1: There are two ways we can measure our progress.
The first way is to compare where we are now against our ideal, Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy write in The Gap and The Gain.
“Ideals are like a horizon in the desert,” the authors write. “No matter how many steps we take forward, the horizon continues to move out of reach.”
When we measure this way, we are living in what Dan calls “the GAP.”
Or, we can measure our progress backward from where we started. When we take this approach, we are in “the GAIN.”
When we are living in the GAP, we are externally driven. We are highly reactive and “need” something outside of ourselves.
In the GAIN, we are internally driven. Whatever happens to us, we use “to transform and improve” ourselves, write Dan and Ben.
2: Yesterday, we looked at the media firestorm created when #1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence told Sports Illustrated he believed there is “more to life than football,” and he didn’t “need” football to feel worthy as a person.
Which brings us to “a highly nuanced and crucial distinction,” the authors write. We “can want something and be 100% committed to that thing without needing it.”
When we approach our lives in this way, good things happen. “By no longer needing what we want, we are actually far more enabled to get it.”
Why is this so?
Psychologists have determined there are two distinct types of passion: obsessive and harmonious.
“Obsessive passion is highly impulsive and fueled by suppressed emotions and unresolved internal conflict,” Dan and Ben note. We “become obsessed with something to the point of an unhealthy desperation.”
We self-sabotage. We ignore other important aspects of our lives. We make short-sighted decisions to get what we’re obsessing about.”
We believe we need it, and we won’t be happy without it.
“The moment we become obsessive or attached to something, we’re in the GAP,” Dan and Ben write.
We are in the GAP if we need to “right” and win an argument.
We are in the GAP if we become angry because something doesn’t go as planned.
Because we are measuring our situation against how it was “supposed” to be. Versus learning from what happened and being happy regardless.
Harmonious passion, on the other hand, “is intrinsically motivated and healthy,” Dan and Ben observe. We are “intuitive and thoughtful” rather than “reactive and irrational.” We control our passion rather than having it control us.
This second type of passion improves other areas of our lives. It makes us better people.
“Harmonious passion is related to being in a flow state,” the authors observe. “Being in a flow state stems from intrinsic motivation—a core aspect of harmonious passion—where we’re performing for the sake of the passion, rather than as a means to an end.”
3: Which is exactly how Trevor Lawrence views football.
“If he was playing football to prove himself to other people, or to feel good about himself, or even to be happy—then he’d be in the GAP,” Dan and Ben write.
“Instead, Trevor Lawrence has a healthy and harmonious passion toward football that is intrinsically motivated,” the authors write. “He loves playing the game. He’s got his own standards and expectations for himself, which are likely much higher than many others playing in the league. He decides his own measure of success.”
Trevor Lawrence isn’t “trying to fill a GAP by being successful or famous as a football player,” they state. “He’s already worthy and happy even without football. He lives in the GAIN.”
Reflection: Are there any areas in my life where I have obsessive passion? Is this passion serving me?
Action: Share the GAP and the GAIN with someone I love and care about.