The Enliven! Blog

Helping Harness Human Capacity

Precious Notebooks

I am known by family for certain unusual habits. One of them is my penchant for “precious notebooks”. I have strong preferences for the size, shape, and layout of notebooks in which I journal. Another precious notebook I carry is my pocket pad, in which I record ideas which come to me at random times.

In this notebook habit I am not alone. Great minds have been known to use notebooks of one type or another. The composer Beethoven, for example, wrote musical sketches in his notebook. These sketches were the germs of magnificent symphonies. The Canadian author W.0. Mitchell used a technique similar to recording an idea in a special notebook. He taught would be authors about drawing from the “well of experience”. He encouraged writers to jot down phrases, images, ideas as they registered in the mind. These scraps become grist for the writing mill when embarking on a story or novel.

Many persons have found fruit in the practice of capturing their “aha” moments. Research has shown that the “aha” moment is in fact a specific form of intelligence. Just as Archimedes had an “aha” in the tub as he pondered the principle of measuring volume through displacement of water, so we all have flashes of insight. These insights touch our work, our relationships, our problems. We would do well to record our surges of insight in a precious notebook of some kind. Or, if we choose, we can do as one wise client does, and wait to see if the thought comes back. If so, it has passed the test of memorability, and is indeed worthy of recording and follow-up!

We are smarter than we think. We are as smart as we think! How do you capture your aha moments?

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