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Minding the gap

Over the four years I ran the EntrepreNerds Business Book Discussion Group, I kept hearing the same feedback from participants over and over again.

"EntrepreNerds is unlike any other book group I've participated...we actually talk about how the concepts apply to our lives and businesses instead of arguing about what the author did or did not mean."

This response is a direct result of our education system. Learning is not about regurgitating information. Nor is learning about being right. And yet people gather in book groups all over the world to show off how much they remember and demonstrate that they're right.

They are missing the point.

The point is to let the teachings of the book change you.

And in order for that to happen, you must first be vulnerable.

Such vulnerability starts with being open and honest with ourselves. To own and acknowledge that we struggle, face challenges, don't know (yet). To recognize that while we might understand a concept, in theory, we are falling woefully short of putting it to practice.

Learning isn't about knowing better, it's about doing better. And admitting when there's such a gap takes courage. It is the knowing-doing gap and everyone's got one.

The question is, can you see your gap? Are you aware of the ways your actions fall short of doing better like you "know" to do?

We don't need a book group to provide an opportunity for such radical self-honesty (although it is comforting to connect with others in such moments and know we are not alone). We can do that in the pages of our journals.

Journaling about the gap is a constructive way to handle all the shoulda, coulda, woulda thoughts that plague us after the fact. When we are downtrodden with regret we have a choice, we can feed the negativity by telling ourselves stories of how terrible we are. OR, we can lean-in to the feeling, investigate it, and nurture ourselves so we can reckon with the disconnect and rise up.

Journaling in this way can also be a preemptive practice. One need not be in the midst of suffering to illuminate the gap. Reading is a choice time for constructive self-reflection. To ask yourself, what concepts stand out to me? How do these ideas relate to my own life/experience/business/career? What am I going to do to apply these insights moving forward?

And then to revisit later and ask yourself, how have my efforts to apply these insights been going? What have I learned? How can I course correct moving forward?

Such reflective learning is a continuous process, of minding the gap. Of setting aside our cloaks of perfection. And striving towards that place where we are actually doing better.

Are you ready to reap the benefits radical self-honesty done well? Join us for the last Journal Jam of 2020, register online here and start minding the gap.

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