Stealing Fire, The Concept of Entering "Flow State."
Flow state: The psychological experience of total focus in the present moment, while taking action, which facilitates creative problem solving, optimal performance, and bliss. When you are fully immersed and have an energized focus. You lose track of time spent on the task and become absorbed in the process. Usually, you a
re more creative and productive when in "flow." In terms of positive psychology, flow refers to a state of intense concentration with the present moment.
Has there ever been a time when you were doing something and you completely lost track of time? You may have forgotten to eat dinner, check the clock, or even go to the bathroom. Did you have a complete focus of what you were doing, and it seemed like everything around you was nonexistent during that time? We have all entered this state of being before, whether we put a name to it or not. We have all felt that moment of being present, and just being one with ourselves and the universe. You feel 'in the zone.' Your perception of time changes. You are also focused and highly creative in this moment. When you recognize it's flow state, the ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost. This flow provides a natural "high" that is productive, easily controlled. and positive. The experience itself is void of shame, guilt, harm, and damage. Nothing else matters when we are in a flow state. We are performing at our highest capacity, and we are enjoying it.
How can flow state help you?
Achieve your goals faster
Improve your skill levels
Be more accomplished
Feel more inspired and creative
Have more time
How do you know that you're in a flow state?
You are more likely to enter a flow state when you are doing something that you are passionate about. The easiest way to enter flow is when you challenge yourself while using your best skills.
You can also enter through a state of 'Arousal.' Flow state is when you are highly-challenged. Your skills are not at their highest but the task excites you. You can enter a flow state and use it to enhance your skills. Focus on each movement of your body. Be mindful of your actions. This state of control is when you have the skills and feel confident, but you don't feel excited by or challenged by your task. To move to a state of flow from here, you need to increase the challenge. You constantly want to keep growing and learning in your lifetime, even if you think you know it all. This a great reminder to always excel in all of your crafts. You need a willingness desire to keep challenging yourself.
The keys to entering a flow state are to feel excited and challenged by your task.
The Four States of Flow
1.) Struggle Phase- Struggle does not feel good. People are unwilling to challenge their self.
2.) Release Phase- When you accept the struggle and take on the challenge this is where your brain converts from conscious to subconscious processing.
3.) Flow State- This is where the athlete is in the zone, on fire, can do anything and is insanely productive.
4.) Brain Rewiring and Memory Consolidation Phase- You remember everything that happened during your peak performance and you see the new possibilities that happened.
Relating "Flow State" to our demanding dance life helps us stay in a happy mental state. Being aware of "flow state," by putting a name to it, helps you understand yourself better, your life better, and gives you the confidence to keep moving forward towards any goal you have.
A great read about this specific topic is called, "Stealing Fire" by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal.