founder of naked leader

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

Time to Read:  Next Train….2 mins (worth the wait).

gapMind the Gap


No, not the gap between platform and underground train 

Rather, the Gap of Infinite Possibility – where your future, your life, what happens to you next, are totally and absolutely within your own control, and no-one else’s.


Please, just reflect on that for a moment.

Thank you.

Because that is all you get – a single moment.

Yes, The Gap is amazingly empowering and powerful – it is also, rather short.

Still, the good news is that, with practice, you can be conscious of it and make it a little bit longer.

The Gap – an event happens– it could be anything, somebody cuts you up, gives you negative feedback or a blunt email, even the start of rain. Then there’s a moment – The Gap, and then you react!

This is what your brain then does for you (some would say to you!):

At lightning speed you ask yourself what this event means, your subconscious gives the event a meaning ‘that guy’s an idiot’, or ‘my boss has got it in for me’, then you respond.

The Gap is the moment to be conscious of, to take a little pause, let time stand still and assess the most useful meaning before consciously deciding on the most appropriate and useful response.

It needs practice and my tip is, when the unexpected happens, to make your initial habitual reaction ‘how interesting!’ thereby persuading your brain to take a more objective view during the Gap, and then, and only then react. 

And now a ‘Gap’ until next week when I give you some more about how we come up with a meaning to a situation.

With my love and best wishes



Do you mind the gap? – Add your comment below

Listen to this a few times you’ll soon get the idea!

19 Responses to Mind the Gap

  1. Years ago, I had a martial arts trainer that helped me get this. He was one of these guys that liked to anchor conceptual understanding in physical experience…usually pain. He had incredibly fast hands which, over time, helped me understand that split seconds held the possibility for a myriad of decisions. Your brain is fast enough to identify the punch coming, to present options for action and to choose. The trick is to change your perception of time and to trust your brain’s ability to come up with an option that isn’t going to get you punched. Acheiveing this trick is what athletes call “being in the zone.” It can happen in the office too. To get there you must both relax and focus. Recognizing that you have more time than you think, that events are not predetermined is the first step to opening up the door to unlimited possibilities.

    • WOW – I will use this fantastic story, thank you Chris. By the way, have we ever met? 🙂 David

  2. I came on and found that Chris had already made my core point – that the Gap moment is where we can learn to take control. ‘Turning the other cheek’ is a 2000 year old example of that in practice which I too recognised in my own martial arts (karate) training.

    If we only react from instinct, we are acting out our programming, but if we can stop, then WE are in control. Somebody not intinctively retaliating with violence or anger when wronged has given themself choice and confounded their oppressor: I choose whether to strike back and I can decide that what you take from me means so little that I can choose to give up more. To the ignorant, it can look like weakness, but I am in control and that is power.

    In case anybody fancies an interesting read – Desmond Tutu and his daughter have written a book about ‘forgiveness’ which deals with the issue of revenge/retailiation, amongst other things, using examples from Apartheid and the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It talks about forgiveness being the prerogative of the wronged person and something that they can choose to use so that they do not need to carry the burden of anger and the need for revenge.

    Another point it makes is that forgiveness confers responsibility on the perpetrator – if they can be forgiven, then it is because they were responsible and are not ‘off the hook’ for the future. It is actually making them more, not less accountable.

    If we can recognise the Gap and choose our reactions, then we are living our lives, not being buffeted by our conditioning and after all, the Gap gives us that extra time to recognise if we have misjudged, before we act on that error.

    A particularly good ‘thought for the week, David.

  3. When you stop and think how the way you react shapes the future, it is a powerful gap which is both exciting and frightening.
    Gauge And Proceed

  4. It is really why you should never react to a negative email immediately. You should delay, leave a gap, before your response should be formulated.

    • And of course, that is a win win Sam. There is nothing like email exchanges to launch a spiral of upset. David

  5. Just completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course yesterday. This forms part of my journey to become a mindfulness teacher later this year.
    On the course I was explaining the effect of challenge and the opportunities for beneficial choices. I used the metaphor “Mind the Gap” to explain the benefit of mindful meditation to develop our awareness of the moment which expands our Mind Gap.
    Even if we think we can’t change the nature of our challenges, by developing our capacity to expand the gap in the moment, we can respond rather that react thereby providing choices rather than being slaves to our conditioning.
    This avoids “Tongue-tied” syndrome “Foot in mouth” syndrome, ” I should have” syndrome, “Being Lost” syndrome etc….and enjoying living in a world where stressful challenges have a reduced negative effect once we have mastered our responses by observing and expanding our Mind Gap by expanding the moment.
    This mastery releases us from the ball and chain which anchors our future to past disappointments and thee freedom from our negative conditioning and fear of risk and change to live the life we choose by responding to the abundance of opportunity around us.
    So the next time we are on the London Underground, we can change the experience I from passing through to a mindful learning experience and listen and remember when the Mindful Coach warns us to “Mind The Gap” the gap in question has infinite possibilities.
    Thanks David for helping me share your thoughts yesterday…Spooky? Not really since the gap has an expansive capacity and the moment is timeless.

  6. I love david’s thoughts, they are wonderful and I agree with Lewis, this one is especially engaging.
    It’s about stepping back, weighing up am action, then delivering.

  7. I was stuck on the station once on a busy day when the train pulled away with my family on it and me stuck on the platform!

  8. Once again a mind-blowing, thought provoking, excellent NL week from David.
    Works brilliantly on all levels.

  9. That Lewis quote is excellent and perceptive.
    Talks a lot of sense and these articles are excellent in creating a debate.
    Bravo Mr Taylor.

  10. I agree, there are some things I look forward to each week and one of them is the NL Week.
    David always seems to hit the bone in the right place, funny and clever, always on the money.
    That Mind Gap thing is mind blowing!

    • David…. I have just caught up with this and i so needed it yesterday how wonderful that i have found it today.

      I will be using the how interesting on Monday and reminded myself 50 times of this great trick until its a well honed habit.

      It has more meaning today that it would have conveyed yesterday … how interesting !

      Monday will be a fearlessly interesting day !

      Mind yourself …. NL

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