Monday, March 15, 2010

The Gap

Sometimes it seems that my life is dominated by The Gap.  And I'm not talking about clothing stores.

Many of us, maybe all of us, sometimes experience The Gap - the gap between what we intend to do and what we actually do.  This can be seen in simple, little stuff, as when we plan to write a blog post but get caught up in a game instead.  It could occur with a healthy habit we'd like to develop but just don't consistently pull off.  Or, it could relate to something we do that we wish we didn't, one of the myriad of things falling somewhere on the spectrum from habit to addiction.

Why does The Gap occur?  Beats the feathers out of me.  In an isolated instance, it may relate to fatigue, a lapse of memory, or simply the intervention of outside events that prevent us from fulfilling our intent.  When we experience The Gap repeatedly with regards to the same intention, the explanations are harder for me to find.  The easy answer is that we must not really WANT to make that change.  This may be absolutely true.  But when we've invested months or years of efforts, prayers, and even tears into a goal, I have trouble understanding  how we could want it any more. 

(Besides, is desire really key? After all, I don't really want to go to work some days, but I seem to get there somehow! *rim shot*)

Just today, I learned about a psychological concept called "self-efficacy".  The notion, if I have this right, is that self-efficacy is the belief we have that we're able to carry out our intentions. In other words, a person with strong self-efficacy doesn't perceive The Gap, or at least not much. I'd like to read more about this: there may be clues here for me, maybe even a way to progress.  This would be a good thing.

Because, sometimes, The Gap looks more like a canyon.

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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.