Closing the Gap

by | Nov 8, 2016

One of my all time favorite movies is one called Inception. In this movie, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a thief that is able to navigate people’s subconscious and extract secrets from their dreams. He is then offered one last job to somewhat do the opposite and perform the impossible inception, planting an idea in someone’s mind. If he and his team were successful, it would fundamentally alter that person as a being. Inception can be defined as the first part or stage of subsequent events. There are times when an idea has taken hold of me, and I feel like I’ve been on the end of an inception. Here is the latest:

Last week I was listening to a podcast in which John C. Maxwell (of whom I am a big fan of) was being interviewed. During his interview, he was asked a question and honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what that question was. But the next ten words out of his mouth hit me like a ton of bricks. He said:

“The greatest gap in life is between knowing and doing.”

Little did I know that this one simple statement would burn into my thoughts like wildfire. I pulled over and parked and said it again out loud to myself. “The greatest gap in life is between knowing and doing.”

I went on with my day and later that night as I laid my head down to sleep, those ten words arose to the forefront of my mind repeating like a new favorite song. It was then I knew an inception had taken place.

I began to remember all of the “ould’ves” people I’ve encountered in my life (the should’ve, could’ve, would’ves). Their dreams that went unlived. Their goals that were unfulfilled. I started to think of some of my own goals and dreams that could end up on a list of “ould’ves.”

Why do we feel like we have to know EVERYTHING before we do ANYTHING?

When we see babies learning how to walk, they don’t spend weeks and months strategizing the laws of gravity nor do they plot out the proper weight distribution for the perfect first step. They use what they have and just go for it.

But not us. We have to read every book, go to every conference, watch every webinar before we take those first steps. No matter how much we try to prepare, no FIRST anything is going to be perfect. We suffer from analysis paralysis.

This accumulation of knowledge reminds me of a ring of keys. I believe we pick up keys that open multiple doors to success that most of us never use. I wonder just how many doors we’ve perceived to be closed that are really just waiting to be unlocked by our action?


So what stands in the way of who we are now and who we want to be? A door that we might possibly have the keys to already.

I know this from experience. In the aftermath of my accident, my life was completely turned upside down. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew one thing: that I wasn’t content with where my life was. In this particular instance, I didn’t give myself a chance to settle into the gap. It was either DO or DIE so I did. I did what I could with what I had where I was at. Turns out I  had everything I needed to take action. Taking that action has benefited my life greatly.

But I still see many areas in my life in which the gap is present. Until I heard the quote from John Maxwell, I wasn’t aware of the gap but I can see it everywhere now. In the person who wants to launch that new business, or write that book(me), start that YouTube channel(me again), travel the world, adopt a kid, start a new job, quit an old job, go on a missions trip, finish school, provide a better life for their family, get out of depression, live debt free, be a better dad, be a better mom, have better relationships, and so on. The truth is that I could list a ton more things and maybe you have thought of some things that personally apply to you. My question is this: What are you waiting for?

The ability to change your position in life doesn’t come from an abundance of know-how, it comes from a willingness to DO-now.

It’s time to start opening some doors with the keys you already have. A step in any direction is a step further from where you already KNOW you don’t want to be. The simple awareness of the gap should be all the knowledge you need to avoid the “gap trap.”

If you’re like me and this has made you think of some of the gaps that you might be in, here are 3 things I did and am still doing to get out of some of the gaps in my life.

How to Map Your Gap

1. Make a list – Make a list of things that you are currently “not doing” toward your goals. Now you’ll be to see what you need to get done.

2. Create deadlines – Put dates on your goals. This will motivate you to get things done and hold you accountable.

3. Nike – Just Do It!

“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” —Winston Churchill