What is Your “Aha”?

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100 Moments of Gratitude by Omayra Font

During the late 1990s, many had an “aha moment” (a moment that defines a before and after in your life, or when you instantly become aware of something) as a result of the MasterCard advertising campaign. The famous slogan that said, “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard” excited many, but at the same time made us think. In this campaign, the concept of something of immeasurable value matches experiences.  Each advertisement leaves that feeling in the audience. It identified unique circumstances and experiences, associating the specific elements with its value in dollars and cents. Specific features, such as a dress, an airline ticket, or dinner, with the knowledge produced by these elements, one with immense value.

Life is full of experiences like that, which are priceless. No money can buy seeing the birth of your children. The memory of that magical moment in which you saw your spouse for the first time. That moment lasts for a lifetime. Seeing our children’s eyes when they meet their favorite heroes or artists is recorded in our minds and hearts. Of course, these are positive examples, and I am sure that your life has many moments like these.

But those moments of fullness, where our eyes are open to other realities, come from both positive and negative experiences. It’s beautiful to remember the great moments of life. However, Ecclesiastes 7:2 tells us: “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that’s the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.” That is, detrimental experiences, such as mourning, also have great teachings that mark our hearts.

A transformative moment in my life came with a rare combination of both positive and negative experiences. My husband and I had to deal with life-changing consequences that were not of our doing, but we had to take responsibility for someone else’s wrongdoing. It was in the turmoil of trying to decide how to proceed that we spent a few days alone to think and pray. The first thing we did was to each make a list of 100 moments and things we were grateful to God for.

It didn’t take us too long to make our list. We read our lists together, remembered so many moments, and cried. In that moment of introspection, we relived many experiences that were, as the ads of the credit card company said, “priceless.” This experience was one of the most specific times of our life.

Our situation was resolved, but that experience of writing the list at that critical moment marked my life so much. Grab a little box, a jar, or a chest, and every day something unusual happens to you, write it down on a piece of paper and save it there. Then, on those days when things don’t go well, go to the jar, read one of those papers, and remember that although it was a bad day, you will certainly have better days.

This article was extracted from issue 3 of Thrive Today! Magazine (Fall2021). Learn how to get your copy of Thrive Magazine by visiting us here.