How do I Consciously Trigger Flow?
Updated: Jan 28, 2019
This is the most frequently asked question I get when I speak about Flow.
There are many people exploring this question, adding complexity through rigid, secretive processes; promoting engagement in extreme sports; and suggesting the ingestion of psychoactive plants and other conscious-altering substances. While these methods can result in flow states, they are designed by their protagonists to be elusive, difficult to understand, and inaccessible to the ordinary person.
Anyone can experience flow, anywhere.
Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, who identified the characteristics of #flow in the 1980s and who has tens of thousands of data points collected from people in every culture around the world, offers a very simple formula for triggering flow:
Know what you know. This is the feeling of being self-assured and unselfconscious about the fact that you know what you are doing.
Focus your attention outward on the world. We cannot be in flow if we are selfishly or fearfully turned inward on ourselves.
Actively practice creative, critical thinking for the purpose of discovering new solutions while focusing attention on obstacles to reaching goals.
In other words, flow is not the goal. Flow is a feeling—a by-product of doing.