What is Insight and How to Have More?

Insight on pressing problems is necessary. Get-It-Done Guy explains what insight is, and how to have more “A-ha!” moments in your life.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #261

Enlist a Friend

Monitoring yourself for fresh thoughts isn’t as good as doing it with a friend (like so much in life). Grab a friend who wants some fresh thinking on a topic. Take turns being the speaker and the listener.

Set a timer for 10 minutes. The speaker talks about a topic, and the listener just listens quietly. Both of you are paying attention for any fresh thoughts that come up. You’re not trying to solve the speaker’s issue, just keep both your minds clear, make sure you’re keeping the light Fresh Thought Feeling and communicate any fresh thoughts either of you have.

You may find that your first few thoughts run along well-worn paths. If you’re talking about your birthday party, of course you’ll think first of Oreo Ice Cream Cake. That’s understandable and predictable. Keep going. Soon enough you’ll be coming up with ideas for Ostrich Jell-O. That’s when you know Fresh Thoughts are bubbling to the surface.

Don’t try to follow the thoughts or delve into them deeply; you can do that later. For now, just notice and share the fresh thoughts either of you have during the exercise.

Suspend Judgment

When listening and speaking fresh thoughts, it’s important to suspend judgment. Just listen and record the fresh thoughts. When you’re done, review what you’ve come up with and then decide which are worth keeping and which aren’t. If any of the fresh thoughts were insight-quality, you’ll know. You’ll feel the “A-ha!”

Learn About Topics Where You Want Insights

Of course, no insight can happen without the raw material. In the age of Google, some people have decided, “If I can look it up, I don’t need to know it.” Poppycock! If you don’t know something, your brain can’t integrate, ponder, and use it as a building block in creating new insight. If you want insight about an area, do your homework first, learn all you can, and your brain will have what it needs for your flashes of genius.

Paradoxically, getting insight on important questions isn’t something you force. Relax your mind, find the physical feeling of well-being that accompanies insight, and then listen for fresh thoughts. Suspend judgment and enlist a friend. At least you’ll explore somewhere new. At best, you’ll reach a real “A-ha!”

For more on insight, check out the book The Art of Insight by Charlie Kiefer and Malcolm Constable.

This is Stever Robbins. Email questions to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com.

I mentor successful people in building exceptional lives, business, and careers by helping them get clarity on their direction, aligning their commitments with their goals, and creating accountability to keep them moving. If you want to know more, visit http://www.SteverRobbins.com.

Follow Get-It-Done Guy  on Twitter and Facebook.

Insight image from Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

You May Also Like...

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.