“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” —Dan Sullivan
Have you ever found yourself unsatisfied or looking for “more” in life? I’ve been very curious about this subject of “more” for quite some time now. It’s one that has come up for me on a personal level and in sessions with coaching clients – the constant search for “more”.
So let’s just say I was quick to order the book called The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers’ Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success by Dan Sullivan & Dr. Benjamin Hardy. I’ve been inspired by some of Dan’s work over the years in the area of strategic business coaching. The concept explored in this book is one that resonates with me on so many levels.
Essentially, The Gap and The Gain is a reminder that one of the keys to happiness is learning to measure your success by how far you have come – instead of the ideal version of what you want. We live in the gap when we are constantly comparing ourselves to this ideal. It keeps us on what is called the hedonic treadmill – always pursuing more. Because the reality is that your idealis always moving. Similar to the horizon, we can never actually arrive there in the physical sense.
How often do you compare your present body with your ideal body? Your present financial circumstance with your ideal financial circumstance? Your present work with your ideal work? Your present home with your ideal home? Your present relationships with your ideal relationships? We could go on and on…
What I also find interesting is how easily we can put others into the gap. Parents compare their children to the ideal version they have created for them in their own mind. Or maybe you can think of a time where you were on the receiving end of this? It’s not a good feeling. All it does is make you feel like you are constantly disappointing.
We can find happiness in the present moment. We live in the “gain” when we appreciate how far we have come. In this space, there is no need for “more” because we have it all now. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t working towards goals, but we don’t need them in order to find happiness. Our desires come from within as opposed to coming from the external pressure we are putting on ourselves.
As always, it begins with self-awareness. Personally, this book is giving me cause to reflect on the areas of my life where I’ve been stuck in the gap. With awareness comes the opportunity to choose a different story – one where I can truly appreciate where I am without the need for more or better…
Stay calm & healthy my friends. And as always remember to breathe.