‘The Gap’ Is A Living Space

'The Gap' Is A Living Space

'The Gap' Is A Living Space

Few things are more distressing to me than to see someone with great talent, a good attitude, a super plan, full commitment, and a great heart, fail unnecessarily because of the mistaken belief that The Gap can be passively closed by working harder.

Early on, mentors came into my life at strategic times who shared with me their secrets on how they became iconic in their disciplines.

They came from all walks of life and disciplines: business, sports, stage, and academia. And, I credit them with every success I’ve ever had in life as they showed me collectively how to become a champion.


An important observation I made about my mentors was that despite the training and accolades bestowed on their peers, they were always first in line to seize the best opportunities and avoid the worst disasters the moment they showed up. While those more lauded would watch in disbelief.

Their ability to keep producing success after success with surreal predictability despite the conditions surrounding the process couldn’t have been anything other than the purposeful outcome of very deliberate actions consistently applied.

I wasn’t sure what those actions were, but knew it had to be a system that was purposely applied at very specific times as they never seemed to worry about the outcome. Almost as if the successful outcome had already happened before the process even began.

Needless to say, what they had – I wanted, and I was committed to finding out what that was.


As I mentioned in my previous post, The Gap is not an empty void. It’s something far more beautiful and powerful than that. It’s a living space. And I mean that quite literally. It’s a heart beating, oxygen breathing, full on living space.

And if you view The Gap as a living space then you’re using what I call the Readiness Model of performance and achievement. The Gap in the Readiness Model is made up of two opposing forces: personal readiness to engage life, and life itself as it unfolds in real-time – moment by moment.

Personal Readiness is composed of your skill set, knowledge, and material resources.

Life Itself includes daily routines, job, school, people, places, things, weather, disasters, politics, and world conditions, and everything else you’re exposed to moment by moment as it arises throughout a day.

As a living space The Gap no long acts like an empty void, but instead it functions as a playing field for your state of readiness. Allowing you to engage life moment by moment in real-time, with live ammo and no timeouts.


In a very real sense, the Readiness Model functions like the Waze App and Doppler radar. Waze and Doppler show you live traffic patterns, alternative routes to your destination, and real-time weather patterns.

Sure GPS can show your arrival time at a destination, but it’s a probability prediction based on everything on the trip going right 100% of the time. It completely fails to take into account what’s currently happening on the route to the destination.

Experience shows that it’s more likely that unexpected life events encountered on a trip are what will prevent you from arriving at your destination on time or, worse, ever making it to the destination.

There’s not much anyone can do about unanticipated life circumstances that arise unexpectedly, as that’s life. But you can proactively increase your readiness to successfully engage them to seamlessly carry momentum forward to get to where you want to be in the least time with the least effort.

For example, I recently had a super-tight timeline to do a podcast after an appointment. Rain was in the forecast, so I mapped out an alternative route home if the traffic jammed. My Waze app showed the traffic jam driving home. So, I ditched the GPS, and took my pre-planned alternative route home and did the podcast on time.

By anticipating and being ready for known potential problems you’re able to quickly make adjustments on the fly that allow you to achieve your goals without being blindsided by something preventable.

Without my mentors selflessly showing me their secrets on how they managed The Gap to become iconic, there’s no way I would have discovered the two Gaps Models – one that predictably prevents you from getting to where you want to be (Void Model) and the other that predictably gets you to where you want to be (Readiness Model).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Readiness Model.
Please share and explore answers in the comments.


  • Eric crockett

    Reply Reply May 12, 2015

    I really like the concept as you’ve described it. I also believe you are encouraging people to take responsibility for the things that one can control. We cannot be a victim when we are prepared and accept responsibility. Kudos!


    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Right on, Eric. In addition to taking responsibility for things that can be controlled I encourage everybody to continually build their readiness for known patterns for the things they’ll be facing in the future they’ve not yet faced. Getting out in front of the game is the game as nobody can out run their blind spots.

  • Tim Maack, D.C.

    Reply Reply May 12, 2015

    As I have matured I have noticed that many people react to the unexpected rather than respond. A few individuals respond to what life brings them. The ones who respond end up being on top of the pile. Life is much easier when you respond to what life hands you. Have a plan. Better yet have a backup plan.

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Better yet is to know what’s coming ahead of time specific to where you are. When the living space is controlled deliberately then harmful known patterns can be recognized and eliminated before they stall momentum. Most things that derail people are 100% preventable.

  • Cheryl Steffins

    Reply Reply May 12, 2015

    So, understanding that The Gap is not an empty void, what are the secrets to managing it in such a way as to become iconic?

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      The secret to managing the living space is the Champion’s Blueprint. The Champion’s Blueprint develops the readiness to achieve champion’s goals while avoiding preventable problems with losing time or momentum. The next workshop is June 5-7, plz go to workshop link on the navigation bar for more information. The online course will be available in the near future.

  • Grace Hull

    Reply Reply May 12, 2015

    Thanks! That is full of wisdom and common senses. It gave me a breathing space now, as I prepare to take a team of 10 Teachers to Milne Bay PNG to interact with the Teachers in there to see what help will the teachers in Australia can give to the teachers in Milne Bay PNG. Instead of shipping containers of used items to PNG.

