What Is A Light Bulb Moment?

Share with Family & Friends

What is a light bulb moment? Have you ever wondered where that phrase even originated?

Do you sometimes experience light bulb moments at the most inopportune times such as in the middle of the night?

It has happened to me frequently, especially lately since beginning this website.

I don’t know why but there have been many nights an idea would come to me during the night causing me to get up and start writing before the idea disappears. Is that crazy or what?

So let’s explore light bulb moments and see if they truly are just a moment or has there actually been a sequence of events leading up to that moment. Let’s just dig a little deeper into them for our own curiosity.

The Light Bulb Moment

According to Urban Dictionary, a light bulb moment is an event when you suddenly understand something, even if

What is a light bulb moment - dimly lit light bulb

the concept had been explained before.

So basically it is a moment of sudden inspiration, revelation or recollection.

It can also be called an “aha” moment or an epiphany moment.

It is easily recognized by being struck with a life-changing realization often beginning with some small everyday occurrence or experience.

When I hear the phrase, “light bulb moment”, I always picture the old cartoons with a picture of a light bulb over the character’s head, indicating they had an idea which is where the phrase originated, I believe.

Can We Create Light Bulb Moments?

The more I got thinking about these light bulb moment the more I wondered:

  • Do they just happen?
  • Can we actually create them?

Then I got thinking if we could actually cause ourselves to have light bulb moments what a great tool that would be in our everyday lives.

I started analyzing my own life and I actually discovered I seem to have a process from which these light bulb moments seem to originate.

My Light Bulb Moment Process

Once I realized I seem to have a process, I started analyzing what I actually do on a regular basis.

I took note of some of my most recent “aha” moments to see just what occurred.

Was it really just a moment?

I was quite surprised to discover it was actually more of a process.

So then I had to pay attention to the process and try to document everything I did to see what actually caused it.

This was pretty challenging to be honest.

Observe The Problem

Any time I am faced with a dilemma I take the time to observe it.

Now, this could be anything:

  • What am I going to write my next blog post about?
  • What am I going to make for dinner?
  • How can I unclog that drain?

Thinking of the problem gets my mind pointed in the direction of finding a solution.

Gather InformationWhat Is A Light Bulb Moment? - guy viewing his research on the wall

The first step to finding a solution would be to gather all the information I can find.

Examine the problem from every angle.

Take note of what works, what doesn’t work and what sort of works.

I will take the time to read articles or books on the subject or check out Youtube videos.

I try to find out as much information as I can about the problem I am trying to solve.

Sometimes I actually find the answers I am looking for, other times I just seem to find a direction in which to focus my thoughts.

I find it easier to find a solution if I can focus my thoughts in one direction rather than being randomly scattered.

Let The Sub-conscious Work

Once I have devoured all the material I could find on the subject, I take a break.

By this time I am usually quite exhausted and brain-fatigued.

Taking a break or nap is just the thing I need.

I will go do something else and let my sub-conscious mind ponder the problem.

Sometimes I will take a long relaxing bath, or go for a run or perhaps just go to bed for the night.

I have even found that doing something new or meeting someone new gets those creative juices flowing and the light bulb moment occurs during or soon after that event.

Whatever I do, I ensure I have a paper and pen handy in case that light bulb moment should occur.

The Moment

The moment when it happens is random.

Sometimes, I awaken in the night with a really great idea. What Is A Light Bulb Moment? - notepad & pen

I keep a notepad and pen by the bed for just these moments. That way, I can jot down my idea before I have a chance to forget about it and just go back to sleep.

Of course, there are times I just can’t stop thinking about it and I know I will not be able to sleep until get up and write that article or fix whatever I was struggling with.

Other times “the moment” can be when out visiting a friend or buying groceries.

It’s totally random and never predictable but always with a burst of energy and mental clarity.

That is why paper and pen is always within reach, I want to put pen to paper and record those thoughts uninterrupted.

I have the key to capture it, this is not the time to test or refine it. That will come in time.

Just let the idea form and jot it down as the thoughts pop into your head.

I like to sit and nurture the idea for a day or two before doing anything with it.

This lets the idea fully form before I try to further define it or test it or even get someone else’s opinion about it.

It works for me and it may work for you too.

