Oh, I see! moments
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The Awe Inspiring “Aha Moment” Defined

by Sheron Long on October 1, 2012

Awe inspiring cartoon about having an aha moment

Watch out! Someone’s having an aha moment!
© xkcd.com

Mathematically, Aha Moments Happen Daily

If I follow the numbers above, it sounds like everyone can learn something new everyday. That’s awe inspiring!

Hey, I’m over 30 and, like the girl in the cartoon, didn’t know about the “diet Coke and mentos thing.” I tried a quick experiment, and it all erupted into an aha moment for me.

Then I found out that not everyone knows what an “aha moment” is. Really? At least, it wasn’t in the dictionary until last August.

Is “Oh, I See Moment” a Synonym?

The concept of the “aha moment” has been around, well, probably forever and in English language usage since 1939.  At least, that’s the date assigned to the phrase in August 2012 when Merriam-Webster added it to its dictionary and defined it as “a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.”

Now that Merriam-Webster has had its aha moment about “aha moment” and listed the phrase in its pages, we want to see OIC moment (short for “Oh, I see” moment) added as a synonym.

The term came into existence in 2012 with the start of our company. Like “aha moment,” OIC moment is a realization, but on a broader spectrum, from the practical to the epiphany.

The Full Range of OIC Moments

In my view, an OIC moment can be as everyday as the one in the cartoon above. Or, it can be a significant, eye-opening, awe inspiring experience like the one recounted by will.i.am, front man for The Black Eyed Peas, in a statement in Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O. 

Here will.i.am tells how traveling across cultures to countries outside the USA helped him see America with new eyes and decide how to show the world what Americans are like.

How OIC Moments Inspire

Now will.i.am’s new song “Reach for the Stars” has traveled even farther than the famed musician. Transmitted from Mars through the speakers on Curiosity’s rover, the song not only has enjoyed an inter-galactic debut, but surely has become the number 1 song on Mars. Take a listen and see the lyrics:

If the video does not display, watch it here.

The song was purposely recorded with an orchestra to show human collaboration and to present a timeless sound that translates into different cultures.

I love how the lyrics make you question if even the sky is a limit. And I can imagine this song inspiring a long reach for the stars. That’s what will.i.am intended when he said,

“Today is about inspiring young people to lead a life without limits placed on their potential and to pursue collaboration between humanity and technology. . . .”

It is will.i.am’s kind of inspiration that leads to OIC moments or aha moments, whatever you want to call them.

And now that Merriam-Webster has weighed in with official recognition, we can give them their due. After all, here’s the defining characteristic of an OIC moment—when it hits you, your life is never quite the same again. Now something that powerful is awe inspiring.

Comment on this post below, or inspire insight with your own OIC Moment here.


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