What is a flow state? How to get into one?

Too often you would hear successful people saying that they achieved what they did because many conditions worked in their favour and they were in a kind of “flow state”.

You may want to know, what does “flow” mean?

Here is a TED talk where you can directly listen from the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who introduced the psychological concept called “flow state” to the world but apparently there were others like Goethe and Nietzsche who used the word flow earlier as well.

Flow, the secret to happiness

A flow state is a psychological experienced where your senses are at a heightened level and you feel like you are in a different world altogether. Time feels like moving slowly and you are fully immersive in that environment where you get to experience the moment in a rich manner.

Ecstasy is essentially a stepping into an alternative reality. And it’s interesting, if you think about it, how, when we think about the civilizations that we look up to as having been pinnacles of human achievement — whether it’s China, Greece, the Hindu civilization, or the Mayas, or Egyptians — what we know about them is really about their ecstasies, not about their everyday life. We know the temples they built, where people could come to experience a different reality. We know about the circuses, the arenas, the theaters. These are the remains of civilizations and they are the places that people went to experience life in a more concentrated, more ordered form.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

So how to enter a “flow” state?

In the below video, you can listen to Steven Kotler, the author of the book The Art of Impossible, explaining how to find your flow for optimal performance.

The steps, as explained in the video are:

  1. Motivation is what gets us into the game
  2. Learning allows us to continue to play
  3. Creativity is how we steer
  4. Flow, the optimal performance, is how we amplify all the results beyond all reasonable expectation

I am curious to know if you ever experienced a “flow state” in any activity. If so, let me know your experience in the comments.

Connect with me at swaroop.4all@gmail.com if you are looking for any help in curating a flow state for yourself.

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