If you haven’t read the article about Flow that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, go back and read it first. If you have, let’s get started.
Remember, FLOW is about being present in the Moment. The concept of being here now is deceptively complex and amazingly simple all at the same time. But, then again, so is anything when you’re an expert at it, or when you’re watching an expert do it.
Always, the secret is FOCUS. It’s the biggest quality that’s missing in modern society, in my opinion. People who spend all their time texting, I believe, do so as an attempt to focus. Otherwise, they can’t seem to stay focused on anything. Their lives are a mad whirl of TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Being in flow requires that you put mental blinders on. But, generally speaking, people get into flow doing things that they are so passionate about that they don’t HAVE to try to focus on them.
However, I’ve made a remarkable discovery over the past 30 years of practicing being in the flow: The more you flow with things that you LOVE doing, the more you learn how to flow doing anything in life. Case in point: I DO NOT LOVE balancing my check book. I used to be really good at it years ago. And, I know exactly when things went sour. I had recently moved for my job to another state. I was in-between banks…going back and forth between the two. Things got screwed up. It was a hassle to straighten them out. Ever since then, balancing my check book has been a hassle. I lost confidence in my ability to do it well.
I LOVE, on the other hand, writing. I could write for days or months without stopping. I am totally unaware of time when I write. I am in the flow.
When I have to balance my checkbook, I simply focus on putting myself in that state of mind that I’m in when I write. Once I know I’m there. I balance my checkbook. And, I do not allow any outside distractions while I’m doing it. I have no clue how people watch TV, talk on the phone and listen to the radio while they are playing a computer game or doing homework or balancing their checkbook.
So here is my challenge to you. What is it that you truly love to do? Only pick one thing. Close your eyes and think about the last time you did whatever it was. What are you aware of as you are doing it? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel? What thoughts are going through your mind? Are you aware of having any thoughts while you do that thing? Is it automatic? Do you have to think about doing it?
Now think of a color to go with how you feel when you are doing that loved thing. Now think of a word to describe how doing that thing makes you feel.
Give yourself your color and word signals (knows as anchors) before trying to do something that doesn’t flow as well for you, maybe cleaning your room, or raking leaves.
I promise, the more you learn to be in flow, the easier it is to do, no matter what you are doing.