Let’s live more in the flow. What the heck is that? Flow is basically defined as an optimal experience, and studying sports psychology for so long, we use the word zone, but how can we get these zone and flow experiences more in our life? That’s what I’ve studied, and I’m always seeking more ways to have more flow in my life.
When would flow be important to you? What I mean by that is flow is that optimal experience, when things are effortless, we’re at our best, we’re enjoying, we’re engaged in the moment. When would that be important to you? You’re probably saying, “Well, all the time, Rick.” I understand that, yet in order to create flow, you need to understand there’s a few key elements that’s going to help become kind of precursors for you to be living a more optimal experience. The first one with flow is to have very clear goals, a very clear target of what you want helps us also stay focused, which is a skill.
Once you have a clear target, can you now stay engaged in the moment is going to help develop flow. One of the key research studies about flow is this idea about challenging. Unfortunately, I’m seeing in our environment, in our society, people are shying away from challenges and adversity, and it makes them uncomfortable, so they avoid it. That’s not going to help us get into the flow and the zone. In fact, having challenge is key for us to be in the flow. The equation is, is that as we have more challenge, okay, we have to have more skills to meet those challenges.
If the challenge is just a little bit above what you currently have done, skill-wise, it actually pushes you. It pushes you to utilize all of your resources for that moment, so when you’re challenged just a little bit more than you’re comfortable with, you actually will get into the flow, into the zone more often. If we don’t have any challenge in life, it’s boring. We have all the skills, but we’re not being challenged. We don’t want to be bored.
If the challenge was too great, and my skills don’t even come close to it, that’s a very anxious, overwhelmed stress state. We of course don’t want to be that either, but start looking at life that challenge can actually help us get into the flow, and get into the zone. Think back for you. When were you at your best? When was that flow experiences, there was probably some challenge involved, so let’s embrace that. Flow, your optimal experience is about having clear intention, goals, target. You’re going to be fully in the moment, which is your focus. Can I stay in this moment? I’m not being distracted by anything else. I now understand that challenge is good, and that I have that skillset that if I use everything, it’ll match. I’ll be at your best, and one final thing with flow is your energy level needs to be high enough so you could do all those things we just mentioned, that your focus is sharp, that you have enough physical energy to now go through that experience.
When you start to look at those skillsets, you’re now going to have more optimal experiences, more flow in your life, and now look at each area of your life where flow would be important, right? Wouldn’t you want to have more flow as a parent, and in your career, and with your spouse, more of an effortless feeling, but you’re at your best? That’s what flow is about, so let’s start utilizing some of those flow principles, so you can perform for success.