This post is part of our 2017 Team Buzz Builder Guest Blogger series. Today we are pleased to introduce you to author, consultant, and boy-mom Brandi Walerius. 

My husband reminds me often that the key to happiness is a short-term memory and low expectations. He says this jokingly, but not really. Seeing that he’s typically in a good mood, not stressed, and rarely disappointed, I suppose he may be onto something.

Reading Hyrum W. Smith’s (you may recognize this name, he’s the co-founder of Franklin Covey) book, The 3 Gaps: Are You Making a Difference?, reinforces my husband’s thoughts.

The Belief Gap: A Picture Perfect Story

Last Christmas, I had this perfect vision in my head of what our family Christmas would look like. My nine-year-old and three-year-old cuddled together in their matching plaid pajamas, taking turns opening the presents I so carefully chose for each one. I would be in the background sipping on coffee, capturing the picture-perfect scene on my new Canon camera. This did not happen. Not even close. My three-year-old’s diaper malfunctioned and we had to change his plaid bottoms out. For whatever reason he would only agree to put on Tennessee orange sweatpants. The whole taking-turn thing? Ha, the three-year-old once again had other plans. Overwhelmed and stimulated, he decided he would open one present an hour. Our Christmas morning turned into a 12-hour ordeal.

This is what Smith would refer to as a Beliefs Gap. I believed that a meaningful “successful” Christmas morning could only look one way. And when it didn’t happen? I have a choice to be disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed–or I could realize this is an incorrect belief and change my thinking. I can get creative and adopt a new belief. This past Christmas, I changed my belief. Christmas will be a fun-filled day with my children and all that matters is that we get to spend the day together. I lowered the expectation and put the energy and focus on what belief is really important. I closed the gap.

The Values Gap: Prioritize What Is Important

The recent death of my grandmother caused a pause in my life. Like most when a major life event occurs, you stop, pause, self-reflect, and ask yourself what really matters? I realized there was a painful gap between what I really value and what I’m doing. I value quality time with my husband, but find myself booking meetings at night and missing the heck out of him. I value being in shape, but keep erasing workouts from my calendar because I’m just too busy. I’m investing too much time, resources, and energy in things that don’t top my value chart. In 2017, I plan to prioritize those things that really matter. I will close the the Values Gap.

The Time Gap: Timing is Everything

Last but not least, Smith talks about the Time Gap. Time is a tricky thing, isn’t it? We think we can receive more of it, save it somehow. We can’t. That’s why it’s so important that we aren’t expending our time on bad habits, and value our time. For me, this means limiting mindless social media dumps, spending time with those who deserve my time, and investing 15 minutes to plan out my day and noting priorities. Yes, I’m closing the time gap.

So Much Truth

Hyrum W. Smith states that “inner peace comes from having serenity, balance, and harmony in our lives and can be achieved through the disciplined closing of the Three Gaps.” My husband says the key to happiness is “short-term memory (stop focusing on the past) and lower expectations (if your belief doesn’t meet your basic needs over time it is an incorrect belief).”

It seems like these two are really on to something.


Brandi Walerius, MBA, PHR, established Black & White Consulting where she serves as a Human Resources & Development Consultant. In addition, Brandi is a published writer and has written materials for magazines, online publications, commercial and film, and corporate content. When she’s not transforming her ideas and thoughts into printed words, she’s living happily ever after drowning in testosterone with her husband and two sons in northwest Ohio.


Image credit: gustavofrazao