What is the Gap?
The Gap is Dan’s term for the space between where you currently ARE and the ideal. For example, let’s say you treat 30 patients a month, while your ideal is 60. Alternatively, you might be making a monthly average revenue of 90K, while your ideal is 180K.
That space between where you are now and where your ideal is what Dan Sullivan calls “The Gap”.
When you “live in The Gap”, you feel like you’re failing. So, naturally, you feel disillusioned, dissatisfied, and unhappy with yourself. As a result, your confidence in yourself and your future declines.
I know I’ve been there often. So many times, I’ve thought I should be further ahead of where I am. When I had ten clients, I’d be happy when we had 50. When my business was making 500K, I’d be happy when we were at 1 million.
Dan’s prompt to look at The Gain makes me recall a time in my professional life when I had ONE client and was only making £6000 a month. Back then, it was just Laura and I were doing all of the work. Dan’s reminder makes me recall how far we’ve come.
What is the Gain?
In retrospect, I can see how my self-assessment of my progress was the same as my past self’s assessment of my ideal. Even more striking, my self-assessment was ideal for many like me who started similar businesses. In those moments, I was genuinely “living in The Gap”.
So, let’s instead measure back from where you are currently to where you started. Next, consider how much reward you have accrued for all of the progress that you have made.
For example, let’s say you’re treating 30 patients a month and making 90K. Compare that to when you started with two patients a month while making 4K. (Note, this is not an exaggeration! I’ve seen this exact scenario play out within a year.)
With that perspective, you feel happy and satisfied about how things are going. Where’s your confidence now? It’s leapt. And that’s what Dan calls “The Gain”.
Are you stuck in the Gap?
For a surgeon running their practice, being stuck in The Gap is the worst scenario possible. But, like you, I find myself in The Gap a few times a day. It mostly happens when I’m working in an area where I am less confident. For example, I might be creating a new product, a new course, or dealing with a team situation with which I’m unfamiliar.
Falling into The Gap is natural. However, Dan counsels that if you realise that you’re falling into the Gap, getting out is as simple as reorienting your perspective and measuring against The Gain.
But what about goals? Isn’t it essential to have plans and set targets? Yes, it’s crucial. However, it’s wiser to see goals as rungs on the ladder, each rung a step closer to your ideal.
How to feel more progress and happiness in 2022
This year, we are giving our subscribers the gift of choice. So while you can’t change where you are on the ladder at this precise moment, you can choose your perspective on it.
When you want to motivate yourself forward, look up and go ahead.
When it’s time to measure your progress and achievements over 2021, turn around and look down to see The Gain.
That’s the positive vantage point that will help you maintain the confidence you need to keep striving, even when others are quitting all around you.
Alternatively, you can remain in The Gap. Understand, however, that that perspective will inevitably lead to unhappiness, dissatisfaction and a lack of resources to achieve your goals in 2022.
So, join me in looking back on 2021 and recognising all of the things we have achieved, whether we’ve done it together or apart. Then, join me in looking forward, with renewed confidence, to achieve the goals we’ve set before us.
We wish you happy holidays and send you all of our best wishes for your success in 2022.