By Tiffany Brown

Defined as “a moment of sudden insight or discovery,” an aha moment shuffles the order of something that was previously known and instantly opens up a new pathway to learning, resulting in fresh insights and unexpected connections.

When people who attend a TEDxUniversityofNevada event make such remarks as “completely mind blown today,” “speechless,” “this talk reduced me to tears,” “I just don’t know what to say other than thank you,” or “seeing things in a new perspective and wanting to make a difference in this world” (all real tweets from attendees at this year’s event), it’s clear that the experience is working to move people in a powerful way.

Below is an exploration of thoughts shared throughout the event across Twitter that led to some personal aha moments:

On Systemic Issues in Society

Aha moment: Consider our institutions, the intentions behind them, and whether or not we’re honoring their highest purpose. Have we lost sight of what really counts?

On Addiction and Recovery

Aha moment: Stop stigmatizing those with an addiction; instead recognize them as human beings who are sick.

On Being True to Yourself 

Aha moment: Embrace who you are, use your truth as a tool for exploring your own definition of what it means to be successful.

On Owning Your Story 

Aha moment: Be honest with yourself. By acknowledging and sharing that honesty with others, you can make a difference.

On Empowerment 

Aha moment: Empowerment makes change and growth possible.

On Personal Growth

Aha moment: By looking deep within yourself, being vulnerable, and committing to hard work, you can grow.

Calls to Action 

Aha moment: Be humble, courageous, take responsibility for your life, give back, make a difference.

To summarize it all: watching a TEDxUniversityofNevada event in person is nothing less than a disruption of order for most people, but a required disruption for building personal growth and awareness. Pay attention to the talks that speak the most to you and explore what it is about them that stands out. Recognize, honor, and explore those calls to action.

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