Have you ever experienced being so immersed in an activity, with such focus, you forgot everything about time and the world around you? Have you experienced such clarity and focus in what you were doing, that it felt like nothing could stop you? I am certain we all have, in one way or another. Whether it has been doing a hobby you really love or getting into an interesting problem to solve at work. It is called Flow.
Reading Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (try pronouncing that name!) about 12 years ago definitely made me more aware of this phenomenon and the state of being in the zone. As with many books and good reading experiences, they have come at a time when I needed them the most and was receptive of taking in their specific message. At the time of reading Flow I was dedicating many hours and sweats each week practicing the Korean martial art Taekwondo. As far as I can remember I experienced it first hand and became more clearly aware of how it feels to be in flow. I had also been experiencing a similar thing while doing my longer runs, which sometimes is referred to as runners high. In other words, physical movement became the strong vehicle and my concrete example to experience and embody what happens in this state.
What I have also discovered and believe is that the ability of getting into flow can be a good indication of optimal health. Why so? Because when we are in flow we are present, often feel joy and experience greater level of fulfilment. We are moving (physically or mentally), growing and refining an art. Healthy habits (mental & physical), confidence and focus would certainly enable us to enter this state more often.
This is a topic I’d love to deep dive into more with you and explore the impacts of further. Especially since the way our Knowledge Society functions today may inhibit the opportunities to feel flow more often. Stay tuned for further exploration and reflections on this topic.
Inspiration, flow and motivation comes and goes like the ebb and flow from experience. When you are truly feeling the inspiration and have the motivation, go for it! Why wait? Enjoy this very (flow) moment.