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Lindsay Lohan Had an Epiphany! Did She or Didn’t She?

According to news reports, Lindsay Lohan has experienced a life-chaning "aha" moment

Celebrity news was abuzz last week with the story—Lindsay Lohan has had an epiphany! At least according to an interview that Mark Heller, her new attorney, had with E! News. (A google of “Lindsay Lohan epiphany” on Saturday netted 361,000 results.)

Okay, I  know what you’re thinking. We’ve been here before. We’ve watched the revolving door that is Lindsay’s life. An ongoing omg! poll of readers found that (at the time I wrote this) only 4% believed it’s real this time, while the remaining 96% think it’s just “more of the same.”

Her attorney said in the interview, “…being re-arrested and facing going back to jail caused her to have an epiphany. Some times the cumulative effect of everything in your life percolates and you have a realization and a clarity that things have to change.”

I read this looking for clues of a pivotal insight as I thought about my three criteria for an AHA! (At this point all we have to go on is the interview with her lawyer. I didn’t find any first-hand comments by Lindsay.)

  1. A sudden flash of clarity. Epiphany. Realization. Clarity. The lawyer used these words to describe Lindsay’s experience. Did that clarity arrive suddenly in a jolt of understanding? We don’t know.
  2. About the reality of the situation. “…a clarity that things have to change.” Has Lindsay woken up to that realization? Is it her new reality? Again, all we have to go on is one brief comment by her lawyer.
  3. That has a profound and lasting impact on Lindsay. Her lawyer mentioned that she is exploring options—working with girls who are hospitalized and/or speaking to schools.

It’s too early to tell whether Lindsay’s experience was truly a pivotal, life-changing insight. I certainly hope for Lindsay’s sake that this time it’s a real “aha” moment, one that will have a powerfully positive impact on her life.

AHA!s: What makes them so special

Last week several of my friends and I were sitting around chatting at a holiday party. One friend said excitedly that she had just finished reading my book and had loved it. Then she said, “Once a person has an aha, they have to make a decision to do something about it in order for it to have an impact on their lives. It takes a lot of work.”

Hmmm, I thought. The kind of aha that she’s talking about really isn’t an AHA! at all. It’s just a plain vanilla insight. I strung together a few off-the-cuff sentences as I tried to explain the difference. I could tell from the look on her face that what I said didn’t register. At that point I changed the subject. It was a party afterall, not a university lecture.

I’ve been thinking my friend’s comment all week. How could I explain to her, and others, the awesome power of an AHA! to transform a person’s life in a flash of clarity? Let me try… (more…)

AHA! Alert: Alicia Keys Trades Compromise for Cooperation

I love reading AHA! stories. Don’t you? In this month’s issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Alicia Keys described an AHA! that has had a powerful impact in her life.

Alicia had always relied on the people closest to her for advice, whether she was making simple what-to-wear decisions or long-lasting career decisions. The problem was that she often found herself bending to the wishes of others rather than following her own instincts.

Then the comment of a friend triggered a pivotal insight for Alicia. “Don’t compromise—cooperate!” the friend said. In a sudden flash of clarity Alicia got the message. It wasn’t an either-or situation! She could listen to the advice of the VIPs in her life and remain true to herself. In the days and weeks that followed, she did exactly that. (Alicia’s story is such a great one! Here’s the link if you’d like to read what she wrote in O.)

Before I pass along a story to you, I look for signs that the realization was truly is an AHA! I ask myself three questions, and Alicia’s AHA! story passed the test with flying colors:

You see, not all ahas are created equally. I’m interested in AHA!s not ordinary ahas. AHA!s are those sudden flashes of clarity about the reality of a situation that have a profound, lasting impact on a person’s life. Now that’s powerful!