The “Aha Moment”

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The other day I was doing a normal household task, vacuuming the floors, and using one of the attachments to vacuum the lint and other particles from the headboard. This is something I typically do 1-2 times a week without any serious reflection. But for some reason I became fixated on the amount of lint and particles that had accumulated since the last time this task was completed. I have an older German Shepherd; we’ve been together since he was 6 weeks. I’m used to seeing his hair around the house, and especially in the upholstery of the headboard (hence the special attachment). However, he hasn’t been in the bedroom for quite some time. Yet, these particles still accumulated high up on the headboard. In that moment, I had what Oprah calls an “Aha Moment”. Looking at the dust and other particles, I was surprised by the way the accumulation occurred. 

You see, I clean the metal ceiling fan blades and the window blinds often. Yet, this dust and these other particles still made a way onto the headboard. When we lose sight of something, and don’t bring our focus back to it for some time there are things can unknowingly begin to accumulate. We tend to become weighed down by self-doubt. The longer it takes for our goal to come into focus we feel like the rope is slipping out of our hands. We do a little maintenance here and there, but if you know anything about sustained effort, then you know that over time that little fire starts to die down. You find yourself trying to find new ways to get things going again. For me this was symbolic of the vacuum. 

I had a goal that I set for myself this year and I haven’t hit it yet. I’ve done all the necessary things to get prepared. I completed the required course, I studied the material and passed the state exam on the first go around, I applied to every agency I could think of, I filled out all of the packets sent to me, I showed up ready for every interview, I nailed every interview, I blocked out time to make every testing appointment, some test I had to do over and over, but I showed up with a smile and a renewed sense of self-worth each time. When it got hard and I saw myself spiraling into a depression, I tried to do some maintenance work, but I needed more help than I anticipated. I made some poor impulsive decisions that only further caused more tension, a common thing that occurs when we’re battling depression.

But then I got back to my roots, and I started doing the things that made me great, and that has made all the difference! The tools have always been within me, but during this season of waiting and rejection, even I battled with self-doubt. Although the fire was dying, I never let it die. My friends and family never let it die. God never let it die. It was challenged, yes. It was put to the test, yes. It would have felt good to go ahead and call it, yes. But I remembered and I had been reminded many times that I had done all that I could do. I had showed up for all that I could show up for. I had come ready with an extensive resume and years of street-tested experience. So, it was never about me, I was not the ideal candidate for what these agencies had in mind. And that was a form of protection. I would have never felt a sense of fulfillment had I been hired on where “I” thought “I” wanted to work at. 

So how does this tie into that “Aha Moment”, well, it is because lint accumulates in due to things from the outside environment. Self-doubt, fear of failure, playing it safe, making yourself small, settling. All these things come from outside influences, as children we were brave and bold. The old folks always say, “if you want the truth ask that baby”. Why? Because a child will tell you the unfiltered truth until they are taught or experience otherwise. As a child we filled any room with our presence. The floor was lava. The trampoline could throw us into space. The swimming pool was the ocean. Our dolls and action figures were alive, and we could imagine up any set of possibilities for them. At some point in our growth cycle, we became aware of the outside world and its influences, and we began to balance things with a “risk v. reward” mindset. The “Aha Moment” for me was recognizing that when we allow negative influences from the outside world, no matter how small, over time they can accumulate and begin to cover us. Every day we are in a fight to stay in the light. In a fight to stay where the sun keeps us warm, and vibrant, and optimistic. While we do need to accept our feelings and work with them, we can’t afford to dwell in a negative state. 

So, think about the areas of your life that may have been unknowingly covered by lint and start dusting them off. Your best self deserves to have the best version of you showing up each and every day. I always what I preach and when I find myself flirting with negative thoughts, I immediately work to begin changing the narrative. If I don’t know how to do something I’m going to find out. If I don’t have the energy right now maybe a short nap is in order or an energy drink, but I’m not going to let this task get away from me. I shift from saying, “oh, I don’t have time for that”, and I acknowledge whether it is a priority for me. On my advertisement it says, “The fundamental truth is that you have to want better.” It closes out with, “You are the architect of your life.” As we close today, sincerely think about these two statements. 

When you want better for yourself, you instinctively begin aligning with this manifestation. You will begin to see the universe open possibilities that had never occurred to you before. Growth is very intimidating. Scary even. But in order to get to that side of greatness you really do have to step outside of your comfort zone and be okay with the “pain of growth”. Nothing is worse than waking up weeks, months, or years later and realizing that you had the power to change your situation, but instead you decided to remain in what made you comfortable. 

This concludes the blog on the aha moment. Please leave a comment, subscribe to the blog, or send an e-mail to

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. 




Hello, My name is Demetrius Latham, Jr. I am a life coach, college lecturer, police officer, martial artist, and IRONMAN Finisher. I strive every day to make decisions that will improve my life and the lives of those around me. I have a B.S. in Justice Administration from the Univ. of Louisville, a M.S. in Justice Administration from Cumberland Univ., and a Ph.D. in Justice Administration from Walden Univ.

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