If you’ve ever entered that state of heightened clarity, focus, and performance, you know that it’s a beautiful thing.
This is known as the flow state.
But why is flow so elusive? Does that have to be the case?
After Lyme disease attacked Steven Kotler’s neurological wellbeing, he decided to commit his life to the scientific study of enhanced states like flow. He studies peak performers from various fields. He draws on the latest neuroscience, psychology, and physiology.
And he’s the Pulitzer Prize-nominated and The New York Times bestselling author of books like The Rise of Superman and Stealing Fire. Steven has been able to automate and articulate the previously mysterious state of flow.
And now, Steven’s sharing a few of his secrets about entering this elusive state in this video.
What Is The Flow State?
Lots of people have experienced the flow state without realizing it. And that’s because the flow is a natural state of being we all can access.
But what is flow?
According to Steven Kotler, flow is a state of effortless effort. It’s a place in which we can accomplish all that we need without fear, tension, or anxiety.
Being in a state of flow feels incredible. It’s a state of creativity, empowerment, and success.
And it’s very different from the hustle and grind state our world culture currently glorifies.
Our society loves the grind, glorifies the grind, idolizes the grind.
But the grind just isn’t sustainable. Or healthy.
The grind is a state of tension and anxiety. It’s defined by feelings of inadequacy and fear. It’s a state in which no amount of effort ever feels like it’s enough.
The idea of the grind is designed to encourage productivity but it’s backed by feelings of inferiority. We feel like we have to work hard to be good enough, to succeed, to survive.
Flow is the opposite of this. Flow is effortless effort.
And it’s something we can all learn to tap into if we have the right tools.
3 Ways to tap into the flow state
Steven Kotler has spent many years observing high-performance individuals. In fact, many of his bestselling books are about sharing what he’s learned about peak performance and flow.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to enter the flow state, these two tips from Steven Kotler can help get you started.
1. Find a feedback buddy
It’s not enough to get feedback from a quarterly report or a bi-weekly meeting. When it comes to entering flow, we need more consistent feedback about our performance.
Find someone you trust to act as your feedback buddy. When you shrink down the amount of time between feedback cycles, you can continue to grow and improve at a steady rate without veering off course.
2. Box breathing
This is a form of meditative breathing that has been studied extensively. Steven uses box breathing to help hone his focus and steady his mind during recovery periods after a workout.
Watch the video to find out how to box breathing can be done and how Steven uses this technique to enter the flow state on a regular basis.
How do you enter flow? What kind of strategies and tools do you use?
Share in the comments below.