Content inspired by the book "The Gap and the Gain" by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote about 3 unalienable rights given by our creator using the phrase "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Although Jefferson's intention was good, he missed the mark about happiness being something that you pursue. This notion helped shape the culture in America that happiness is unattainable.
By saying happiness is something we are pursuing, the implication is that we do not have it now. By embracing the never ending pursuit of happiness, we rob ourselves from the accomplishments of who we are today, and what we have achieved to this point in our lives. When you are chasing happiness externally, it is because you are disconnected internally, and constantly trying to fill a gap. Instead, choose happiness now and expand upon your happiness as you measure gains in your life.
Ideals are not something you actually ever achieve. Trying to pursue an ideal always puts you in the gap. Ideals are like the horizon in the desert, they illuminate the path ahead, but, are immeasurable, unreachable and constantly moving. Ideals are not something to measure yourself against and a much better formula for happiness, confidence and success is to measure backwards. By doing so you liberate yourself from the gap, you get off the never ending treadmill of working harder trying to reach an unreachable goal, and you stop comparing or competing with anyone else.
Why is living in the gain important?
A recent poll revealed that only about 14% of adults say they are very happy. Research also shows that happy people live up to 10 years longer than unhappy people. The way to be happy is to not measure your happiness against an ideal. Instead, always measure backwards. Focus on the gains you are making. Happiness should always be your starting point. It should expand when you realize the gains you've made.