Here are two beautiful Greek words that I learned watching the wonderful TED talk by Mike Rowe (the person who created the TV show, Dirty Jobs):
anagnorsis: the transition from ignorance to knowledge.
When a veil is lifted off your eyes and you suddenly realize that some aspect of what you had been thinking your whole life is totally wrong and you suddenly see the truth, that is anagnorsis.
peripetia: a discovery that leads to a sudden realization.
In the movie The Matrix the main character Neil suddenly realizes that he is living in a computer, that is peripetia.
In the movie The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis spends the whole movie helping a small child and then at the end Willis suddenly realizes that he is dead, that is peripetia.
Here’s a paraphrase of something that Mike Rowe said, which I think is great:
From our childhood we are told: “follow
your passion and if you do that, everything
will turn out and be great.” I realized (anagnorsis)
that that is wrong. These people that I worked
alongside on Dirty Jobs aren’t following their
passion; yet, they are some of the most balanced
and happy people I’ve met. Instead of following
your passion, bring your passion with you in
whatever you do.