My 40th year college reunion has been going on this weekend.
I’ve attended only two events, so far. One of the events I missed, unfortunately, was a panel discussion called The Eureka Moment!
Here are excerpts of an email I got, a few months ago, about The Eureka Moment!:
Dear Class of 1974,
We are putting together an unusual panel for one of the symposia at our Reunion and we need your help!
We’re calling it The Eureka Moment! It will consist of twelve to fifteen short talks by classmates in a format that is a cross between a mini TED talk (without visual aids) and Moth radio (“True stories told live”).
We are writing to invite you to submit your Eureka Moment!
Please submit your story idea by June 20, 2014.
The Eureka Moment! is an epiphany that changed your life, whether it’s meeting a special person, overcoming a challenge, or experiencing a life-changing event. It could have happened long ago or very recently; it could be funny, sad, or poignant; a big experience or a small one. The only rule is that the moment must spark a change in your outlook or approach to life. Sometimes the realization that you experienced the Eureka Moment! comes long after the moment occurred.
Your talk should be no more than 5 minutes, and we encourage you to rehearse on your own in advance. You can speak with notes, but please no off-the-cuff remarks.
Everyone has had a Eureka Moment! and the panel is open to anyone in our Class. We will have a selection process, so we can’t promise your story will be chosen. We will read whatever you submit with great interest.
When I received that email, I thought:
Eureka! I would be a valuable addition to that panel. Don’t I write about Eureka Moments! in my blog, almost every day? Also, I have (and I help people to have) Eureka Moments in my work as a group and individual psychotherapist, all the time!
I also had these thoughts, too:
I don’t know if I should bother applying. Even though I think I’ve had lots of valuable, worth-sharing Eureka Moments! … maybe the selection committee won’t agree! After all, there are many Very Important People in my class, whom they’ll probably choose over me. My application probably won’t be good enough. Also, how in the hell will I pick just one Eureka Moment, out of all the ones I’ve had in my life?! AND, if I apply and they don’t pick me, then I’ll have to deal with more Rejection, Schmejection (something I wrote about here and here) (and here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, too, apparently).
Eureka! I just realized that most of the negative and fearful thinking I had, above, are more examples of Fortune Telling, Mind Reading, Comparisons and several others of the thirteen cognitive distortions that don’t help me (or anybody else, I believe).
When those negative thoughts appeared, back in June, I used antidotes to those cognitive distortions — including
- Identify the Cognitive Distortion,
- Examine the Evidence,
- Use Helpful Reminders,
- Thinking in Shades of Gray
… and other helpful ways to counter that negative thinking, and I applied for The Eureka Moment! panel discussion.
A few weeks ago, I got a rejection schmejection letter from the selection committee, which I felt bad about, for a few moments. However, I moved past that, pretty quickly, because I knew that:
- I was a day late with my submission,
- My submission was way too general, probably, for consideration, and
- My good friend Lawry (appearing in previous blog posts here, here, and here) applied and was rejected schmejected, also.
Here’s a photo of Lawry, taken by my 16-year-old son Aaron, at a reunion event we all attended last night:
I hope it’s okay with Lawry that I included that photo. If it’s not, I’m sure I’ll hear about it, since — Eureka!! — Lawry is very good at direct communication AND he reads all my blog posts.
Now, you may have noticed, if you’ve been reading this post carefully, that I did NOT attend The Eureka Moment! panel discussion, at my 40th college reunion. You might be thinking: that’s an example of sour grapes!
(image found here)
I don’t think it was sour grapes, on my part. Circumstances got in the way of my attending The Eureka Moment! … but I’m not sure I can prove that to you, right now.
Instead, I’ll just end this post by showing you a few more typical Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally Eureka Moments!
Eureka!! It’s time for me to end this post.
Thanks to my son, to Lawry, to everybody who planned and/or is attending my 40th college reunion, to people and places that contributed to the creation of this post, to those who are doing their best to let go of unhelpful thoughts, and to you — of course! — for having any Eureka Moments! of your own, today.