We all have moments of unfiltered clarity those times in the shower, the long car drive, at the dog park —where we have an insight of something that must be done and it feels oh-so-right.
In these moments, there is little space for doubt, fear and overwhelm.
Instead, there tends to be an eerie calmness to these insights that feel like they’re coming from a deeper place.
Because they are.
And it is precisely during these moments that:
We must engage.
We must pay attention.
We must listen carefully.
Some call this the intuition, what Emerson deemed the ‘blessed impulse’ —a deeper part of ourselves that knows exactly what to do.
They may say things like:
“It’s time to find a new career.”
“This environment isn’t working.”
“What if I launched that project?”
What happens next will determine whether it fades into the ether, replaced by day-to-day distractions or we turn insight to action.
And here’s the reality:
If you do not engage with your insight by taking action —you’ll never know where it could have led you.
(That feeling is one we know all-too-well —gnawing, soul-crushing regret.)
My belief is these moments are whispers that contain breadcrumbs to the answers, fulfillment and results we desperately seek elsewhere.
And if we don’t grab them as soon as they come, if we don’t wrestle them onto the ground with fury —if we don’t document them:
The ego will talk us out of them.
The ego will tell us to do it ‘tomorrow.’
The ego will tell us we’re not capable yet.
And all of these are mechanisms designed to hold us back, keep us in today’s reality and not step into a new possibility.
(If I didn’t listen to these —you wouldn’t be reading this post and I’d be living a radically different life)
So, how do you ensure these insights don’t become video games —another idea lost?
Don’t try to make “sense” of it.
These insights are not always supposed to make sense —because they’re not coming from the limited monkey mind of logic.
Be willing to listen even if it doesn’t make sense, no, especially if it doesn’t.
Document the insight with vigor.
You will not remember the insight —this is another mechanism the ego uses to hold you back.
Document the insight with vigor, as if your life depends on it. I use voice-notes and will pull over the side of the highway going 75 MPH if I need to.
Take instant and immediate action.
Do one thing to take it from swirling in your head to real —identify the simplest possible step.
When I had a watershed moment of clarity in New York City on a New Year’s evening to move out West, there wasn’t much I could do.
But I changed the background to my smartphone —and the next day once the hangover of possibility struck, I was reminded that it was real.
Recognize one-offs and patterns.
These whispers of insights tend to repeat themselves if they’re clamoring for our attention.
While we may only have a life-changing insight once —we can also have repeated whispers that amplify in volume.
Recognize patterns and don’t wait for crisis when the whisper is replaced by a raging yell as you pick up the pieces during a rock bottom moment.
Practice relentless faith and trust.
Turning insight into action before you have the answers and have the benefit of hindsight —is how you build self-trust.
In a world obsessed with going external to find the answers, you’ll develop an unshakable level of faith, trust and confidence.
When I look back at the last half-decade of my life:
Every breakthrough started as an insight.
Every jaw-dropping moment was a whisper.
Every creative endeavor arrived from the ether.
And it reminds me of a lyric from one of my favorite bands that asks:
“Good friend —how loud do you want life to shout her answers in your ear?”
By turning your insights into action —you will create meaning, feel more alive and learn to trust yourself like never before.
How have you turned your insight to action?