by Martin Shervington and Joseph Scott
A Guide To Finding Your Flow State
There are a lot of neurochemical changes when people enter a flow state. The brain produces a giant cascade of neurochemistry, such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, which makes it faster, quicker, and stronger. They feel as if their senses are incredibly heightened, and this is thanks to the neurochemistry going on in the brain during the flow.
Those chemicals aren’t just performance enhancing, they are what we could call “feel good” drugs. They trigger motivation, creativity, and learning. Since they are produced more by the brain during the flow, this state becomes the most addictive one on earth. Once someone has an experience that produces flow, they will do whatever it takes to experience that feeling again. Researchers now believe flow is the “source code” of intrinsic motivation.
But not only that, it also amplifies creativity and every aspect of its process. A person experiencing the flow will be more focused, and thus, take in more information, which will help them start recognizing patterns and link ideas together. This is why creativity is increased 500% to 700% during this state. Flow is also known for jacking up learning, which means that you can learn things faster.
Those are just some of the many reasons people are trying to find their flow state and maintain it.
The Flow State In Performance Sports
Flow enables people to experience a lot of self-awareness on that high level performance that they’re doing. They are right on the edge of their capabilities, their skills, and their challenge. They cannot do that and think about whether they’re going to do it right or not.
Golf is a classic example. If a golfer is wondering whether they’re going to get sink the putt, and what it will mean for them if they miss, they typically don’t drop the ball, even if it’s six inches from the hole. And so at that moment, they are taken out of flow, by that critic inside them, that voice in their heads that makes a judgment about other people or the situation in the world.
Once that happens, the athlete is no longer in the zone, and is losing his or her flow.
The Flow State In The Conversational And Relational Context
If two people are having a conversation, and share a worldview that’s extremely similar, whether it’s cultural, social, or religious, it is extremely likely that those people are not going to experience any resistance in interaction with each other.
In that precise moment, those two people are in a zone, between not needing to process what each one of them is saying, and not making judgments about whether they agree with each other or not.
That’s because as far as they’re concerned, they’re like-minded. In that moment, they are both able to be in the flow of expressing their very best, without regard for what the other thinks about it.
About People Paying Attention
Attention is only on the behavior of the interaction and the communication within the relationship between two people having a conversation.
It is done without one judging whether the other thinks it’s accurate, valuable, whether they think they’re a fool, or a smart person, and vice versa.
What prevents that from happening is doing the opposite to that. Which means being concerned with what the other thinks whilst the first party is sharing information.
Such as wondering whether they think it’s right, whether they agree with them, what it says about them. As well as how does it makes them look in their eyes, and how they feel and think about that themselves.
When paying attention, the person opens his or her mind to what is there without focusing attention on any one aspect, unless an aspect wants its attention focused upon.
The people having the conversation almost move their mind from moment to moment, in a natural flow. It just happens, that’s where it goes next. As opposed to the person to direct it, they are arising in the moment.
In the moment you resist reality, or the moment that you over embrace it, you’re out of flow.
The Flow State In Business
It depends on what the business in question is, but in the end, it’s kind of the same for all businesses. So with a client, if you’re in a sales process, it’s not trying to push them to purchase something, it’s purely an inquiry in the present moment.
So if you’re pushing a product, there’s that resistance, that push against reality. However if you’re arising in the present moment, in a business, with an offer, whatever your offer is, service or product offering, you’re in the flow.
The offer has to be presented in that exact moment as an offer, not as a recommendation, not as a direction, not as an uncertainty. It needs to be presented simply as a “I hear what you’re sharing, I hear what you’re all about, and here is the offer that we have, that’s available with our business”.
Flow And Mindfulness
One of the things that is out there in the world, is mindfulness practice. When you can move from that practice to the world and take what you’ve learned in it, and use it to leverage your presence into the world, you will be able to have open awareness and to let go of expectations.
To reach awareness, concentration practices are a must. They will help you be present in the moment, like the moment of a thought (e.g. an image) - and you don’t attach, you’re just open and aware.
What People Can Do To Reach Awareness
For a lot of people, it’s just going to be the realization that they are meta-commenting, in movie symbols, and conversations, and memories, on reality. Most people have kind of a full blockbuster movie running whilst they’re talking to someone else.
While they’re talking, they’re also thinking about other things. For example they will be having thoughts about how their spouse called them out this morning for not taking out the garbage, or how their stomach is feeling, and what they’ve got going on this afternoon. Yet all the while they’re nodding yes to the person they’re having a conversation with.
It’s not them being ignorant, they’re just habituated into constantly playing movies in their mind. So what can people do? The very first thing is to at least be able to take a meta-step back and see this movie that’s running in their mind all the time. Then pull themselves back into the present moment, into that conversation, and just come back to being present and aware with what is arising in front of them.