Six Steps to Flow

There are certain steps you can take to achieve flow. These steps are:

  1. Treat It as a Game – Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, make a game out of it. You need to have definite goals, rules, rewards and challenges. You need to have a way to keep score. You need to track your progress daily. In building my marketing company, I set daily goals for sharing the opportunity. It’s a numbers game, so the more I share the opportunity, the more my team grows. Expectations and rules for yourself are discernable. Goals are simply promises to yourself.
  2. Make Your Why Larger than Yourself – You need to search your heart for deeper motivations that will drive you to succeed. What is your Why? My ultimate goal is to be financially free. I developed this goal for two reasons. To free me from the stress of life associated with debt and to be able to help other people and ministries. Your Why needs to be bigger than you.
  3. Focus – This can be described as a state of total absorption. Nothing matters but the task at hand. Any negative or disempowering thoughts disappear. You become too preoccupied to entertain them. Your daily goals need to be neither too easy or too hard. A high degree of concentration is needed on the task at hand. I would probably be diagnosed as adult A.D.D. but I have learned to become very focused when I want something bad enough.
  4. Surrender to the Process – Enjoy the process. Don’t get uptight about achieving a particular objective. The process itself should be your objective. Just keep doing the daily activities that you know will get you there. I don’t get upset when sharing an opportunity if someone doesn’t get it. Its there loss and not mine. This is not always easy to do but when you realize it’s just a process, just daily actions, them it becomes more enjoyable.
  5. Sense of Ecstasy – A sense of being outside reality. As you pass through the first four steps,  a sense of ecstasy will follow naturally. As you continue the process, an intense feeling of joy and well-being will accompany your efforts. You will nave a sense of control over the situation or activity. Many times when you get to this stage, it can become almost like a out-of-body experience.
  6. Peak Performance – The state of ecstasy releases an unimaginable amount of energy. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is effortlessness of action. When we reach this stage, time passes without notice. Flow is like being carried along in a current. No effort is required, just go with the flow.

This is an excerpt from an interview with Csikszentmihalyi called Flow with Soul:

The fact that you were completely immersed in what you were doing, that the concentration was very high, that you knew what you had to do moment by moment, that you had very quick and precise feedback as to how well you were doing, and that you felt that your abilities were stretched but not overwhelmed by the opportunities for action. In other words, the challenges were in balance with the skills. And when those conditions were present, you began to forget all the things that bothered you in everyday life, forget the self as an entity separate from what was going on — you felt you were a part of something greater and you were just moving along with the logic of the activity.

Everyone said that it was like being carried by a current, spontaneous, effortless like a flow. You also forget time and are not afraid of being out of control. You think you can control the situation if you need to. But it’s hard because the challenges are hard. It feels effortless and yet it’s extremely dependent on concentration and skill. So it’s a paradoxical kind of condition where you feel that you are on a nice edge, between anxiety on the one hand and boredom on the other. You’re just operating on this fine line where you can barely do what needs to be done.

It is believed that anyone can get into a state of flow if you follow these steps. If you prepare using these steps, it can happen without notice and without trying.

Have an awesome day.

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