March 5

The Eternal Gap Between Who We Are and Who We Want to Be

There is an eternal gap between who we are and who we want to be. So we read books, listen to podcasts, take courses, attend seminars, and hire coaches to bridge that gap. Of course, what nobody tells you is that you'll never bridge the gap.

Four years ago I wrote a letter to my friend AJ Leon. In The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit, he asks people to write down a 500-word description of what their life looks like in 2 years. My life bears an uncanny resemblance to the list I sent him. I live by the beach. I've made enough money on my books to pay rent, etc., etc. But there are also lots of things on the list that haven't happened.

We assume that there is going to be some moment of arrival in our lives when we've crossed off all the checkboxes. Get the degree, land the job, meet the girl, get married, have kids, publish the book.. until there's nothing else left. But it's not like you're going to sit on your ass all day and say "I am everything I want to be, now I can sit around and not do shit."

As Unmistakable guest Dave Vanderveen said "you rarely meet someone who says I've just done too much stuff with my life." 

Something will always replace it when you get what you currently want — a new goal, a new destination, etc., etc. ​

We harbor the delusion that we'll be happy when we bridge the gap. We will be at peace, feel fulfilled or whatever bullshit mantra we've read in the latest self-help book (including mine).

But once you see that you'll never actually bridge the gap, that your destination is a false horizon, you'll be free to experience and enjoy the circumstances of your life instead of trying to control them.

The times in my life when I've paradoxically accomplished the most both personally and professionally was when I stopped believing that achieving my goals would bridge the gap between who I was and who I wanted.

It's ironic that we spend so much of our lives focused on bridging the gap, on getting to a destination that doesn't even exist.


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