Have you ever lost track of time because you were walking so focused on your goal? Have you ever be so in sync with a group of friends that you never wanted that feeling to end? Or you were playing a game and you couldn’t help but be “in the zone?” All of these feelings are considered to be a flow state.
Flow is the act of being complete immersed in an activity, where one loses track of time because they are completed focused. Flow guru and positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, describes flow as being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. He says, “the ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Being in flow isn’t just a one size fits all model, and it isn’t just for the yogi loving flow followers. Here’s how you can be in complete flow depending on your personality type.
You thrive off of ideas, culture and expression. It wouldn’t be hard for someone to find you being completely immersed in an art show or creating a new design for someone’s project. For the Inner Artist, getting lost in a project that is somewhat of a challenge will completely let you get lost into flow. You may work on your project completely alone or in a small collaborative setting, this will help you expand your ideas and feel connected with a portion of your creative soul.
If the idea of engaging of being in a huge group or completing strenuous activity leaves you with a weird tingle up your spine, try kudilini yoga or belly dancing. The most important thing is to provide you with ultimate flow be it mind, body, or spirit.
You are most creative when you are alone with your thoughts. This is where the magic happens, you can get lost in a video game to enhance your thinking abilities. For exercise you enjoy hiking, or gardening. You like the creative soul enjoy artistics abilities, such as playing an instrument.
As a Deep Thinker your optimal source of flow is getting a recharge from your activities. In order to receive optimal performance from outside the larger “group think” or get it done mentality it’s necessary for you to set out some me time alone. The best time for deep thinking times are either early in the morning or late at night when people are asleep.
Your primal way of living is taking the road less traveled. You thrive off of yoga, meditation, and ecstatic dance. You’re not that much of a planner which is great because you are able to have amazing experiences with unique people. You’ve tried most soul-searching activities, because that is what puts you into to flow- the ability to get lost in time.
As a go with the flow type person, it’s important to plan things that get in the way of you every day way of flow, like cleaning your room everyday, so you can create optimize your daily flow.
For the Work Hard, Play hard
You’ve always been a focus person, when engaging in challenging task being a work or play. Most likely you enjoy trying out new things to challenge your body or mind. Being around people necessarily bother you unless, they can’t keep up, in that case they’re a huge drainer for you.
Adventure sports is the arena that you thrive on. Your ability to focus and be in the Zone has helped you in many ways. Be careful of going too hard, all the time. Schedule alone time to focus on some inner thinking, it’ll help you focus better on your go big or go home attitude.
If you love TED Talks or Music Festivals then you are in the right place at the right time. For a crowd pleaser you enjoy being around people having a good time. You like Painting with a Twist or camping. You gain energy from people around a lot of people.
Enjoying great conversation, be it political or social helps you see the big picture, just why we’re all here in the first place. Scheduling time out of your week to try out new things or hang out with friends are necessary to retrieve ultimate flow. Just don’t be a group all the time, because that can make y0u lose your individual appeal, it’s not always about the tribe.
How can I achieve flow?
There is a great resource from the Flow Genome Project, that helps you get into flow. Write out a pro and cons list of things that put you into flow and things that make you cringe.