post written by: Marc Chernoff

9 Effective Ways to Exploit a Sudden Burst of Clarity


Moment of ClarityHave you ever experienced a sudden burst of clarity?  You know, the brief, highly prolific moments when all the answers seem within reach.  These moments are filled with sparks of creative energy and productive awareness.  When operating from a mindset of clarity, you are in a mental state of abundance with no bounds or restrictive limitations to hold you back.  You are free.

Being in this mindset is like settling into a cocoon of tranquility, plugged directly into a network of immeasurable brainpower.  It is a gift of supreme potential in each of us just waiting to be aroused.  Every healthy human mind has this capability.  It’s just a matter of triggering it.

The mind is unpredictable.  Sometimes these moments of clarity grace our conscious at the most random times.  The mind cannot always be told when to be resourceful and innovative, it just happens.

For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

So how do you exploit these bursts of clarity to their utmost potential?  Here are some suggestions to help you capitalize on these brief moments of elite perception.

  1. Jot It All Down Immediately – Keep a pen and some scratch paper nearby at all times.  If clarity strikes, jot down every idea that crosses your mind.  Sometimes you might even sketch out illustrations and flow diagrams.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  Just make sure you will be able to clearly comprehend your notes later on.
  2. Record Contextual Details About the Moment – There have been times when I’ve attempted to review a note to no avail.  I stare at it, completely puzzled as to how the note is applicable to anything significant.  It seems irrelevant to my life.  Why?  I failed to record the contextual details.  Context is absolutely vital when it comes to associating ideas and thoughts with practical applications.  Recording the current time, location, and activity next to each note can help you recall its significance, allowing you to pick up right where you left off.
  3. Take Your Time – Its way too easy to blaze through your routine without taking the time to accurately reflect on your thoughts.  You must take it slow enough to successfully capture moments of clarity when they arise.  Your mind needs to be operating at a pace that leaves enough mental capacity for thought reflection and initial evaluation.
  4. Maintain an Optimistic, Open Mind – A closed mind is a wasted mind.  You should never prejudge an inspired idea without taking the necessary time to mindfully evaluate it.  Not every apparent moment of clarity will produce a brilliant idea or solution, but many will.  Furthermore, some flawed ideas may ignite your curiosity and imagination, both of which have the ability to change the dynamics of everything.
  5. Escape to Silence and Brainstorm – If at all possible, immediately escape to a quite location when you have a bout of mental clarity.  This will allow you to accurately sort out your thoughts without the negative influence of external interruptions or distractions.
  6. Take Instant Action – There are cases of clarity when taking instant action makes the most sense, especially if the thought process is based around creativity or self-confidence.  This mental state of clarity is sometimes referred to as “being in the zone”.  In order to maximize effectiveness, this “in the zone” state may require you to exist solely in the present moment, taking instantaneous action while your mind is clear.
  7. Discuss It with Someone You Respect – Having an intellectual discussion with someone you respect is one of the best ways to evaluate the strength of your ideas.  Sometimes, just the simple act of verbally explaining an idea will shed light on something you had previously overlooked.  Obviously, the other person will also be able to deliver a third party point of view.
  8. Store All Ideas in One Accessible Location – Documenting all your ideas during a sudden burst of clarity is worthless if you misplace your notes.  Organize a system for yourself that creates a single, centralized place to store every note you take.  Pacing around in circles saying “Where did I put my notes?” would be tragic as you sit down to finalize your formula for curing HIV.
  9. Review Ideas as Soon as Realistically Feasible – Once you have an effifient system down for storing your ideas, you have to create a regular habit of reviewing them.  You should always review your notes as soon as you possibly can.  That way, if you missed a key point or forgot to record contextual details, you still have the idea fairly fresh in your mind.  This also makes assessing the value of your ideas much easier.

Bursts of mental clarity can be sudden and unpredictable.  But if you are prepared, you can exploit your mind’s capabilities to its max potential.

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5 Comments

  • hey, i have been reading your site since last year, but never got a chance to leave you a message. I just want to tell you that i enjoy reading it and i remember there was this post that tell reader to create a blog, and i actually did. and i really enjoy blogging now. so i just want to thank you for ur inspiration. thanks

  • @Sam:
    Thanks for the kind remarks. It’s great to hear that one of my articles inspired you to start a blog of your own. I’ll be sure to check it out and leave ya a comment on the other side. ;-)

  • This is exactly what people should be doing…in fact I would dare say that there are more than 9, but these can be prioritised. Also to store in one place might be a bit of a hazard so I would even recomemend a sort of “back up”.

  • Great ideas. It might be useful to add in a technique or two for achieving a ‘moment of clarity’. For me, the most reliable way is 30-60 minutes of hard exercise, immediately followed by quiet meditative reflection. This often leads to _much_ clearer, deeper, more creative thinking.

  • I always send an email to myself from my pda with the same subjects title (my ideas) when I have such moments. Then I have a permanent record of what I was thinking about.

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