Sometimes when you do what lights you up, something magical happens. Time seems to disappear, you no longer think, you just exist in bliss. If your passion includes a performance, such as playing an instrument, you find yourself playing to your highest ability and it feels effortless.
This state is sometimes referred to as “the zone” or “flow”, and it can be as elusive as its exact definition. In today’s mission, you’ll learn how to hit this state regularly and reliably.
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Task 1: What does “flow” mean?
As I mentioned above, “flow” is a state of effortless creativity and/or concentration. You may not even be aware of it, or if you are, you feel a little lightheaded with happiness, almost as though you’re a little tipsy.
Time has stopped existing. You feel like you could do what you’re doing all day. Runners say that they feel like they’ll never get tired.
Because Flow requires being fully immersed in what you’re doing, it’s hard to achieve with a conscious effort. In the next task, you’ll learn how to set yourself up for Flow.
Task 2: How to reach “the zone”
The bad news is, Flow can’t be forced. It’s simply impossible to command yourself to be in the Flow, just as it would be impossible to be spontaneous on demand.
Why is this? It’s because Flow isn’t so much about what you are doing. It’s a state of being.
In order to create an environment conducive to Flow, think about an occasion when you have experienced it. Then try to recreate as many of the circumstances as possible. For many people, these include:
- Being relaxed and stress-free
- Feeling no pressure to “perform”
- Being in a quiet environment with no distractions
- Being rested and calm
By creating similar circumstances, you set yourself up for the possibility of Flow. It might not happen every single time, but it’s much more likely than it would be otherwise.