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Thoughts From My Couch
Mind the 'Gap'
Mind the 'Gap'It seems there is more in the ‘gap’ than meets the eye. The familiar voice saying these words: “mind the gap” is a well known sound in the London underground. Recently in Perth a man’s leg got stuck in the ‘gap’ between the train and the platform and he was freed by people power.
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Mind the ‘Gap’ It seems there is more in the ‘gap’ than meets the eye. The familiar voice saying these words: “mind the gap” is a well known sound in the London underground. Recently in Perth a man’s leg got stuck in the ‘gap’ between the train and the platform and he was freed by people power. The commuters helped by rocking the train until his leg was free. Science has proven that the ‘gap’ or ‘empty space’ between objects is not empty at all.

Deepak Chopra calls it an intelligent space, a birthplace or creating force. In the NLP ’empty chair’ technique the Omni position is a position where the focus is on the ‘gap’ or the space between objects and people. There is a lot more going on in this space than originally thought. The actual energy is in the gap and not in the object itself. And the so called ‘material objects’ are more empty space (gap) than particles. And now it seems happiness resides in this gap. Researchers at University College London have developed a mathematical equation to predict a form of happiness; momentary delight. They found that participants were happiest when they performed better than expected during a risk-reward task. Brain scans also revealed that happiness scores correlated with areas known to be important for well-being.

The team says the equation, published in PNAS Journal, could be used to look at mood disorders and happiness on a mass scale. It could also help the UK government analyse statistics on well-being, which they have collected since 2010. So in short it means that: The bigger the gap between expectation and reward the unhappier a person will be and the closer this gap the happier a person will be. For example: Expectation can be ‘hunger’ (to have food) and the longer the reward takes (to actually eat) the more stress it will create and the unhappier a person will become. A general limiting belief I have found with quite a number of clients is the: I am not good enough’ belief or ‘there is something wrong with me’ belief. Usually it comes from events of shaming in childhood like a teacher writing with a red pen on the test result of a schoolchild: Stupid’. In this case the gap between expectation and reward is infinitely big. The reward is negative and will result in the unconscious finding its own way of giving the reward. This might result in the reward taking the form of food, alcohol or drugs as an adult.

Unfortunately the reward is a surface attempt to fill a deep unconscious gap and will be repeated as a pattern for a very long time or until the original events are healed. Another is where no matter how well a child performs at school the parents are just not satisfied. The child never gets the ‘reward’ and again the gap remains infinitely open and unfulfilled. One can argue that having no expectations is the best way to make this gap as small as possible because any reward will then give immediate happiness. Think of a stranger smiling friendlily at you, or someone giving you an unexpected gift. The question is then: How can one live without expectations? Is the guy with his guitar and living in his Kombi van and living from the bare minimum with no expectations then happier than the CEO in a big mansion with big expectations to fulfil?

Can it mean that having to many or unreachable goals lead to more unhappiness? I believe that there is a very delicate balance in the size of this gap between expectation and reward. Not too big and not too small. All addictions are examples where the gap is too small. The reward (drugs, food, and alcohol) does not weigh out the actions taken to get the reward. The reward is too much and too fast without enough expectation. And for some workaholics the opposite will be true, too much expectation and not enough reward; a too big gap.

Do you know the size of your gap? Old cars which still use points as a firing system had to be set at the exact right gap for the car to run smoothly. I remember we had special instruments to measure this gap. Is your gap set at the exact right space for your life to run smoothly? As an NLP practitioner we are trained to set these gaps. It is after all in the gap or space in between where the power resides. It might just be worth focusing on this space.

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