Which of Your Kids' GAINS Do You Want to Focus Upon?

Jun 24, 2022

I’m reading the GAP and the GAIN by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy. Briefly, the book discusses our natural tendency to focus on the gap between where we are and where we want to be (comparing to others), our expectations (comparing to our anticipated future selves), and external pressures.

And there is a greater value by focusing on the gains that we have made over time - looking at how we got here from where we started, essentially only comparing ourselves to… ourselves at the starting line.

We can also be in the gap when we approach our family members: comparing where they are now to the ideal we have for them in our minds.


Dan Sullivan was describing his application of the GAP and the GAIN with his adopted son, who has had a lot of challenges in his life. I was struck by a paragraph in the introduction that I’d like to share with you:

“When I’m in the GAP about my son, I’m measuring him against where I wish he was as a person. I’m measuring his behavior against my ideals. By seeing my son through the lens of the GAP, all I can see are his flaws. I don’t see him for who he truly is, right now.

I don’t see his growth. I don’t see his progress.

When I measure him thoughtfully right now against where he was when we first met him, it’s incredible how much progress he’s made… if I’m in the GAP, I see none of (the progress). The only thing I see is where he’s not measuring up against my continually changing ideals. 

When you focus on the GAIN, you and everyone around you are transformed.”

I’m applying this right now in my home.


How do I keep focusing on the gap between where I am now and where I want to be, expected to be by now?

How do I compare my kids to the ideals of how mature they should be at this point, what they should have learned by now?

How do I think that our diets, exercise, care routines should look and fall into the gap between where we are and where Instagram says we should be?


And then how can I offer myself a look at the gains we have made?

What have I learned about myself, what have my kids learned, how are they growing, maturing, surprising me?

This struck me as an opportunity to think about unconditional belief in my kids:

I believe in you. Not that you will get it right, but that you will learn.

That you will be human, explore, mess up, and gain practice.

I love you.

I accept you as you are.

I see how you have grown.

I focus more on the gains you have made, than any gap between where you are now and some ideal that isn’t realistic. The only way to know what is realistic is to look at what I have right now, it’s real, and keep growing to create more.

Much love to you and your family. Take a listen to the podcast to hear me get pod-bombed by Gigi: the inspiration for my cackle. Love you, Gigi.

Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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