    My charity ships 20ft containers to PNG rural areas to help in medical centres and schools. Now financially broke! I thought to take the human brains and wisdom to share with the human brains in Milne Bay PNG.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and the experience…. The Gap…Is A Living Space… That gave me a breathing space to keep going. Thank You!

    Grace Hull

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Wonderful, Grace, oxygenate those lungs!!!The world needs people like you. My daughter was adopted from rural Colombia and the impact the littlest things make are priceless so your effort doesn’t go unnoticed but changes lives, lives that count…

  • Ivan Kayemba

    Reply Reply May 13, 2015

    Awesome :) its a good read! loved it

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Thanks for you kind thoughts! What point has the most impact on you? Thx

  • Nichol

    Reply Reply May 13, 2015

    The Readiness Model: 100% applicable to being an effective RN.

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      My wife was dialysis nurse for 22y so get the total transfer of Readiness Model to nursing. Thanks for you service to your patients, one of the noblest professions on the planet, simply wonderful!

  • Guy

    Reply Reply May 13, 2015

    Definitely an interesting read.

    Although, I’m not sure if I fully understand your core concept.

    What I understood, is that one can’t simply make plans to close the gap, because, as they say “shit happens”.
    Therefore, One needs to prepare himself for the possible setbacks that will most likely take place – Murphy’s law.

    But isn’t that quite straightforward and obvious?

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Hi, Guy. I agree it should be quite straightforward and obvious but often the outcome is opposite what’s expected. The key here is that many of the circumstances that seem like they should propel us forward are human nature myths and cultural beliefs that history hasn’t shown to be true. So, despite the intention of our plans or belief in our actions its outcome will be what history has shown it to be regardless of what we think. In this instance, “stuff will happen”, but, often opposite of what’s anticipated. And, that’s a main reason people can’t gain predictable traction in moving forward toward their bigger future.

  • Alex

    Reply Reply May 14, 2015

    Like that the concept is packages into a Readiness Model which means it’s complete and ready to be adopted and practiced daily. Alex

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Hi, Alex, the Readiness model comes as an open “gap” system without preloaded skills to carry constructive momentum forward. What is preloaded into the “living space” in the Readiness Model are our human nature natural instincts that every species has as part of its DNA that are designed for the species to survive in most conditions that species is exposed to. Those instinct reflexes are great for staying out of harms way when serious injury or threat is present but aren’t designed to carry productive momentum forward to achieve lofty goals and life a life of distinction and contribution. Those responding to life by their human nature instincts often lead lives of impulse, frustration and mediocrity.

  • James Wells

    Reply Reply May 16, 2015

    Hi Jeff,

    Hope all is well.

    In some curriculum Im working on the principal of “The Gap” seems to be profound and of huge significants, especially during the ascension process to the next higher level of performance. At least this is my observation….in bridging The Gap.

    From my experience, the best way to put something to the test of integrity is to stress it or apply appropriate stress to it and see how it responds.

    I see The Gap as the space between where we currently are and where we want to go or wish to obtain.

    I see closing This Gab is about building our capacity. I believe there is foundational principal that occurs in nature and living systems described as “Filling Order” which seems to describe the hierarchy of building foundation necessary in bridging to the next higher level. It is a natural principal which fascilitates a Healthy Adaptation Process.

    i think the human nature attempts to jump The Gap by either attempting to skip or being unaware of the appropriate and necessary principals (universal principals) and intermediate steps to bridge across it.

    Along this journey or process we need to discern our options on whether they are the next appropriate step in the Filling Order to create foundation to bridge TheGap.

    At least this is what I believe I see and observe in natural processes and of living systems as they evolve.

    Thank you for everything you bring and have brought to this area of maximizing performance.

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Hi, James, closing the “gap” happens by developing the skills to advance the needle as can’t apply the skill required to close the gap if it’s not there and no amount of will can push something where it can’t go. Right skill applied for right circumstance carries the momentum. Great addition mentioning the “Filling Order” and “Healthy Adaptation Process”.

  • roberto

    Reply Reply May 16, 2015

    Seriously love this. What a powerful insight. been reflecting on this the past few days and “mapping” my life and when I’ve been living like this, life is great, rich , enjoyable and productive to what I want. When I did not – lots of effort, poor results, & no fun.

    Thank you for sharing and articulating it to well. Gratitude.

    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 19, 2015

      Glad, Roberto, you’ve experienced the two states of the gap experience. It’s interesting that human nature really believes that the gap is void, one of those things that sounds so good but delivers much differently than it’s promise.

  • Larry

    Reply Reply May 22, 2015

    So Jeff, how do you advise going about selecting mentors? or whats a good criteria to use when choosing?


    • Jeff Spencer

      Reply Reply May 29, 2015

      Go by direct referral from someone you trust as its most direct route to best connection first time out. Be mindful that coaches and mentors are specialists in one life area and don’t consider your entire life in their decision making. This can be a challenge since they can help you develop a skill in a specific area but can’t guide your though life and its most likely that the things of life with take you out of the game more than a business detail. In a future post I will discuss what I believe is the most essential adviser to have that is equivalent to 10 good coaches and 5 good mentors. And, ironically, it’s someone rarely, if ever, considered.

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