The Gap And The Gain

By: Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy

The Gap And Gain Book Cover

This book was recommended to me by Trevor Mauch, the CEO of Carrot.

It was an excellent recommendation due to the concepts in the book and the timing. I was struggling with my confidence and feeling happy although I was achieving success.

There are 4 concepts that I will take with me from this book

  1. The Gap And The Gain
  2. Need vs want
  3. Freedom to vs freedom from
  4. The idea of being self-determined when defining success

The Gap And The Gain

It’s a simple concept but one that our brains are not naturally programmed to recognize. The simple way to think about this is “being in the gain means you measure yourself backward, against where you were before”. It’s showing gratitude for everything and acknowledging progress. The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers' Guide to Happiness,  Confidence, and Success: 9781401964368: Sullivan, Dan, Hardy, Dr. Benjamin:  Libros

Need Vs Want

Needing anything outside of yourself is a form of being in the gap. When you are in the gap, your happiness is tied to something outside of yourself, a moving and unreachable target. When you are in the gap, you have an unhealthy attachment to something external.

You feel you need to have a million dollars.

You need that position or promotion to be considered successful.

You need to look a particular way to be happy

So what do you do?

Being in the gain is acknowledging you WANT those things above but you don’t NEED them to be happy or considered successful. By appreciating your progress towards things you want you can stay in the gain.

Freedom To vs Freedom From

Freedom to (internally motivating)

Freedom from (externally motivating)

To be free from is to be no one’s slave, to live in a free country, to have no coercion or force against you. It means you have no external restraints such as hunger, the elements, and the unjust laws.

To be free to is to be able to choose for yourself. You have the capability to choose. You have a variety of options from which to choose. You also have the courage to choose.

This one might not land with everyone the same. I remember watching an Alex Hormozi talk about leverage and he said “everyone THINKS they want freedom. But what they really want is the freedom to have a lot of options and the freedom to pick whatever they want.”

That really stuck with me.

What I took away from this chapter is being in the gain is the freedom to choose things you want but don’t need. When you are clear on your internal motivations you can have whatever you want. It’s only when you allow external motivations to control your happiness that you’ll find yourself in the gain.

Self Determined

Your happiness as a person is dependent on what YOU measure YOURSELF against.

Being self-determined means creating a system where you measure YOUR personal gains and only compare them against yourself and not others. You must define your OWN success criteria.

Can you answer the question “I am being successful when I….”. If not, start there.

Then get into the gain mindset and appreciate all the things you are doing that are successful.

Chapter Takeaways

Chapter 1

  • The GAP is based on an unhealthy “need” or attachment to something outside of yourself.
  • The GAP means you’re still trying to free yourself FROM something, and until you do you won’t be happy.
  • When you’re in the gap, you’re avoiding “here” while trying to get “there” – but never actually arriving “there”.
  • The GAIN is based on being in harmony with what you want, and knowing that you don’t NEED it.
  • When you’re in the GAIN, you live your life based on intrinsic motivation and hormonious passion, which creates flow and high performance
  • WHen you’re in the GAIN, you’re completely free and happy right now. This enables you to commit 100 percent and pursue what you want without unhealthy attachment.

Chapter 2

  • External reference points make it impossible to feel successful because no matter what you’ve done, the success criteria is always moving.
  • Getting out the GAP and into the GAIN means you’ve made yourself your own reference point.
  • The GAP means your life is determined by someone or something external. The GAIN means you’re living a self-determined life.
  • When your reference point is internal, you make the final call on what “success” means to you, regardles of what other people think.
  • When your reference point is internal, happiness and success are always right here and right now.

Chapter 3

  • Being in the GAP creates a negative compound effect in your life.
  • Being in the GAIN creates a positive compound effect in your life.
  • Research shows that happy people often live 10+ years longer than unhappy people.
  • How you frame an experience shapes how your body processes that experience.
  • Having language for something allows you to perrceive it and use it. The GAP and the GAIN is a useful tool because there is language for it.
  • Call yourself out when you get into the GAP.

Chapter 4

  • It is incredibly easy to forget about your GAINS because your memories are always reconstrcuted in the prsented, based on your current perspective.
  • Keeping a journal or annual review process is powerful because it allows you to tap back into the context of your former self, and see the massive GAINS.
  • Being reminded of the easily forgetten past boosts your hope, motivation, confidence, and resilience.
  • You’re not the exact same person you were in the past. You’ve evolved and grown a lot, even in the past 90 days.
  • Take time regularly to measure your GAINS for different time frames.
  • Always measure backwards

Chapter 5

  • When you do during the 60 minutes before bed has an enormous impact on your sleep quality, as well as the direction and quality of your next day.
  • Reactivity begets reactivity. If you’re staring at your phone before bed, mindlessly scrolling or consuming, not only will you sleep worse, but you’ll continue the same unhealthy addictive behavior the next day.
  • To get better sleep, unplug from your phone and put it on airplane mode at least 30-60 minutes before sleep.
  • Write in your journal three wins from the day
  • Write down the 3 biggest wins you’ll get in the next day. NO MORE THAN 3
  • Do this every day
  • Pearson’s Law states: When performance is measured, performance improves.

Chapter 6

  • Being in the GAINis not simply about seeing life on the birght side. Being in the GAIN is about taking every experience life throws at you and transforming it to serve you.
  • When you’re in the GAP, you ask yourself, “Why did this happen to me”.
  • When you are in the GAIN, you control the meaning of your past. You cherish your past and use it as precious feedback for clarifying what you truly want and value.
  • Being in the GAIN is an approach- motivated way of life, and it enables you to turn every valley into a future peak.
  • Being in the GAIN empowers you to take any experience and be better, not bitter.

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