In the realm of positive psychology, there have been many discussions about “flow” … considered to be a state of intense motivation resulting in a feeling of positive engagement and enjoyment. Others also use terms such as being in the moment, being present, in the zone and so on.
If you were to refer to the Wikipedia link above, you would find a long article on the nuances of ‘flow’ as proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian psychologist who wrote the book of the same name. But both the book and the Wikipedia reference look complicated. How can something that long be talking about “flow”?!?!
To me, in a nutshell, what happened this morning is a prime example of how to achieve ‘flow’.
Part way through my workout (actually, in the first 10 minutes and while battling ‘up’ the stair climber), I started a conversation in my head:
“Man, this is hard.”
“Yes, and it is supposed to be tough.”
“Ya, but this is hard and I’m just too tired. I know – I’ll just cut some corners here.”
“No, hang on there.”
“No, no. It’s okay. I can do better tomorrow.”
“Ya, I’ll just do a …. couple …. more …. There we go …..”
“No, wait. Just do a couple more couple mores. You know if you stop now, it will bug you.”
“Come on now, a couple more couple mores. You see, there you go.”
“Wow, I’m almost there! I CAN do this!”
“Yes, you can. Now. PUSH IT.”
“Yes, dammit, I AM gonna push it!”
I then went on to not only complete my workout but to actually exceed the original workout performance goal I had set for myself. Everything from that moment forward just clicked. I was full of energy and confidence. I did not injure myself and feel 200% excellent 🙂
To me, the fastest way to ‘flow’ is to consciously work to silence the negative noise in your head. Flow is about being aligned with your deepest truth. It is about working past initial doubts and fears and going to what is truly flowing underneath – integrity.