I believe that what we are all truly after in life is flow. We want to flow in our daily lives, we want to flow physically, mentally, and emotionally between challenges and setbacks to successes of all levels. We want to experience that oneness, wholeness, the unity that flow provides even if its just for a few seconds.
I believe that a life that is truly lived well is a life that chases flow. Like a child chasing a butterfly, the chase is as amazing as the moment the butterfly lands on a finger, a nose, or the top of the head when for a moment we feel at one with nature, with life all around. When the butterfly takes off… we gladly, we joyously resume the chase… because we know that to flow is to be in pursuit of our potential, which like the butterfly lands once in awhile giving us the opportunity to feel a moment of exquisite peace, tranquility, and exuberance.
But how do you explain to someone the concept of flow if they have never experienced it for themselves? How do you express to someone the deep deep connection, and fulfillment, and satisfaction that comes from even momentarily feeling flow? How do you help someone understand how worth it, it is to chase flow, to work towards being able to get into a state of flow and then work to be able to sustain it for longer and longer periods?
I believe everyone knows what flow is, why else do we want to watch the Olympics? Why else are we riveted by World Championship level competitions? Because we hope to witness an athlete – even for a brief moment – who flows. We know what flow is at our core, and we know how it can make us feel, so we want to witness an athlete so we can vicariously live through them, for that moment, to feel what its like to be the one who executes the play which leads to the win.
I believe we all want to win, and not just feel like a winner, but to win in style – a style of flow because those wins are the only wins which truly matter.
Unfortunately, the deep desire for each of us to win has been cheapened and dumbed-down where the hope is that we will fall for a knock-off of flow instead of committing ourselves to the pursuit of true flow, of the indisputable feeling that is winning in style. We are being sold, and we are buying in bulk cheap knock-offs of flow… to the point that we are overwhelmed with objects that we hope will fill the void that only flow fits. The result… we drowning in chronic lifestyle diseases, overweight or obese, medicating ourselves with prescription drugs, legal and illegal narcotics, others hope that checking off vacation spots, bucket list items or chasing after temporary trends will fill the void. The substitutes for flow fail, they all fail and they fail miserably to fulfill us; they provide a temporary high, but then fade quickly. These substitutes fail to provide us the contentment, the deep deep satisfaction that we all hunger for, and need to truly be healthy.
In sport, the cheap knock-off to flow is HiiT – Hi Intensity Interval Training. We are sold that HiiT is the short cut to achieving in sport, the path to success, be it the podium, qualifying for larger and larger events, everything and anything… if you only train HiiT. Age group teams indoctrinate children into believing that if they only try hard enough, and then try harder and harder… then there is a chance that they will make cuts, make a team, make it to the next level of competition. Like children, adults are told that short bouts of super intense activity will yield all the wellness and health benefits anyone could desire.
Flow is not for sale.
Flow is not derived via short cut.
Flow is not found where we have been told to search.
There is a path to flow, its just not the path you would imagine…
Next post… how to get on the path to pursuing FLOW using a remodeled version of Csíkszentmihályi flow pinwheel diagram as a roadmap.