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Nora Ephron’s Inspiring AHA!

Silkwood. When Harry Met Sally. Sleepless in Seattle. Julia & Julia. What comes to mind for you when you think of Nora Ephron? When I think about Nora, I remember a day almost three years ago when I read her AHA! story in O, The Oprah Magazine.

“This Aha! moment is probably going to seem like no big deal,” Nora wrote in the opening line. I read that and was hooked. And, by the time I reached to the end of the article I had decided to take on a project that would consume my life (in a very good way) for the next three years.

“This Aha! moment is probably going to seem like no big deal.” Nora described how in a jolt of understanding she finally got it, truly got it, that she couldn’t do everything, fix every problem, or tackle every dilemma. And that new perspective made all the difference in her life. It allowed her to mellow out a bit and give other people the chance to figure things out for themselves. (Click here to read Nora’s story in O.)

“This Aha! moment is probably going to seem like no big deal.” How on earth could Nora say that about a flash of insight that changed her life—one so significant to her that she would write an article about it? I had a theory.

By the time I was reading what Nora had written, I had been studying pivotal AHA!s for several years. One thing that I’ve noticed with AHA!s is that it’s fairly common after the fact for a person to be a bit embarrassed that she could have ever thought otherwise. That’s the way it works with pivotal realizations. In a flash of clarity they deliver a new way of seeing the world, and when a person embraces a new way of seeing the world suddenly the old way seems somewhat, if not downright, silly.

“This Aha! moment is probably going to seem like no big deal.” As I read Nora’s words, I wanted to tell Nora that what she experienced was normal, and, if anything, it was a very positive sign that her AHA! had truly shifted her view of the world. As I read Nora’s article, I also saw how rich these written stories of pivotal insights can be and decided to study them. And almost three years later I’m able to share what I found in The AHA! Handbook: How to spark the insights that can transform your life and career. Thanks, Nora!