Ah-ha Moments are Overrated

Have you ever read a book, attended a seminar or class, or something else and had an ah-ha, lightbulb moment and you just KNEW that what that person was saying was truth?!?  And did you leave that event and think that you were going to go back home and suddenly change your whole life and existence because of what you learned?  And then what, you got back to ‘real life’ and forgot all about it?!  Yeah, me too.  Lots and lots of times!  And that’s ok, we’ve all done that.  And there is nothing really wrong with ah-ha moments, they serve a purpose, but I believe that a true transformation happens with a mindset shift, not an ah-ha moment.

For most of my adult life I’ve been searching for ‘the thing’ that was going to finally make sense and help make me happy.  I just knew there had to be something else, a ‘magical, mystical secret something’ that others had discovered and that’s why they were happy and I was not.  Every once in a while I’d come across a Ted Talk, book, conference or video that really spoke to me, and I’d feel an ah-ha!  I could hold on to that thing for a little while, but inevitably it wouldn’t stick, or the happiness never stayed.  That is, until I found life coaching and ‘The Model.’  

The Model does more than give me an ah-ha, it helps me see and understand my brain, gives me tools to change my thinking, and in doing so, has created a massive shift in my life.  Now when I come across new amazing information I’m able to retain it, and put it to use.  This is possible because now I understand how to look at life.  There are exactly 5 kinds of things in our lives.  Only 5!  And once I know what kind of thing I’m dealing with, I know how to look at it.  Let me explain.

Here are the 5 kinds of things in our lives.  There are circumstances (neutral, factual events or things), thoughts (sentences in our brain), feelings (emotional vibration in our body), actions (things we do or don’t do) and results (the overall outcome of the first 4 combined).  That’s it, only these 5 things.  I can see clearly now that many things I thought were true, and presented as circumstances (facts) were actually just others’ thoughts.  And it is absolutely life changing for the better when you can differentiate between facts and thoughts.

This is important because thoughts are optional, and can be changed.  And some of the biggest powers we have in our own lives are the thoughts we choose to think.  Circumstances are things in our lives that we can’t control, like the weather or someone else’s actions.  They are neutral, and only really gain meaning when we have a thought about them.  The thought we choose about the circumstances in our lives then creates our feelings.  All actions come out of a feeling, or vibration in our body.  When we feel happy we take different actions than we do when we are mad, excited, frustrated or stressed, to name a few.  The actions we take, while feeling any emotion then cumulatively make up the results in our lives.  So if you don’t like the results you are currently getting, the good news is that you can change the thought you are having, which will change your feeling, which will drive different actions, that will create a new result.

Most people believe that the circumstance needs to change in order to change your feelings or results.  WRONG!  We do not need to control or change others’ actions in order to feel differently and create different results for ourselves.  This is where the ‘shift’ happens, right here.  We allow other humans to do the human things they are going to do, and we manage our minds to think different thoughts.  I’ll give a few examples below.  This example is the wife’s model, meaning it is how she sees and thinks about the situation.

(C-circumstance, T-thought, F-feeling, A-actions, R-result)

C-Husband came home 2 hours late, no notification

T-He’s so disrespectful for not calling me to tell me he’d be late


A-Yell at him as soon as he walks in the door, ignores him, goes to bed without him, doesn’t save dinner for him, talks to her friends about how awful her husband is, physically keeps distance from him, and doesn’t ask him how his day was.

R-She end up disrespecting him and the role he plays in the family

Another option, WITHOUT needing to change the C line.

C-Husband came home 2 hours late, no notification

T-He must be so busy at work, I know this is the busy season for him, and he must be so exhausted.

F-Compassionate love

A-Ask him how his day was, save him dinner, sit next to him while he eats and chat, spend time with him, feel close to him and want to snuggle, admire how hard he works for their family and tell her friends this, ask him how she can help him being that it’s his extra busy season at work, calmly read a book while she waits for him to get home.

R-Create connection and trust 

Notice that the circumstance didn’t change.  The husband was still home late without calling, however, the result is very different in the second model and it all started with a new thought.  I’m going to tell you something really important-you can only show up in other people’s “C line.”  What that means is you get to do the human things you are going to do, and the rest is up to the other person.  They will have their own thoughts about the C, which will create their own T, that creates their own F, that drives their own A, and ultimately creates the R in their lives.  We can’t choose what other people think about what we do.  We only get to decide the actions we take, which is how we show up in their C line.  

In order to have a loving relationship between two people, they BOTH have to have loving THOUGHTS towards each other.  Soon I’ll dive deeper into the problems I see with traditional marriage counseling, but for now I’ll say this; we tend to think that in order for us to be happier in a relationship, we need the other person to change their behavior, basically change how they show up in our C line.  Couples go to therapy with lists of what the other person needs to change or do differently in order to be happy and save the marriage.  But this doesn’t work because the change has to be in your own mind, with your own thoughts.  At first this might seem discouraging, because you REALLY WANT the other person to change.  Like REALLY BAD!  But this is a beautiful truth because it means YOU have all the power to change your world.  The power is all in your thoughts!  You can improve any relationship you want, by changing your own thoughts.  Brene Brown has said “All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best.  It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”  I’ll echo her in saying that when you assume others are doing their best you will have different, better thoughts about them, and that will change your feelings, actions and results.  And even if you are wrong, it will still make your life happier than assuming the worst in others.

I have seen this work in my own life over and over.  I have much healthier relationships now because I’m not expecting anyone else to make me happy.  I know it is my own job to make me happy.  I can see other people’s actions as a reflection of their own thoughts, and not a reflection of me or our relationship.  I love myself so much deeper now than I ever have, because I know that all the love I feel comes from my own thoughts.  So I choose really loving thoughts about myself and others.

The skeptics will ask, “well if you can just choose thoughts that make you happy, why don’t you just choose to be happy all the time?”  After all, I still can’t choose how others show up in my C line, and I don’t always want to be happy about the circumstances in my life.  Lately I’ve been allowing myself to feel grief and sadness because my friend is dying of cancer.  I’m sad that she’s only 40, that she’s leaving 3 young kids and a husband behind.  I’m sad that I don’t get to go out on girls night and get sushi and chat anymore.  And that’s ok.  I think it’s beautiful to feel sadness for her.  AND I know that I can then also choose another emotion to feel.  Because I know I can manage my mind, I allow ALL the feelings to come, both positive and negative ones.  I see beauty in the 50/50 of life and emotions.  And when I don’t like what I’m feeling, or how I’m showing up in the world, I know I can reevaluate, change my thoughts, and then change my feelings, actions and results.
Ah-ha moments are great, but if you are ready to finally make a permanent shift in your life, and gain the power you need to live a full, beautiful life, I can help you get there.  I will help you understand your brain better, learn how things are related in your life, and teach you to figure out which of the 5 things (C, T, F, A, R) you are dealing with, and then where to make a change to create new results for yourself.  I guarantee that this transformation is possible.  If this resonated with you, schedule a FREE call with me HERE to experience coaching, and see how I can help you.  After this first session you will be able to make a clear decision on if coaching is right for you.  Schedule your free session NOW, as spots are limited.  This is YOUR TIME! 

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Kendra Last Avatar

My name is Kendra Last

I’m a life coach and author of the book Journaling to Recovery: A Reference Guide to Healing from Betrayal Trauma. I have been working in the betrayal recovery world for almost a decade. I’ve been there, and I will help you let go of the pain of the past, help you recognize your own inner beauty and strength, and help you learn to celebrate yourself again.

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