THE GAP AND THE GAIN

It is my new favorite book. If we have seen each other in person in the last few months, I have probably mentioned this book to you. I am a sucker for a substantive self help book, but this one is next level for me. For most of us, our default processes keep us looking toward an ideal and measuring against it- THE GAP. Functioning in THE GAIN is visualizing an ideal but measuring against where we have come or where we started.

The book is full of analogies and stories to solidify the importance of this concept. They also provide guidance on how to move yourself continually in THE GAIN. I have made some specific changes based on it’s guidance.

  1. 3 wins + 3 priorities: every night before bed I write in my journal/planner (I use this one) my 3 wins/accomplishments/areas of growth from my day. Sometimes they are as simple as laughing with my family or connecting with a friend. Other times more specific-getting an A- on my interior design project. The 3 priorities are the 3 big focuses I want to start the following day with-what I hope tomorrow’s wins will be. It is important that there are no more than 3…or nothing will be a focus or prioritized.
  2. look for + celebrate the wins of others: I have really loved connecting with family and friends this way. After reading the book, I loved it so much, I recommended it to my husband and sister in law and then we had a book club with our teenaged/young adult kids. I am not sure that any of the “kids” finished the book, but we did discuss the main principles. Sitting around the table at Red Fort, while on vacation in St George, we had THE BEST discussion and delicious food. When we suggested finding an accountability partner at the table we began pairing up. Kate asked if her Nana (Danny’s mom) would be her partner. They check in nightly about what is going well each day. It’s absolutely PRICELESS!
  3. be on guard for negativity and distraction: Dan Sullivan talks about giving up TV for 3 weeks, then 3 months, and then 3 years. He discusses how much he has appreciated being away from that disctraction, a constant bombardment of someone else’s ideals and priorities. I decided to try it out, giving up social media. I deactiviated Facebook and go on very rarely to Instagram to check DMs. I have truly loved the break. It was an adjustment at first. I have missed a few things that friends or family thought I would know via social media, but the benefits (less distraction and more intentional focus) have far out weighed those drawbacks.

Now that I have these things down, I have a few more principles I want to work more intentionally on:

  1. measure backward: Benjamin Hardy recommends journaling reflectively on how you have grown in the last 90 days, 6 months, year, even 10 years. Thinking about the growth I have seen in the last 10 years, I really almost don’t recognize myself. I am so much more encouraging, positive with my children, and confident in my direction. I am excited to see where the next 10 years take me.
  2. narrow down my wants: they explain clearly the difference between wants and needs. Wants are powerful and can take us in a direction that brings us so much satisfaction- especially if we use them as inspiration. Answering the question “I know I am being successful when……” is something I will do this week for myself and would like to do with Danny to create a plan and direction for our family.
  3. 5 minute GAP and then right into the GAIN: I loved the stories related to this concept. We are human and even knowing and practicing all of this, we will fall into the GAP again and again. The power is found in recognizing it and intentionally shifting.
  4. reframing the past: Dan explains, “I’ve discovered that when something very emotional happens to me, it stays with me until I’ve converted it into lessons. Before I knew this was the case, I could become paralyzed by negative experiences for long periods of time.” The book continues, “It really doesn’t matter what the experience was; the choice is fully yours in how you frame it–whether in the GAP or the GAIN. Whenever you transform an experience into a GAIN–by creating new lessons, insights or standard for yourself–you become better and your future becomes bigger.” Taking time to reflect on those emotional life moments and reframe them to a GAIN is work worth doing.
  5. refine the magic hour: one hour before bed is a magic hour for your day and the day ahead. I am working on getting enough sleep, very little to no phone that hour, continute the 3 wins/3 priorities with a huge focus on pushing myself in those priorities and finally, invision my wants as I fall asleep. Thomas Edison said, “Never go to bed without a request to your subconscious.”

WOW. This book really is transformative! Have you read it? Do you want to read it!? Let me know if you do. I would love to chat with you about it!

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