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Do you spend more time thinking about how you fell short of your goals or how far you have come?
No matter how much we accomplish, the finish line seems to keep moving. The tendency is to dwell on missing your sales goal by $100 vs. realizing you sold $20 more this month versus the month prior.
Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy coined the framework of living in the gap versus the gain. They point out that our founding fathers set us up for gap thinking in the Declaration of Independence by coining "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Happiness is assumed to be a pursuit versus a current reality.
Changing your mindset to set a goal to live in the gain more than you are in the gap can transform your business and life forever.
The gap is when you measure yourself against an ideal or something outside your life. This could be a perfect weight, sales goal, lifestyle, or routine. When you are in the gap, you never seem to arrive where you are trying to go. Feeling like you don't measure up over and over again is exhausting.
What if you complained about an item, person, or object, and it was taken away instantly? This isn't to say we can't ever be human, but the goal is to stay in the gap for only five minutes. Complain about the traffic. Complain about your material order being delayed, but set a timer for five minutes, then move on. Does this seem hard to do? Of course, many of us (including me) are accustomed to gap thinking. We are great at pointing out things that need to be corrected or fall short of our expectations.
The gain is when you measure yourself against a past version of yourself. It is easy to find wins when you consistently stay in a state of reflection and how far you have come. Gain thinking creates a compound effect of finding wins a lot more naturally.
You need to measure your progress backward rather than forward to get into the gain. Look at much better you are today vs. yesterday rather than thinking about how you have yet to measure up to your future ideal.
It may feel like gain thinking is just toxic positivity repackaged, but it is not. Living in the gain means taking any experience and ensuring it serves you somehow. Instead of asking, "why did this happen?" you get to decide what that experience means to your life. The power of this thinking is found amidst therapy and reassigning meaning to traumatic events.
GET out of the gap & into the GAIN
Record three wins for the day before bed every night to set yourself up for the gain. Then, prepare three wins you will see for the day to come. Even if you "fall short" of those predicted wins for the day, you get to assign a value to those experiences. Even if you didn't accomplish them, what else came from that day that was a win?
Over time, you will create a list of wins, and in a month, quarter, or a year from now, you will spot wins easier by realizing how far you have come.
At the end of each day, there is a space to record wins in the Product Drop Organizer. I would love for you to share your wins with me, no matter how seemingly small or big they are, in the comments below.
I highly recommend this book, The Gap and the Gain. It will be one I read again and again. Let’s get into the gain, shall we?