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Sorta Random Sunday: The GAP and the GAIN

One of my favorite books is The GAP and The GAIN, an awesome book by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. It was one of the best books I’ve ever read and has helped my mindset immensely! Which is why I would like to share its core message with you today. It also happens to be a message that I find myself needing a reminder about recently!

the gap and the gain

The GAP and the GAIN

We have all been in the gap and the gain at various points in our lives. But, we have probably been largely unaware of this.

The premise of the book is that we need to consciously work to stay out of the GAP and in the GAIN as much as possible.

So what is the GAP?

Put simply, the GAP is when life happens to us. It’s when we have an experience and immediately put the locus of control outside of ourselves.

We feel upset, angry, sorry, sad, etc. And then we let that event or experience define some portion of us, however big or small.

And the GAIN?

Naturally, the GAIN is the opposite of the GAP. It’s when life happens for us. An event happens and we get to decide the meaning that it takes for us. We define its meaning and make it a positive, learning experience. Whether the event is good or bad.

We own the locus of control.

But there’s more…

The other big premise of The GAP and The GAIN is that our culture is obsessed with the Jeffersonian “pursuit of happiness.” By definition, this concept of happiness always places it out of our reach. We are always pursuing it.

Because of this, we are all guilty of measuring our success and happiness based on where we are now versus where we want to be – our ideal. This is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, we need to measure our success and happiness based on where we were to where we are now. Then happiness and fulfillment becomes the present.

But what happens to our goals and ideals?

The natural reaction from high achievers to this philosophy is to wonder what happens to our goals and ideals that we strive for. Do they just go away?


Our ideals remain as a guiding force. They are our horizon. They are not meant to be reached because we should always be expanding them.

But, they do not define our happiness. Instead, happiness is measured backwards.

And, in fact, we become more focused and ambitious in working towards out ideals because we are more happy and fulfilled in the present. Because we now control our past.

I challenge you…

…to really think about the GAP and the GAIN in your life right now.

Challenge yourself to take your experience and transform them. Take them from the GAP and into the GAIN. Try measuring your success backwards while keeping your ideals as an ever expanding compass. And use your BIG WHY to help you along the way!

It’s not always easy but I try to remind myself daily or when I find myself falling too easily into the GAP.

This book has really helped me and I encourage you to check it out…

And here are some other good mindset pieces!

What do you think? Have you heard of the GAP and the GAIN? Where do you spend most of your time? How do yo measure your success? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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