Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

Book Review: The Gap and The Gain by Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan



The success of entrepreneurs lies in having the right mindset and attitude with which they need to face challenges and achieve their goals. 

Success coaches, Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy, had this in mind as they laid out all the knowledge and strategies essential to entrepreneurs in their book, The Gap and The Gain. Both have been successful in personality development and entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist who authored six books and co-authored three books that tackle personal development and psychological factors that contribute to success. He initially blogged on Medium with more than 10 million reads. His work focuses on self-transformation and self-growth. 

Dan Sullivan is an entrepreneurial coach who founded The Strategic Coach which helps entrepreneurs reach their greatest potential. He also authored over 50 publications and trained 30,000 entrepreneurs.

Both of them collaborated and wrote three books including The Gap and The Gain.


Progress is measured in two ways: the gap and the gain. Imagine a glass that is filled with water halfway through. When in the gap, the glass is seen as half empty; when in the gain, the glass is half full. 

More often than not, people, especially those who are highly ambitious, see the glass as half empty by measuring themselves against their ideal goals that are beyond their grasp. Ideal targets that are reached are replaced with new ones, which resulted in unhappiness as it created an effect of running after something that is out of reach. 

Dan Sullivan created The Gap and The Gain to help entrepreneurs recognize their achievements rather than overly focusing on their future targets. Shifting their perspective surprised them as they didn't have an idea how much they had already accomplished. This also brought benefits such as motivation boost, confidence, and success.


  • Fixation on external factors such as relationships and achievements sums up to an unhealthy need that drives us out of the present moment and makes it difficult for us to be genuinely happy. 

  • Intrinsic motivation reconciles the self and the want, but it still keeps us independent from the latter while experiencing the intense flow of doing an activity. As space and time dissolve into one focus, freedom and happiness burst into bloom. 

  • Being in the gain means we define success on our own terms. 

  • Gratitude guides and helps us focus on the gain.  

  • Being in the gain unfolds the other meaning of our past that makes us better, not bitter.


  1. What comes to your mind when you hear the word "gap"? How about the "gain"?

  2. What do you think about being passionate about something but not attached to it? 

  3. Share your thoughts on the common habit of people of overlooking accomplishments. 

  4. The authors listed the process we undergo when we create a new habit such as staying in the gain.  What are the steps and how would you apply these in your life?

  5. What lessons did you learn from this book?

  6. What is the most important takeaway from this book?

  7. Describe the writing style of the authors. 

  8. Which parts of the book are your favorite? Explain why. 

  9. What are your least favorite parts of the book? Explain why. 

  10. What questions would you ask the authors?


“You can freely perform and be in the flow, rather than obsessing over how it will turn out.” — page 19

“To truly get the feeling of progress, we need to base it on concrete facts.” — page 33

“Social media is largely designed to put people into the GAP.” — page 35

“Before you start the process with a new goal, make sure to recognize and appreciate the progress and achievements you’ve made so far.” — page 41

“Your day can be designed proactively—meaning by you—rather than designed reactively—where you’re bounced around by distractions.” — page 122


  • Incorporating real-life stories of people concretizes the author's message. For instance, the football player's personal philosophy that football does not constitute his worth hit home. We are not our careers. We can be passionate about them, but we can't be them. On our own, we are already worthy.

  • My idea of success was challenged and changed. I have always associated success with the percentage of tasks I complete. For example, if I have a to-do list with 20 tasks, I will only consider myself successful if I complete all 20 tasks. Anything less than 100% is a failure.I believe this way of thinking stems from my educational experiences. In elementary school, high school, and college, I was always graded on a percentage basis. This system taught me that the only way to be successful was to get a perfect score. Now, as an adult, I still carry this mindset with me. Even when I'm doing something as simple as making a to-do list, I'm constantly focused on the percentage of tasks I've completed. If I don't complete everything on my list, I feel like a failure. This book made me realize that success is not about perfection. It's about progress. Even if I don't complete everything on my to-do list, I'm still making progress.

  • The book left me astonished as it dismantled my subconscious habit of focusing on the half-empty glass, which may have developed during my school days due to comparing myself to other people who accomplished greater things. The book made me aware of this automatic mental habit that affects my own growth and happiness.


  • As I read along, questions arose. What was the purpose of the writer to keep on repeating the same ideas? For example, he keeps on repeating the same sentence pattern and the same stance on the disadvantages of being in the gap and being in the gain. 

  • The whole book made me feel this piece of writing is being stretched to 175 pages. Some of the people who commented on the book said that it can be summarized into a text. Well, the author is an organizational psychologist so he seems to talk repetitively just to make his message longer. The book is a quick read but ideas are repetitive. 


Bloomberg reports that 80% of businesses fail within 18 months. Personal sabotage is one of the many reasons. However, success coaches are here to the rescue. 

Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan wrote The Gap and The Gain to help entrepreneurs and high-achieving people become successful by recognizing the gap and the gain, the obverse and the reverse of progress created by Sullivan. 

The book differentiates these two sides of the coin. When you are in the gap, you measure yourself against your ambition or goals that you haven't reached yet. This could cause anguish and unhappiness. On the other hand, being in the gain means being aware of your achieved goals and focusing on what you have in the present moment, not what should happen in the future. 

To put their message forward, the authors related stories of real people from an Olympian who won the gold medal in his final race in the Olympics after years of being a top athlete to a stock investor who lost millions of dollars in 2008 after the stock market crashed but turn this painful experience as an inspiration to develop an A.I. that could help make better decisions on trading. The stories served their purpose well but the repetition of the central idea was bothersome. 

Even though the book was a quick read and repetitive at times, it did change my perspective on how to measure success. I am of those who always see the glass as half empty. Recognizing that the glass is also half full concretizes personal abilities to fulfill dreams. This boosts confidence and happiness.

I highly recommend The Gap and The Gain to those who want to start a business, who are already running a business, or who want to improve their mindset and become successful.



Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s website

Dan Sullivan’s website 

Book Information:

The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers' Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success  by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan

To Be Published on October 19, 2021, by Hay House Business

264 pages (eBook)

Find it here: