You’ve probably experienced a few aha moments in your life. Moments where an idea for a new business or piece of art, or a solution to a sticky technical, relational, or philosophical problem, suddenly popped into your mind.

What causes these proverbial light bulbs to go off over our heads? What’s going on in your brain when you experience an insight? And can you do anything to encourage more “aha” moments?

My guest has spent his career researching the answers to these questions. His name is John Kounios, and he’s a professor of psychology and the author of the book The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain. We begin our conversation discussing how researchers define what an insight is, and examples of how scientists and musicians have experienced them. John then walks us through the stages that lead up to getting an insight and explains what is going on in our brains right before and at the moment we experience one. We end our conversation discussing ways you can increase your chances of receiving insights, including the kind of environment and even color that encourages them most.

Show Highlights

  • What really is an insight or “aha” moment?
  • Why you can’t “will” yourself to an insightful moment
  • The stages that lead to insight 
  • Why showers lead to so many great ideas 
  • How the slinky can teach us about insights 
  • What’s going on in the brain when people have an “aha” experience?
  • Where do insights come from? Were they always there? 
  • How to nudge yourself towards more insights
  • Why your mood matters 
  • Is there a time of day most conducive to creative ideas?
  • Can alcohol help you have insights?
  • Which color can you surround yourself with to encourage “aha” moments?
  • Why does sleep lead to such great insights?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With John

John on Twitter

John’s website

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)





Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Recorded on

Listen ad-free on Stitcher Premium; get a free month when you use code “manliness” at checkout.

Podcast Sponsors

The Strenuous Life. A platform designed to take your intentions and turn them into reality. There are 50 merit badges to earn, weekly challenges, and daily check-ins that provide accountability in your becoming a man of action. The next enrollment is coming up in the fall. Sign up at

Fruit of the Loom. Fruit of the Loom CoolZone Fly Boxer Briefs are designed with a ventilated mesh fly that allows airflow where you need it most. Go to and use code “manliness” to save an additional 10%. 

Progressive. Drivers who switch save an average of $699 a year on car insurance. Get your quote online at and see how much you could be saving.

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #530: How to Get More “Aha” Insights appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *