Curated Leadership for Today's World

mind the gap

Posted on 18 April 2012

mind_the_gap"Mind the gap" is a warning to train passengers of the London Underground to take caution while crossing the gap between the station platform and the train door. But no matter what side of the Atlantic we find ourselves on, the real gaps we have to be wary of are the ones located within ourselves. The gap between knowing the right thing and doing the right thing; between knowing how to do something and knowing why you do it; the skill to do a good job and the will to do a good job; between wishing for something and actually doing something to achieve it.

Thankfully there are many tremendous things that can aid us in taking the leap across the chasm that lies within all of us to become the best version of ourselves. Mentors, teachers, coaches, parents, role models, books, music, and even animals can all have a positive impact in helping us not only mind but bridge the gap. But we alone are the only ones who can forge the great divide so that we, of our own volition, may stand on the other side. Galileo Galilei said it best: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”
humptydumptyThere’s a Japanese proverb that says, “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and I’ve had quite a few myself. At least Mr. Dumpty had a traumatic event where he lost it all. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “any action is better than no action at all.” Many people sit at the edge of the abyss wondering what’s on the other side without ever putting one toe into the deep. But even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. The only person or thing that can piece together the fragile bits of our innermost being is us.

Sometimes we ignore the gaps in ourselves so successfully that we never even think about them. Our lives are what they are and there is nothing we are going to do about it. Other times we are clawing to the sides of the gaps fighting for our lives, determined to succeed and hoist ourselves to the other side no matter the cost. Whatever the case, we all face the same gaps in our lives. It is an integral part of the human condition. And the sooner we mind them, the more habitually driven we can be in navigating them as many times in life as we need or desire.

More Posts

2 comments

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Thanks so much Mark! The more I searched for what I was looking for the more I realized it was all right within me. I used to think that was such a bunch of crap, and then I got it-) Glad you like the Peale quote, just love, love, love his outlook and words. And you steal all my Humpty material you want!

  • Mark Armstrong: February 20, 2016

    Simply wonderful, Tracey, and a terrific metaphor: minding the gaps within ourselves.

    I was especially struck by the idea of physical gaps between knowing the right thing and doing it, and wishing for something and taking action to achieve it. You’re right— they’re enormous invisible chasms that nobody talks about— until you bravely did!

    And that Norman Vincent Peale line is an absolute killer: Any action is better than no action at all. They oughta print that on baby cribs! Sure wish I’d had it drummed into my noggin as a kid…

    Great post!!

    P.S. The Humpty Dumpty quip was knew to me— hope you don’t mind if I steal it!! : )

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing


How much is:
Answer:*

Let us know you're human

How much is: Answer:*

Search our store