It’s human nature, but it’s getting in the way of both your success and your happiness.
We all have an ideal that we’re striving for. The perfect product, the perfect job, the perfect income, the perfect life. And we’ve all achieved something towards whatever it is we’re working towards.
Human nature compels us to measure the difference between where we are and where we want to be.
But what if someone is more intentional about it, and measures the difference between where they are and where they started from?
Can you see the difference?
In the first case, all you see is what Dr. Benjamin Hardy, in the book he wrote with Dan Sullivan, calls The Gap.
In the second scenario, you experience the satisfaction, success and confidence, not to mention optimism, of measuring your gain–from where you started, to where you are today. The book (The Gap and The Gain) is worth reading, but if you don’t have the time, here it is in a nutshell.
A “Gain” mindset gives you the freedom to embrace what you WANT in life, not be stuck struggling for what you NEED. You’re not dependent on something external, like applause, but are intrinsically motivated but what you deeply and passionately want. You determine what success means to YOU. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant.
When you feel discouraged, list a few gains from the last month or so. When something goes wrong, or you’ve been disappointed in yourself, ask yourself what you gained from the experience. Do this because the way you frame an experience shapes the way you process it.
Try starting your team meetings with a simple question: what was your biggest gain in the past week?
It seems counterintuitive because we’re always being told to keep our eyes on the goal, and move forward. But, if you remember where you came from, and how far you’ve already come, that’s a huge confidence boost–and an earned one–to help you continue moving forward.
The book encourages you to start journaling about your gains. Ask yourself questions like:
- What’s the most important progress you’ve made in the last 90 days?
- What lessons have you learned?
- What are you most proud of in the last 90 days?
By far, my favorite part of the book is chapter 5, where you’re encouraged to replace zoning out on your device for the hour before sleeping with writing (yes, on paper), your 3 biggest wins for the day, and the 3 biggest wins you anticipate having tomorrow.
It’s so easy to forget your gains because we’re so busy with the next goal or the next milestone. Reminding yourself of your previous accomplishments, and how far you’ve come, will give you more confidence and resilience. So, measure backward.
Do you like the idea of measuring how far you’ve already come instead of how far you still need to travel? I’d love to hear your thoughts.