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The AHA! Handbook Hits Bookstore Shelves

My hope for The AHA! Handbook is that it will have a positive impact on the lives of people who read it. I hope that they will see that it is possible to actively prime onseself for momentous, life-changing insights. I hope that they will test out the twenty-one epiphany encouraging actions described in the book. I hope that they will experience in their lives the transforming power of AHA!s.

It’s fun to see the book on the shelves of stores and to imagine the lives it will impact!

(P.S. Don’t forget the book launch celebration at the Bookworm this evening. I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the area!)

Click the more link to see some pix of the book on display at local stores. (more…)

Book Launch Celebration for The AHA! Handbook

One step at a time. That has been my focus as I wrote The AHA! Handbook and then concentrated on getting it published. A few months ago a tennis buddy asked whether I was going to throw a launch party for the book. Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it.

Then a few weeks ago Jen at the Bookworm, the bookstore in town, suggested that I host a book launch celebration there. “Let’s do it!” I said. The date is Friday evening November 30th from 6:00 – 8:30. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by!


The AHA! Handbook Is Here! (Nervous first-time author waits for her books to arrive)

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was blogging about Nora Ephron’s AHA!? It seems like it. In reality it was a week ago. Where did the days go?! Not that I’m complaining. I’d much rather be busy than bored.

This has been a momentous week for The AHA! Handbook. An email arrived on Monday notifying me that the first shipment of books was on its way and due to arrive the next day. I was very excited at the news.

Tuesday arrived. I needed to be at the airport for a 1:30 p.m. flight. As I packed, I listened for the doorbell hoping that the books would be delivered before I needed to leave. Noon came, but no books.


Nora Ephron’s Inspiring AHA!

Silkwood. When Harry Met Sally. Sleepless in Seattle. Julia & Julia. What comes to mind for you when you think of Nora Ephron? When I think about Nora, I remember a day almost three years ago when I read her AHA! story in O, The Oprah Magazine.

“This Aha! moment is probably going to seem like no big deal,” Nora wrote in the opening line. I read that and was hooked. And, by the time I reached to the end of the article I had decided to take on a project that would consume my life (in a very good way) for the next three years.


Donna Hartney, Ph.D., Bio

Donna Hartney, Ph.D., is performance consultant who works with global leaders and professionals at Fortune 500 companies helping them to develop and implement effective strategies to bring out the best in people. She is also a researcher, author, and speaker who teaches others how to prime themselves for life-changing insights.

During her 25 years as a performance consultant, Hartney has worked as an internal consultant to the management consultant of Ernst & Young and has consulted nationally and internationally with a range of clients in business, industry, and government. She specializes in assessments and courses for individuals, problem solving and team building for groups, and cultural change efforts for entire organizations.

She is an experienced speaker and workshop leader, having spoken at conferences nationally and internationally and taught hundreds of courses to thousands of leaders and professionals.

Over the past decade, Hartney has also conducted research to uncover the thought processes that underlie life-changing insights. Based on her research she has developed a unique coaching methodology called xSAIL® Coaching, has written a book titled The AHA! Handbook: How to spark the insights that will transform your life and career, and has created a custom course called The AHA! Workshop. She also blogs on the subject at

Hartney earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. focused on adult education and organizational change from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the American Society for Training and Development and the National Speakers Association.

The AHA! Handbook cover

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What’s an AHA! anyway?

An AHA! is a special kind of aha moment. Ordinary ahas are pretty common—in a sudden flash of understand we see something we hadn’t seen before, we understand something we hadn’t understood before, we make a connection we hadn’t made before. For example, I sometimes I get stuck when I’m writing, not being able to find the words that work for what I want to say. When I do I know it’s time to take a break—to take my morning shower, to throw a load of clothes in the washer, to take a walk to the mailbox. Then invariably, almost like clockwork, I will be hit with an idea and will be back to work in front of my computer.

AHA!s are all that and so much more. They are the kind of aha moments that has a personal and profound impact on the person who experienced it. I experienced my first AHA! when I was in my mid-twenties. I was very unhappy in my career but didn’t know why. Then in a flash of insight, I understood what was blocking my progress, and that made all the difference in my life. I described that experience and it’s impact in my life in a Mutual of Omaha aha moment video. Click this link to watch the clip. I also wrote about the moment in my soon-to-be-released book, The AHA! Handbook.

Author Photos

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Right click to use











New Research-Based Self-Help Book Shows Readers How to Spark Life-Changing Insights


CONTACT: Donna Hartney, 716.655.5094,

Buffalo, NY – November 9, 2012 – A new research-based self-help book details the concrete steps readers can take to create and leverage life-changing insights.

The AHA! Handbook: How to spark the insights that will transform your life and career ($17.95, Franklin Street Press, November 2012) by Donna Hartney, Ph.D., counters conventional wisdom, which holds that momentous, life-altering ahas are rare events that are outside a person’s control.

The AHA! Handbook presents the results of the research interwoven with inspirational, real-life stories of life-changing ahas and practical advice for the reader. It describes 21 epiphany-encouraging actions.  These actions fall into three phases:

Hartney’s research consisted of a qualitative study using data mining techniques. In the initial phase of the study, she gathered published first-hand accounts of transformational epiphanies:

After Hartney had collected 100 stories that met her research criteria, she began a systematic, in-depth analysis of them. She looked for commonalities, identified trends, and isolated triggers.  Based on her research, she identified in the stories the mechanism that create transformational insights and devised practical actions readers can take to generate them.

“It all began ten years ago when I was dissatisfied with the progress I was making in my life and wondered whether I could proactively prime myself for pivotal ahas,” said Hartney. “I was amazed at how easy it was and thrilled with the impact on my life. Since then my mission has been to learn as much as I can about the mechanisms that spark pivotal insights and teach people how to create their own.”

Hartney is a unique combination of researcher, instructor, and case study. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a performance consultant who works with global leaders and professionals at Fortune 500 companies. She created a groundbreaking approach for tapping the power of insight called xSAIL® Coaching and co-founded a company to certify coaches in its use. She applies to her life what she has learned about generating life-altering insights, and continues to be very pleased with the results.

Advance copies of the book will be available on November 9th at and will be available in bookstores and on online book retailers by mid-December.


For more information, visit


TITLE: The AHA! Handbook: How to spark the insights that will transform your life and career

GENRE: Self-help/self-improvement/applied psychology

PUBLICATION: November 2012

PRICE: Paperback $17.95

AUTHOR: Donna Hartney, Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-0-982-13281-4

PAGES: 188

PUBLISHER: Franklin Street Press


MEDIA CONTACT: Donna Hartney



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