Along the lines of Occam's razor, but I'd like to be able to use it in a sentence regarding something specific for my college essay.

Here's the context: I grew up in the same house my father practiced chiropractic and acupuncture, and after many many years of trying to bend my life into anything besides either of these two professions, I was able to come to the startling realization that my true vocation had been laying under my nose the whole time, and I never gave it the time of day to seriously consider it.

"Seriously considering becoming a chiropractor and acupuncturist was like sparking a wildfire in my heart, and I had never (insert better phrasing here-something along the lines of 'realized something so obvious yet so powerful in my entire life') "

I don't know if there is a way to imply the concept of Occam's razor neatly into this sentence.

  • 2
    I can't see any connection to Occam's Razor. But I can't think of any relevant idioms, either, I'm afraid. Although, to be honest, your own sentence expressing what you felt is probably better than using a hackneyed cliche!
    – user184130
    Aug 14, 2018 at 9:26
  • 1
    You might say "the scales fell from your eyes".
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 14, 2018 at 11:30
  • I like 'the scales fell from my eyes' a lot. thanks for the great responses! also, maybe my concept of what Occam's Razor is may be slightly askew from how I remember interpreting it from an episode of scrubs years ago. Thanks for the helpful responses, everyone! Aug 14, 2018 at 13:19
  • Duh accompanied by a palm to the forehead
    – Kris
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:09
  • 1

5 Answers 5


You might try:

under your / someone's nose, which means:

Directly in front of someone.

Example usage from the link above:

I spent all morning looking for the book, and it was right under my nose the whole time.


As in:

"Seriously considering becoming a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist was like sparking a wildfire in my heart. I had my eureka moment!"

eureka moment OED

(frequently with lower-case initial) an instant in which a scientific discovery is made or a breakthrough occurs; a moment of inspiration; (in extended use) an exciting or significant experience;

  • +1. I, too, thought "eureka moment." A situation in which the expression would be inapt, however, is if a great deal of time and effort had been invested in getting to the eureka moment. The OP invested a great deal of time and effort in AVOIDING what later proved to what he was looking for. (I'm probably not 'splaining my thought clearly.) Here's another try. A eureka moment could could describe a scientist who has invested years in discovering a cure for some disease and finally comes up with a cure. The cure was anything BUT obvious (i.e., in front of their face), given their effort. Aug 14, 2018 at 13:39
  • tks 4 +1. Flemming and Penicillin: for years he avoided allowing contamination into his petri dish,; but it invaded and ... EUREKA!
    – lbf
    Aug 14, 2018 at 13:47
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    While 'eureka' does fit well in the frase and context, it does not in itself carry the meaning of 'obvious'.
    – Pablo H
    Aug 14, 2018 at 14:08
  • @rhetorician The story that made "eureka" famous is the one about Archimedes getting into the bath and having an instant revelation (of something that was probably obvious in hindsight) so this seems a perfect fit, to me.
    – user184130
    Aug 14, 2018 at 16:21
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    @JamesRandom: Agreed. I have this to add, however, and I paraphrase Thomas Edison, to the effect that inspiration is 99 percent perspiration, meaning that a lot of hard works goes into achieving an "Aha" moment. The OP was assiduously avoiding the possible inspiration of becoming a chiropractor. Hey, I just realized an "Aha" moment is also a good fit. Don Aug 14, 2018 at 19:06

The title of another EL&U question expresses the sentiment nicely:

epiphany noun 2 A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. - ODO

The term epiphany describes your “startling realisation” and the rest of the phrase covers the long latent period leading up to that sudden realisation.


Another possibility is an "Aha" moment. Or perhaps I should say an "Aha" moment tinged with irony."

The late actor Paul Newman is quoted as saying,

I wasn't driven to acting by any inner compulsion. I was running away from . . . [my family's] sporting goods business (Quoted in John Skow, "Verdict on a Superstar," Time, 1982-12-06).

Your "Aha" moment came, ironically enough, when you were running as fast and as far as you could from becoming what you later found out was your "calling" in life.

Yes, I like the expression, "I had an 'aha' moment."

  • Same as eureka moment. Both can proceed an epiphany. All of which are part of a transcendental experience. And if it doesn't cause a paradigm shift in your thinking then it doesn't count.
    – Mazura
    Jan 7 at 19:04
  • @Mazura: True that!! Thanks for your comment. Don Jan 7 at 23:22

"Seriously considering becoming a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist was like sparking a wildfire in my heart. The profession I should have chosen was hidden in plain sight."

(Or as a variation, hiding in plain sight.)

As discussed in TV Tropes's "Hidden in Plain Sight":

"The best place to hide something is out in the open. Nobody ever thinks to look there."
— Robert Anton Wilson

Something hidden is looked for in lots of secret places, and in the end turns out to have been plainly visible all the time, usually disguised as an ordinary object.

You'll never guess which one of these people is Superman.

And from Phrases.org:

      Something that defies apprehension by being too obvious.

      After robbing the jewellers the thief just stood in the crowd and watched the police
      search all the local alleys. I guess hiding in plain sight worked for him.

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