The Thought Model

thought model, think feel act, emotional intelligence

The Thought Model is the backbone of emotional intelligence and thus, the foundation in the work I do as a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Coach.

LIFE HAPPENS (The Circumstances or Facts of Our Lives)

There are certain things that happen in our lives. Those things are the circumstances or facts of our lives. They are the objective and unbiased truths of our lives. Everyone would agree that they are what they are. For example, I have 3 sons is a circumstance of my life. It’s a fact. I have 3 amazing sons is not a circumstance. That’s biased and everyone may not agree with me. I like to say that the circumstances or facts of our life could be proven in a court of law. It is raining is a fact. It’s going to be a bad day because it’s raining is not a fact. This is a crucial piece of eliminating drama form our lives; separating out the facts and the thoughts.  


We think certain things about the things happening in our life. This is where we add the drama to our life. My job as a coach is to separate out the facts from the thoughts and it’s helpful to remember that thoughts are merely sentences in our head. They are not necessarily true. We have between 60-80,000 thoughts a day and we get to choose which thoughts to focus on. We think thoughts about the circumstances of our lives. Often we think our thoughts are true when they are usually subjective. For example, take the circumstance that it’s raining. That’s a fact. I may choose to think that it’s going to be a bad day because it’s raining. That’s a thought. 


Depending on the thoughts we focus on, we will feel a certain way. Feelings can be described in a single word and are often called emotions. Feelings are physical sensations that we feel in our body. Emotions = energy in motion. We feel what we feel because of the thought we’re thinking. Using the rain example, if I think: “today will be a bad day because it’s raining”, I may feel discouraged or depressed. Here is a list of common feelings.


Our feelings lead us to take certain actions in our lives. We either act, re-act, or in-act. If I think the thought: “Today will be a bad day because it’s raining”, feel discouraged, I may choose to lie on the couch and watch TV instead of doing what I had planned. (in-act). If I think the thought: “The rain makes it a great day for me to get my work done”, feel energized, I may choose to get to work. 


The actions (or inaction or reaction) I take will lead to a result in my life that always points back to the original thought I chose to focus on. In this case, me lying on the couch and not doing what I had planned to do leads to the result that today is a bad day and confirms my original thought.

Why does this matter and how can using this model impact everything? Read my post on “Why We Have Problems” for a deeper dive.