My husband always (gently) reminds me that the key to happiness is a short-term memory and low expectations.
He says this jokingly, but not really. Seeing that he’s typically in a good mood, not stressed, and rarely disappointed I suppose he may be onto something.
Hyrum W. Smith’s (you may know the name, he’s the co-founder of Franklin Covey) newest book, The 3 Gaps, reinforces my husband’s thinking proving once again the husband is right. Ugh, I just hate when that happens.
A Picture Perfect Story
This Christmas I had this perfect vision in my head of what Christmas would look like. My eight year old and three year old cuddled together in their matching plaid pajamas, taking turns opening the presents I so carefully chose for each one. I would be in the background sipping on coffee, capturing the picture perfect scene on my Cannon. This did not happen. Not even close. My three year old’s diaper malfunctioned and had to change his matchy-matchy pajama bottoms out. For whatever reason he would only agree to put on tennessee orange sweatpants. The whole taking turn thing? Ha, the three year old once again had other plans. Overwhelmed and stimulated he decided he would open one present an hour. Our Christmas morning turned into a 12 hour ordeal.
This is what Smith would refer to as a Beliefs Gap. I believed that a meaningful “successful” Christmas morning could only look one way. And when it didn’t happen? I have a choose to be disappointed, frustrated, annoyed. Or. Or I could realize this is an incorrect belief and change my thinking. Get creative and adopt a new belief. Christmas Day will be a fun filled day with my children and all that matters is that we get to spend the day together. Lower the expectation and put the energy and focus on what belief is really important. Close the gap.
Do Your Values Equal Your Priorities?
A recent family death, caused a pause in my life. Like most when something major happens in your life, you stop, you pause, you self reflect and you ask yourself what really matters? The result? I realize there was a painful gap between what I really value and what I’m doing. I value quality time with my husband and find myself booking meetings at night and missing the heck out of him. I value being in shape but keep erasing workouts from my calendar because I’m just too busy. I’m investing too much time, resources, and energy to things that don’t top my value chart. This needs to be adjusted. I need to close the Values Gap.
Time is Everything
Oh and then there’s the Time Gap. Time is a tricky thing, isn’t it? We think we can receive more of it, save it somehow. We can’t. That’s why it’s so important that we aren’t expending our time on bad habits. Limit mindless social media dumps, spend time with those who deserve your time, invest 15 minutes to plan out your day and noting priorities. Closing the time gap.
Smith states that, “inner peace comes from having serenity, balance, and harmony in our lives and can be achieved through the disciplined closing of the Three Gaps.” My husband says the key to happiness is, “short-term memory (stop focusing on the past) lower expectations (if your belief doesn’t meet your basic needs over time it is an incorrect belief). I couldn’t agree more… with both of them. My husband doesn’t have a book out yet (maybe one day), but you can pick up The 3 Gaps and start closing your gaps to where you want to be.