Be sure to ‘mind the gap’


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/12/2020 (650 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Lately I’ve been listening to Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable. Yes, that’s a made-up word, but it’s a very helpful book for anyone who has been floundering or unsure of how to follow their heart and do the thing (or things — Marie is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, and she shares how she discovered that) that makes them happy.

Today, I want to talk with you about a concept she mentions in the book — minding the gap. If you’ve ever been to London, you’ve seen the phrase “Mind the Gap” stencilled on the edge of the platforms in every underground station. The purpose is to make people aware of the danger of falling between the platform and the train, and to make sure they are paying attention and stepping appropriately to get on or off the train in a safe manner.

The same concept applies when you are setting out on a new adventure, especially in a creative field. You have a vision of whom you want to be and where you want to go, but you don’t quite have the abilities to take you there. The ‘mind the gap’ approach to growth encourages people to work to fill in the space between where they are and where they want to be.

Everything that is worth doing requires a certain amount of practice — if you can do it immediately, just based on your raw talent, it’s probably not something that is going to keep you fascinated in the long run. Even if you are a “natural” (awful concept) and can do it much better than everyone else practically out of the womb, you will still not reach your full potential without practice and dedication. That’s how the world works.

Given the undeniable fact of life that excellence requires work, even of prodigies, there are a couple of possible reactions. If you have what Dr. Carol Dweck first called a fixed mindset, you get frustrated and angry because your result doesn’t match your vision, and you quit. You think that only those who are blessed with supernatural talent can make the best things.

On the other hand, if you have a growth mindset, you will recognize that you have room to grow and improve on your way to achieving the excellence you see in your mind. If it’s something that’s important to you, you will dedicate the time, effort, and possibly money (hiring coaches, for example) that are required to get there. The time will pass anyway — why not use it to become better at something you love?

So the next time you stumble on a gap between what you want to achieve and what you are currently capable of doing, just take a deep breath, mind the gap and get to work so you can make it safely onto the train.

What gap are you currently working to bridge? I’d love to know.

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at:

Hadass Eviatar

Hadass Eviatar
West Kildonan community correspondent

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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