A lot of people exercise and meditate to reduce stress and give them the edge they need. But only those in the know add flow to these two to get an even better result.
Flow is good therapy. It is the new kid on the block so not many people know what it is or the good it can do for them.
When you engage in an activity that doesn’t have flow its like paddling a canoe against the tide. It is hard going. You have to dig deep and struggle hard to make headway. Which is not a bad thing in itself. But if all your activities lack flow it is very wearing. And in time the struggle will get you down.
On the other hand when you engage in an activity that has flow it is like paddling a canoe with the tide. It is pure joy. Things go swimmingly for you. You get totally engrossed in what you are doing. Time flies by and it makes you feel good about yourself.
Sadly it is not possible to go with the flow all the time. But the more you go with the flow the happier you will be. For not alone do we enjoy going with the flow but it renews our energy, builds our self-confidence and adds to our sense of well-being.
How to spot activities that have flow
Activities that give you flow are ones you are good at and feel good in yourself as a result. You are fulfilled by them as a person in your own right. And time flies by as you become engrossed in them.
You struggle with activities that don’t have flow. You may think that this is because they are difficult to do. But the truth is that many activities that give us flow are far from easy to do.
When flow happens let yourself go with it. Let yourself enjoy it. For it is something you love to do. Just forget about time. Escape from all of the day-to-day worries. Just enjoy the flow and the good it is doing you.
Going with the flow is great. It is sheer joy. You are at your very best. And can do what you love to do with great joy and skill.
Flow can invigorate you. It reduces stress. Helps you to do your best. And to enjoy doing it.
Your ideal job has lots of flow
When your job has some tasks that give you flow it is a joy. These tasks absorb you and arouse your sense of curiosity. It changes your perception of yourself, of your time and of your ability. It makes you happy and gives you a sense of well-being. Your sense of consciousness moves up several notches. It goes way beyond your normal level of consciousness.
You go through four stages as you move to higher levels of flow. At first you are aware of what you are thinking. Two you get interested in the work in hand. Three you get absorbed in the work. Four you can no longer separate yourself from the activity. It is what you are.
Use your awareness of these four stages to find activities that give you flow. It takes time to advance through all the four stages. Yet it is only when you do so that you get the full value of flow. So it is vital to learn how to work your way through all the four stages.
Two kinds of flow
I get flow when I prepare and deliver material to train and develop other people. So I was lucky to make a career in training and development for myself. It gave me plenty of flow. And maybe it is why I enjoy writing this blog so much. It had helped me to carry this source of flow over into my retirement.
Lucky for me I also get flow when I solve problems. This is in a different class since it is not subject or job specific. So I have more scope to use it. I got a lot of flow from it in my business career and personal life. These days I now get a lot of flow from solving problems in my hobbies, my social and my personal life.
What I get flow from these days
I get a lot of flow from reading. As well as reading newspapers and stuff for my blog I also read for leisure at least one hour each day. It is great therapy. I had neglected to do it for years and when I took it up again I had to work through the four stages to get my full quota of flow from it.
Writing is another source of flow for me. I get fully involved in it and time just flies by for me. Gardening has always been a great hobby of mine that gives me lots of flow.
Solving problems also gives me a great deal of flow. Problems that arise from my hobbies and from the everyday activities of life. With people, relationship, financial, technical and health problems to deal with I have no shortage of flow in my life. And I wish you as much flow as you need to be as happy with your lot.