Increasing FLOW!

Never in my life have I paid $150.00 for a book… until last week.

My gut tells me that my curiosity is one of the prime reasons Jenn and I own a training/speaking business. I am always trying to understand why some people consistently perform at a high level, and others don’t, why some teams consistently win and others don’t, and why some people have a high quality of life and others don’t. Then, I love passing my discoveries and ideas on to help people and increase our clients’ businesses. Curiosity pushed me to earn a Master’s Degree in Leadership Business at age 45.

I love learning, and, presently, I am immersed in learning about flow.

This expensive book I'm reading (Advances in Flow Research) is providing an academic examination of the foundation and discovery of flow. Back in 1975, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was curious. He wondered why people love doing certain things in their day, and why doing these things made them happy, focused, and fulfilled.

Csikszentmihalyi went on to uncover a state (or a mindset) that he termed Flow.

Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as the state where people are so intensely involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great personal cost.

Because of my professional sport background, I instantly understood this concept. As players, we were experiencing flow before it was called flow. In the sports context, we more commonly refer to it as playing in the zone.

Using our company’s new Thinking Tendencies Model©, we help leaders and teams understand the five mindsets that people drift into or shift into. One of the five mindsets we explore is the genesis of high performance… and we call this state of mind the FLOW/ZONE.

People have their best chance to play their best game when their mind is in this Flow/Zone. This is where thinking turns into reacting, and conscious thinking is engulfed by unconscious action. In 2017, I believe that successful leaders intuitively focus on two key areas to help increase personal & cultural performance: preparing our people to enter the flow-state more quickly, and protecting their flow. Coaches in the world of sport have worked to increase this state of mind in their athletes for many years. We are now challenging people to understand and increase flow within their business, relationship, and whole-life arenas. What does flow feel like?

According to Csikszentmihalyi, this is what flow’s high-performance state looks like:

1- Reduced reflective self-consciousness 2- A modified experience of time (timelessness) 3- Total involvement and enjoyment 4- Increased & focused concentration 5- A strong sense of control (high autonomy) 6- The activity is perceived to be rewarding in and of itself (an autotelic state – intrinsic motivation)