Bill Cottringer

Life is all the stuff that happens in between acknowledging our gaps and trying to deal with them. ~The author.

We are all confronted with problem gaps than need closing solutions in life. The differences are in the nature and priority of these gaps and our varying abilities, approaches, and efforts which we employ and the subsequent results we achieve. And there are as many different types of problem gaps and their closing solutions as palm trees in California and Florida combined. The main purpose of this brief gap-closing article is just to scratch the surface and provoke your interest.

Three Main Gaps

There are three common larger gaps that challenge us all as part of the three main conflicts that make up our life story—the conflicts between us vs. life, us vs. others, and us vs. ourselves. These main gaps are between:

• Where we currently are vs. where we really want to be—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, vocationally, financially, spiritually, and relationship-wise.
• Our normal ordinary self vs. our spectacular, best self.
• Crawling and surviving with quiet desperation vs. flying and thriving with blissful joy.

Closing these main gaps and resolving their parent conflicts, requires closing the small gaps that make them up.

Many Sub-Gaps

There are many smaller gaps that make up these three main gaps and here are just 25 for we to build on:

• What we think we know vs. what we actually know.
• What we know vs. what we need to know.
• What we plan to do vs. what we actually do.
• What we control well vs. what we control poorly.
• What we can control vs. what we can’t control.
• The problems we have vs. the solutions we employ.
• What we say vs. what we mean to say.
• What we think we want vs. what we may actually need.
• Talking less vs. listening more.
• Embracing change vs. resisting it.
• Being optimistic, positive, and hopeful vs. being pessimistic, negative, and hopeless.
• Thinking about what we are doing vs. mind wandering.
• Being present now vs. drifting back to the past or off into the future.
• Enjoyable pleasures vs. uncomfortable pains.
• Who we are vs. who we pretend to be.
• The core values we aspire to vs. the ones we live our life around.
• What we expect vs. what we get.
• Thinking vs. doing.
• Being likeable, agreeable, accepting, honest, real, and humorous vs. unlikeable, disagreeable, judgmental, dishonest, phony, and dull.
• Competing against others vs. cooperating with them.
• Being extrinsically motivated vs. instrinsically motivated.
• Being inner-directed vs. externally influenced.
• Acting vs. reacting.
• Being open-minded vs. close-minded.
• Exercising responsibility vs. being irresponsible.

Three Gap-Closing Tips

Here are three sensible gap-closing solutions:

• We can’t make progress at closing the main gaps until we close enough of the smaller ones that make up the bigger gap. The same is true in breaking complex problems down into more manageable parts. Or in other words, control the controllables and manage the rest.
• We can easily over- or under-estimate the size of these gaps, as well as the time and effort needed to close them. It is always smart to be under-confident and over-prepared.
• We can ask for help, but most gap-closing is mostly a personal effort. But don’t let that stop we from at least asking.

Know what you're good at, and, more importantly, what you're not - and surround yourself with people who fill the gap. ~Kendra Scott.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Bill Cottringer is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); We Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Critical Thinking (Authorsden); Thoughts on Happiness, Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.). Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away and Christian Psychology for Everyday Use (Covenant Books, Inc.). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (206)-914-1863 or