“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile”Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
I have just completed reading the book Stealing Fire written by my friend Steven Kottler from the Flow Research Collective and Jamie Wheal from the Flow Genome Project. I am a big fan of being in flow while doing anything you do. And reading this book rekindled that fire in me once again.
If I would ask you what flow is, what would you say?
My answer to the same question would be through an example. You are on top of a waterslide in a waterpark. You are about to jump and slide down toward the inviting pool that’s waiting for you. When you get in and start sliding, what do you have in your mind? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Other than enjoying the ride and reaching the cool water. At that moment, you are in the absolute flow.
The concept of being in flow is very similar to knowing what your Ikigai is. The difference is that flow is a temporary event, whereas finding your Ikigai is a more permanent and long-term experience. Think of it as living in flow rather than experiencing it for a while here and there. But our subject is not Ikigai here. We are focusing on flow. Therefore, let’s delve into it a little bit further, shall we?
Another easy way of understanding what being in a flow might be playing a video game for many young people. Anything that makes you forget about time, that you are hungry or thirsty, or whatever you are doing is unfolding in front of your eyes effortlessly it means that you are in a flow.
How to implement flow to your work?
When I am in a coaching session with my client, I am experiencing flow. Time becomes fluid, and nothing else matters. I am present at 100%. So, I know very well what being in a flow is. And I feel lucky to have my coaching practice as my Ikigai.
If you would apply it to your job, could you come up with a percentage of time you are in flow while working? What excites you? Do you have any work activity that brings you to a state of flow?
Even if there are work-related exercises that you perform feeling in a perfect flow, do you let distractions interrupt it? And if you do, can you consider that being in a complete flow?
I will let you reflect and contemplate on these questions for a little while and leave the how-to part to the next time. In the meantime, observe your activities and try to determine your flow moments.