1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations. On Friday, I share something about myself or what we are working on at PCI.

Imagine a sheet of paper. 

At the top of the page is the word “Ideal.” At the bottom is the word “Start.” 

The word “Achieved” is in the middle of the page. Achieved is where we are now. It’s what we’ve accomplished since we started. 

When we measure our progress backward from where we started, we live in what Strategic Coach founder Dan Sullivan calls “the GAIN.”

Our tendency, however, is to measure where we are now against our ideal, write Dan and Benjamin Hardy write in The Gap and The Gain: The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success. 

When we do so, we are living in “the GAP.” 

2: “Ideals are like a horizon in the desert,” they write. “No matter how many steps we take forward, the horizon continues to move out of reach.” 

However much progress we make, we tend to adapt quickly to our new circumstances. What psychologists call “Hedonic Adaptation.”

Which “leads to never being satisfied, and to constantly seeking the next thing,” the authors write.

“Hedonic adaptation is so powerful that no matter how big the change is—we marry our dream girl, double our income, or achieve all our goals–the thrill wears off, and we quickly revert to feeling ‘normal’ and unfulfilled again.”

We’ve moved forward. But the horizon has moved with us.

3: The bad news? The GAP is the default setting for many of us. 

“High achievers are particularly prone to being in the GAP,” Dan and Ben write. “Many—if not most—high achievers remain unhappy. . . and their unhappiness grows deeper and deeper with each external accomplishment.

“For instance, research shows that CEOs are twice as likely to have depression than the general public. Entrepreneurs are prone to substance abuse, as well as depression and suicide. Even after some massive victory, their mind quickly goes to the next unreached achievement.”

This desire to constantly chase the next goal can bring success, but doing so does not lead to happiness. 

Being aware of the GAP and the GAIN and our tendency to fall into the GAP can change how we show up in the world. 

I know it has for me.

More next week!


Reflection: How do I typically measure my progress? Do I measure where I am against my ideal? Or backward from where I started?

Action: Share the GAP and the GAIN with someone I love and care about. 

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