 19 months old?
You never learned to speak or understand words. You never learned how to write and at this point it’s impossible to know whether her brain was able to retain the images she had experienced at 19 short months but nature abhors a vacuum undoubtedly, something remained or at a minimum, filled the space. We have 5 basic senses we use to take in and communicate information the most impact ful of which would be vision and hearing. What’s left? Smell, touch and taste, all of which lost their impact on modern man some 200,000 years ago as we moved from instinct to Think.
So here’s this little hellion running around the farm for 4 years, getting older and not knowing how to plug into the larger world. It’s a good thing she was from a well to do family because most people would have been lost and many more would have been placed in a hospital for the insane. But her parents were different. They had means and at one point they were even able to take her to visit Alexander Graham Bell to see if some type of a device could be created to assist the family in communicating with their daughter. Nothing came from that visit but later on they became reacquainted and with Mr. Bell’s estate becoming her benefactor to Hellen in the last years of her life.
At the age of 6 her parents made the decision to hire someone who had also experienced a complete loss of sight at one point in her life and that made all of the difference.
Connections were possible even for someone who had lost 3 of her 5 senses.
As a young girl she refused to learn brail throughout her life because she could never understand her caregiver’s intentions. Surely she was thinking “you’re going to put my fingers on a series of raised dots and I’m supposed to understand what that means and why I have to feel it”? How do you get someone to complete the puzzle when they can’t see the pieces? Her caregiver knew how because she was also blind and therefore the gap between the parts needing to be connected, were smaller. But what was the critical part that connected the pieces?
The connection was finally made when the young girl put two things together – At one point in one of the many drama filled days they had experienced together, her teacher began once again, drawing the letters of the word ‘WATER’ in the palm of her hand while running her hands under the water spout. This and many other tactics had been tried in the past but for some reason everything came together and that “Ah Ha” moment occurred. At that moment she knew they were communicating. The teacher was providing the proverbial Rosetta Stone or the bridge and a guide for learning.
That moment changed her life back in 1883 and the lady in question continued to study; went on to achieve her degree; became a social and political activist; was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1962 by President John F Kennedy; and touched more presidential faces than anyone else in the world. That young girl was Hellen Keller and she was truly amazing and truly worked to maximize her greatest life. But in truth, her sickness happened to her so early in her life that her physiology was able to rewire itself in support of her remaining senses of taste and smell. You see, Sight is the most expensive sense of all of our sense because the energy required of our bodies to take the data we visually collect and process it into images our brains can understand, takes a lot more energy than any of our other senses. The ability to feel hyper detailed textures such as brail and translate those tactile stimuli into information that can be translated into meaning, while powerful, doesn’t require anywhere near the processing power of what’s required with sight. So when your brain no longer has to process imagery that processing capacity is diverted into maximizing the operations of our remaining senses. It doesn’t increase the strength of the remaining senses though. A sighted person who loses their hearing, won’t begin to hear through walls. What scientist have found more so is that the loss of one sense could increase the dimensions through which one could experience their remaining senses. For example a person who becomes blind doesn’t physically get better ears and therefore their hearing won’t necessarily improve. But what will happen is that nature finds a way and if the loss occurs at a young age where the body and brain is still developing then the brain can rewire its self to capitalize on what remains. For the man who loses his sight. He may develop a heightened sense of knowing the directions from which sound is emerging. And an increased ability to differentiate sounds and voices. And if he is tapping into his instinctive advantage, then he’ll also lean into that ability to process sound in different ways and see where it can be leveraged. The loss of sight would leave more brain capacity available for processing the information being received from our other senses.
So, Hellen was a remarkable person who changed the world. She was truly maximizing her greatness’s because at her late age of development she was determined to use the rest of her life seeking to learn grow.
German philosopher, Nietzsche, believed that one must give value to their existence by behaving as though they know that their entire existence were a work of art. That philosophy of life is how the greatest achievers live theirs, by living as though they were painting their masterpiece. They think consciously and live with purpose. They make the connection. Greek Philosopher Aristotle wrote about “Purpose” when he defined the principles of Telos or “Purpose”, “Goal” or “Final End”. It essentially means why are “WE” here and when I use the term “WE” I am referring to every THING. If someone were to tell you the Telos of a THING they would have to include a description of that THING as well as what that THING does or the purpose that it serves because that purpose is part of its Telos. For example the Telos of a bike could be an object with one or more wheels connected by a frame and a way to control its directional movement. But that Telos would also include and is designed to move a person from one place to another”, the purpose of the bike. The Telos of a milking calf could include the fact that it has 4 legs, the size of the calf and its future purpose would be described as to produce milk for drinking. The Telos of a Human? It would include the description of possessing two arms, two legs, and our approximate height but because we are Thinking Man and therefore we can Think Rationally, our Telos would also include our purpose being to “fulfill our goals”. This additional 3 word phrase is why we are at the top of the food chain. The ability to think rationally and therefore make connections has allowed us to exponentially build from the innovations, technologies and genius of others – maximize our be potential.
Do you know what your instinctive advantages are? On any given day we are influenced by more than 37 instinctive tendencies or inclinations without even knowing it. But the difference between the people who are painting their lives as their work of art, and just the average person is that the people who consciously leverage their senses to absorb the information around them are the ones who can understand when they are prompted by fear to act in detrimental ways; can find new senses through which they can capitalize on their curious self; can begin to better understand which ones of their tendencies drive what’s positive and negative in their lives.
My name is Tye Glover and I Think Differently. Think Different Nation isn’t about presenting new ideas as facts but rather connecting sound facts and with facts and extrapolating the possibilities. There are two types of theories, principled and unprincipled. A principled theory is fact based. It has scientific backing based on research performed by career professionals, backed by evidence, and peer reviewed for consensus of thought. And the great thing is that they strengthen each year as new evidence appears. Many facts started as beliefs but were later proven to be factual. The theory of Evolution is a principled.
An unprincipled theory on the other is a theory that is belief based. Religions were created as stories and past down for millennium. They are not subject to change because stories cannot be rewritten.
Instinctive Advantages are unprincipled. I am not a psychologist, anthropologist or a member of the scientific community and therefore I don’t possess the degree to be concerned about presenting what I see as obvious when you connect the pieces. But as I consider the possibilities, if I were a member of the scientific community than I might not have been able to make the scale across time, space and discipline to be able to make the connections.