1: Jeff recently got divorced. 

“He was not expecting that divorce at all,” Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy write in The Gap and The Gain: The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success“He was 100 percent committed to his wife and loved her with his whole soul. 

“But she decided she wanted a different lifestyle, one that went fundamentally against the belief and value system they had previously shared,” the authors write.

For 18 months, Jeff attempted to convince his wife to change her mind. She would not. The couple divorced. Now what?

“Jeff wanted to maintain a positive relationship with his now ex-wife,” Dan and Ben write. “In order to do so, he had to be intentional about how he framed her specifically and how he framed their past relationship as a whole.”

Jeff knew his former wife had struggled with emotional trauma and confusion leading up to the divorce. This caused a significant shift in her beliefs and behaviors. 

“Rather than being mad at her for these changes,” the authors note, “Jeff decided to have compassion. He could see that she was dealing with serious psychological problems. He didn’t blame her for that. He didn’t blame himself either. 

“He also wasn’t mad at himself for how things turned out. He believed he truly did everything in his power to save his marriage, and that in the end, he couldn’t control his wife’s shift in beliefs and goals.”

2: There are two ways we can measure our progress. The first option is to measure backward from where we started. We appreciate the progress we’ve made. Dan calls this “the GAIN.”

Or, we can measure where we are now against our ideal. Where we wish we were. Dan calls this “the GAP.” 

Dan founded the Strategic Coach, the world’s #1 entrepreneurial coaching program. In the early ’90s, he noticed how prevalent GAP thinking was with his highly successful clients. 

And with people generally. 

Jeff was not in the GAP about his marriage. He understood that getting divorced could “derail him for months, years, or even the rest of his life,” Dan and Ben write. “He didn’t want that to happen.”

As a result of his marriage, he had three beautiful children. And, he understood the quality of his relationship with his now ex-wife would significantly impact his ability to be a loving and involved dad. 

Also, “he had no regrets about his marriage. He loved his wife. He was sad it was over,” the authors write. 

“But Jeff was also a highly spiritual person, and chose to believe that God had something different and even better prepared for him. He only wished good things for the new lifestyle and journey his wife chose for herself. He was committed to continuing to love her and respect her, not only for the kids’ sake, but because he wanted to love and respect her. 

“He chose to view the whole experience as a GAIN.”

3: Understanding we can choose how we view our past is a big (as in BIG!) unlocking move.

“To be absolutely clear: this was the most painful experience Jeff has ever been through,” Dan and Ben write. “But sometimes our hardest experiences can be our most potent peak experiences—which teach us lessons and provide perspectives that truly clarify what we want for ourselves.” 

Being in the GAIN makes us resilient to the inevitable challenges we will face.

Jeff chose to frame his past in a positive light, even with gratitude, and be intentional about his hope for the future. 

More tomorrow.


Reflection: Think back on a difficult season in my life. How do I view that experience now? Do I am bitter about what happened? What did I learn from what happened? How has it made me who I am today?

Action: Journal about my answers to the questions above.

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