I am attending Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coaching Program, which is helping me grow my practice, improve client service and increase my own productivity and sense of well being. One of Sullivan’s coaching constructs is “Learning How to Avoid the Gap.” I see this as managing one’s perspective on life. Regardless of the words, the construct works and improves happiness and one’s sense of well being. Please read on.
The Gap is the space between our Ideal selves and our Actual selves. Our “Actual selves” are our actual achievements and results in life. It’s what we actually get done. Our “Ideal selves” is who we are after we accomplish our long list of goals and desires. It is a mental construct that helps us set goals, dream about the future and motivate us towards our goal accomplishments.
Unfortunately, Ideals exist only in our minds. The ideal is rarely if ever actually achieved. As such, how we manage the Gap, or our perspective, directly influences our level of happiness. If we always measure our Actual results against our Ideals, we will fall short and we can become frustrated and even despondent. That is seeing the glass as half empty. However, if we measure our results against where we started, we will see how far we have come and be more likely to be pleased with the progress. We will see the glass as half full.
Let’s call where we started as Actual 1 and where we are now Actual 2. Measuring our achievements from Actual 1 to Actual 2 is quite productive. Realizing we have more progress to make is also useful; that is, the distance between Actual 2 and the Ideal. But remember, we are unlikely to ever get to Ideal. We will set new goals, change our plans or whatever. Ideal is always in the distance.
I know many individuals that are very successful, but they are not particularly happy because they always fall short of their Ideal selves. They don’t give themselves credit for the ample progress they’ve made over time. I encourage them and you to reframe your perspective and see the progress you’ve made. You will be much happier if you do.
Tags: Well Being