“Positive emotions are the starting point of learning, growth, and high performance”
I have been reading this book “The Gap and The Gain” by Dan Sullivan and It’s one of those books I will keep with me for the rest of my life. It’s practical and applicable, two things I always look for in a book. After I read something, I want to be able to apply the process right away to my life. Sullivan makes not only understanding his process of getting from the Gap to the Gain easy, but he also makes it easy to apply to your own life. There are tons of little exercises throughout the book which you can do with only a piece of paper and a pen.
The main take-away of the book is differentiating between living in the “gap” VS living in the “gain”. I’ll give a brief definition for what each means, but you should definitely still read the book.
The GAP- means to measure yourself or your situation against an ideal, or someone else. Continually measuring yourself against everything you want in life, but don’t have, which, ultimately, is a never ending loop of unhappiness, anxiety and sadness. It’s not an optimal way of measuring success because you always feel incomplete and unsatisfied, no matter how much success or money you have.
“The only way to measure the distance you’ve traveled is by measuring from where you are back to the point where you started”.
The GAIN- is everything the gap is not. It is not comparing your life to someone else’s or an ideal situation. It is seeing the silver lining in a bad situation and not sulking. Rather than compare your accomplishments to others, or to something you have yet to achieve, you are better off to only measure yourself to your past-self — this is the most optimal barometer of success. It will leave you feeling more confident and happy.
“If you’re going into the GAP dozens or hundreds of times per day, the psychological and physical impact of that are very real. Being in the GAP has a tangible physical effect — it is heavy, anxious, stressed, unhappy.
The GAIN also has a tangible physical effect — it is light, energizing, freeing, and confidence building”.
Why should we compare our successes and failures to other people’s successes and failures? Yes, we are made of the same flesh and blood as all other humans, but we have differing personalities which makes for a range of different talents, skills, the way we regulate our emotions, etc. For me, I tend to be quite an emotional person. I tend to be hard on myself and definitely catch myself several times a day comparing where I am currently to my “ideal” situation, causing feeling of anxiety and unfulfillment.
We are all guilty of living in the gap, and realistically, it’s not practical to say that you will never live in the gap ever again. The key is catching yourself when you are in the gap and getting yourself out, asap. Have a way to get yourself in the gain. We tend to not give ourselves enough credit for all of our life accomplishments. Having goals and a vision is amazing and we should all have them. We just need to remember to not compare our accomplishments with others. It will do nothing but cause anxiety and unhappiness.
How will you measure yourself? Against an ideal? Someone else’s life? Or where you came from? Your past accomplishments? One is more scientifically proven to access feelings of happiness and confidence and one does not. If you’re not happy or confident, I can bet which mindset currently occupies your mind.
I encourage you to read the book, I guarantee there are tools in the book you will be able to apply to your life right away. Personally, I need to get myself out of the GAP multiple times a day and pull myself back into the GAIN. It’s a skill that needs to be repeated over and over again. Constant reminders to live in the GAIN. But it’s ok, because what’s the alternative? To live a unsatisfied, unhappy life? Things will change for the better if you continue to work on them, just never stop improving.
Thank you for reading,