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How to Avoid One of the Greatest Motivational Traps: The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan — BOOK NOTES

Sarah Cy
7 min readJun 9, 2018


Gap and Gain ebook (Dan Sullivan)

About The Gap and the Gain

This short ebook from Dan Sullivan (Strategic Coach) introduces the concept of the Gap and the Gain. Sullivan discusses the importance of measuring your progress so that you increase motivation to accomplish your dreams, rather than fall into cynicism and despair.

Introduction: How Your Brain Works

  • Many talented, high-performing, ambitious entrepreneurs are chronically unable to enjoy their achievements
  • They measure their success against the ideal they set, not how far they’ve come
  • Your brain isn’t you — you can think about your thinking. Instead of just taking things in, you can be conscious of how your brain is working
  • The brain is primarily a problem-solving tool.
  • We’re happiest when we use our brains to visualize, achieve, measure progress
  • There is a right and wrong way to measure progress.
  • People who measure accomplishments in terms of specifics tend to be happier and a lot more energized than people who speak and think in generalities.
  • Ex: If you say “things are pretty good” when people ask “how are things going?” you’re not really connecting with a real experience.
  • Specifics grounds your feelings in reality. Ex: “This project earned 10x as much money as last year.”
  • Use your brain to measure specifics. When setting goals, compare two specific facts. “Being wealthy” is generic. “Making $10 million” is specific.
  • Goals must be unique:

“It’s the constant achievement of specific measurable progress that gradually develops the unique and superior skills and capabilities in individuals. And the more you use your brain to achieve and measure specifics, the more…



Sarah Cy

(aka The Scylighter). Writer, musician, reader, daughter. Join our Merry Band, become a Brilliant Writer, and dazzle your readers!