Test It

Once I have my idea I will talk to a trusted friend or write a blog post and try to see just where this idea is taking me.

If you are interested in learning to blog, check out the free training that got me started.

Talking to a good friend can help me further develop the idea. There is something so helpful in trying to tell a friend What Is A Light Bulb Moment? - talk with a friendabout it that it just seems to gain more clarity.

A friend who is a dreamer or creator and is more positive about a new idea is perfect to share it with first.

I like to do this within 24 – 48 hours. For me, I want to build on the momentum of receiving the idea.

Later, when the idea is a little more established I will talk to my husband about it.

I know I can always count on him for an honest opinion and it is for this reason that I get the idea more established before talking to him

He is a thinker and an analyzer, which is great when I want a more detailed opinion.

But when an idea is in its infancy and still in the formation phase it could be detrimental to the idea going to a critical thinker too soon.

I have had many ideas die in their infancy because of this.

When I am ready to take it to him, he always offers the best advice and support and sometimes helps me execute the solution.

Unique Experience Or Not?

I am pretty sure I am not the only one whose light bulb moments are formed in this way but it certainly works for me.

How do you get your light bulb moments?

I am very aware that this sounds much more like a process than a particular moment for me, it seems to be.

My reality is that the stages are not necessarily this clear cut.

They often overlap and it is hard to tell which is which.

Sometimes it is fairly quick and sometimes it takes much longer.

Do you have a process or do your ideas just pop up?

How I Make A Living Online

I wanted to share with you ‘What Is A Light Bulb Moment?’ for good reason.

You see when I first started to really notice my light bulb moment was a few years ago when my husband was running his online business.

At the time I was not interested in it at all, however, one day he asked if I could help him write some of his articles.

After helping him a few times I discovered I really enjoy writing and it filled a portion of my time doing something helpful and productive.

Then it happened, I was sitting there knitting away enjoying myself knitting gifts for the grandkids when a light bulb moment hit me.

It had nothing to do with knitting, in fact, the thought was about our grandson who has type 1 diabetes that we had only just found out about a few weeks ago.

After struggling to learn about diabetes, I knew there would be others having trouble understanding this as well and…

there it was…

…the idea of forming my own website where I could teach others about type 1 diabetes popped into my head.

That is when I launched grandparenting type 1 diabete.

I now feel more fulfilled by writing articles to help others to learn more about handling diabetes.

By helping my husband I was able to help myself by enabling me to discover my love of blogging through that light bulb moment.

If you are interested in making a living by blogging then I encourage you to check out the same free training that got me started.

Share with Family & Friends

4 thoughts on “What Is A Light Bulb Moment?”

  1. Love the lightbulb analogy Deborah. I actually email myself (phone by the bedside) with my late night ideas. I then let them sit for a day or two before validating them. They came to me for a reason I guess so more often than not there’s some merit so I take them forward – bounce off others, validate, test etc.

    A nice reminder for us all.

    • Good day to you Jason, it is nice to hear others using these techniques I mentioned, I assure you most do not. Even when an idea does not sound very sound at the time by letting them sit for some time as you mentioned you do, gives time for other ideas to be added which may give a final big idea to run with.

      Having a mastermind group to bounce ideas off of is essential because it not only straightens your idea, it also allows a lot of other people to add their ideas into the mix.

      Sounds like you are on the right track Jason, just keep doing what you are doing.
      Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment,

  2. Rick,

    I do the same thing when I have to take a break on something. When you mention that you to step away from something and take a break. I do that when I’m trying to think of what to write sometimes. I think of good articles, but then I don’t know how to phrase them right for my audience. So, often when I’m having a brain fart, I step away and either do laundry, or clean something and while I’m away from my computer, I start thinking about how I can write an article to sound good for my audience.

    It helps, that’s for sure.

    Great article!


    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Katrina, I love to hear of other’s experiences.

      That is cool, I am sure many may use the same concept and I am sure others may have their own unique way. Some seem to have very little trouble coming up with a way to put in writing their thoughts while others have a difficult time.
      The bottom line, of course, is that we do get our articles created for others to read and learn or just for entertainment is fine as well.

      Sometimes having that break really does help me as well.
      Thanks for dropping by and I wish you all the best with your writing.
      Take care


Leave a Comment