“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C.S. Lewis (British Writer)
Have you ever been asked to define the horizon? Literally…what is it? I’ve asked this question to many people over the years, and quite honestly, it’s a fairly hard concept to define. I’ve received answers like, “A distant place.” Or “The place where the sun sets and rises.” Or “The bottom portion of the sky.” Perhaps a definition from the Dictionary is in order. Defined, the horizon is the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet. I like that definition the best.
Let me ask you another question. Have you ever reached the horizon? Have you ever been there? Have you reached this ‘line’? Quite literally, the answer has to be ‘no’. You can’t get there. Each step forward step you take or mile you drive, the line is ever moving at the same pace you are.
So, let’s do a quick exercise. Pick a starting point and start walking toward the horizon with the mindset that you want to get there, you want to touch it. Frustrating huh. You can’t get there, it keeps moving ahead. But wait a minute. Stop. Take a deep breath…and turn around. Have you made progress? You sure have! Even though you haven’t arrived at your stated goal or destination, you can easily look back and see the immense progress you’ve made.
This, my friends, is the Gap and the Gain, a coaching technique developed by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. His point is that as humans, we can get frustrated by our lack of progress towards stated goals and initiatives. We set goals and visions and aspirations and often those ideals are constantly moving ahead. Every step we take, we never quite make it. This is extremely frustrating and can cause inaction, anxiety and quitting. This is the Gap. The distance between you and the ‘horizon’…the goal. Wanting to move forward, but the bar always climbing higher, getting further away, getting harder and harder to reach.
Yet, Dan encourages us to take a moment to stop and take a look over your shoulder. The distance traveled between where you started and where you are now is the Gain. It’s the progress you’ve made, small goals accomplished, and the forward momentum gained. This gives you the feeling of accomplishment, pride and the desire to continue to move forward.
Have you ever been in the Gap? That distance between you and your goal? So close, yet so far away. Here’s your encouragement to stop, and take a look back over your shoulder. See the Gain you’ve made, your progress forward on the journey of life. You’ve done well. You’ve helped others, impacted lives, accomplished goals, made progress, drove humanity forward, solved puzzles, made this world a better place.
But don’t stare backwards too long. Just look back long enough to breath in the motivation needed to move forward once again. Turn your head toward the horizon. Put a smile on your face. Set the next goal. Determine the next accomplishment. And step forward. There are far better things ahead that anything we’ve left behind. The only thing better than today…is tomorrow.
What Gains will you make today?