A lot has been said about being in the ‘flow’ but what exactly is being in the ‘flow’? How does it benefit you in the long run?
When you are in the state of flow you are in a state of optimal challenge, optimal creativity, in an alpha state, you are doing your best work, synchronicity happens, coincidences occur, things just fall into place without you having to push for it – in other words, things just flow out of you – hence the term ‘flow’. This is the ideal state to be in for 2 reasons:
- You’re not pushing, yearning, stressing and hustling for your goals. Instead by putting yourself in the path of flow you have now aligned yourself such that things come to you.
- You are working / creating / being at your optimal level. So not only do things happen for you easily, but you’re also doing your best work. In this video we first start by defining where you stand in the flow chart (created by Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley.com).
There are 4 stages that you could be at:
- Negative Spiral – Where you are not happy now nor do you have a vision for the future. You do not want to be at this stage.
- Current Reality Trap – Where you are happy now but have no visions for the future. A lot of people are at this stage. There’s nothing wrong with this stage but you’re essentially functioning at a mediocre state.
- Anxiety / Stress – Most people are at this stage where they are not happy now but have big visions for the future. A lot of entrepreneurs are at this stage. Again, nothing wrong with being at this stage, but it’s much better to be in..
- Flow – Happy now and have visions of the future. This is the stage we’re aiming to be at.
So basically in order to be in flow, you’ll have to overcome the Paradox of Intention (from the book Quantum Success by Sandra Anne Taylor) which is having goals but still being happy now.
Go through the chart and see at which stage you’re at and leave a comment below!
Karen Smith-Will says
I agree with Scott and recommend Csikszentmihalyi’s “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.” It provides a quantitative framework with a plethora of stories that stick with you. “Creativity” is on my most-recommended books list. His emphasis on cross-domain partnership and idea-generation has opened my mind to the benefits idealogical diversity.
Hani Khaursar says
Thanks a lot guys!
This concept of flow isn’t mine though. As I mentioned in the video this is a concept from Vishen Lakhiani from MindValley. He spoke about it in his Engage Today Speech 2009.
It’s a brilliant concept and I thought I’d share with all 🙂
Looking forward to creating the Goal Setting Video.
Helpful article and video. It made me realize I was in the negative spiral for roughly three years before I managed to define a new vision for the future. Now I’m in the Anxiety/Stress phase en route to Flow. Thanks!
Great video Hani. The subject of “Flow” is one of my favorite topics to read and obsess about. It really is the difference between “I wish I could” to “I currently am.” The matrix you present is spot on. Much more concise and succinct than I have seen previously.
If you can slog through all of the academic-y research and theory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the authoritative and seminal scholar on the topic of “Flow.” He has a bunch of books, but the most palatable and easily digestible is “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” I would recommend this book to everybody as their next read. The premise is that “Flow” doesn’t just happen by chance or to a select few; but is a repeatable process that can be done in pretty much any context.
Mars Dorian says
Hey there cutie-pie,
flow is the best state to be in. When I’m riding it, I accomplish a lot in an insane amount of time, and I completely vanish into the moment. The harder I try, the smaller the chance I enter it. I think it comes from experience, and letting yourself go.
Can’t wait for your next vids,
and may the flow be with you
Jonny Gibaud says
I like to call “The Flow”, “The Beast”.