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Is there a word that describes the feeling one feels when one breaks down some metaphorical barrier and sees a path to satisfy a desire or develop skill one once thought unsatisfiable or unmasterable?

For example:

After learning to play the piano and mastering his first advanced piece, John felt X as the path to learning his favorite concertos, ones he thought he would never possess the talent to play, presented itself in front of him.

I tried googling around for it but didn't find much. I'll also accept a word from a language other than English if it fully captures the meaning.

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  • Anticipation is a good word.
    – Xanne
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 7:21
  • "John felt x as the path" sounds a bit fishy to me.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 15:47

4 Answers 4

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Breakthrough works well in your sentence:

John felt that he had made a breakthrough


Epiphany could also be used:

John had an epiphany that...

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After learning to play the piano and mastering his first advanced piece, John had an awakening: the path to learning his favorite concertos, ones he thought he would never possess the talent to play, presented itself in front of him.

awakening (n.)

A coming into awareness

Like his discovery of literature, this intimacy becomes an awakening to the possibilities of life.

A rousing from inactivity or indifference

… one of the primary branches of yoga … prescribes various practices to assist the yogi in the gradual awakening of the heart. m-w

An act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something. New Oxford American Dictionary


Many are the reasons for these fluctuations of progress. A sudden awakening of latent talent or love for music accelerates, or unfavorable outside conditions may retard it. The Etude, Vol. 15, p.273 (1897)

A Buddhist told me of a new psychological awakening that occurred in her twenties, but it had been preceded by a severe depression, together with pneumonia. Neville Symington; The Blind Man Sees: Freud's Awakening and Other Essays (2018)

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I suggest the word unrestrained.

See the definition:

  1. not restrained : IMMODERATE, UNCONTROLLED

E.g. unrestrained proliferation of technology

  1. free of constraint : SPONTANEOUS

E.g. felt happy and unrestrained

I would suggest using it along with another description of emotion like "happy."

This is how I would use it in your sentence:

After learning to play the piano and mastering his first advanced piece, John felt excited and unrestrained as the path to learning his favorite concertos [...]

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Confident would also suffice

"John felt confident as the path to learning his.."

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