Get to know about Flow, a powerful concept to guide changes in performance of you and your athletes.
Like bowling bumpers, Flow can keep you happy, on track, and scoring more frequently.
Let me summarise it. Every moment you face will be a challenge or a difficulty. If it is too difficult, you will compensate to get it done. This will be less quality than you want and will be less than satisfying. Boo to that. If it is only just outside of your current skills, we call this a challenge, rather than difficult, you will be so close to having everything to complete it that you will rise to meet it. It is in these moments that magic feelings occur.
So, what is Flow?
Flow is related to happiness, but you can’t chase it directly.
Flow brings achievement, but not always success.
Flow lets you step towards worthy ideals.
Flow happens when you’re not looking….
Like a pat on the back.
Flow is possibly the best feeling you’ll ever get.
Flow is enhanced in many ways, not the least of which is your service to others.
Flow is a state of optimal experience.
Flow occurs when you rise to meet a challenge that is just beyond what you’ve done before, with a skill you hadn’t yet shown.
Flow occurs when the challenge you rise to is a worthy one, but Flow can occur at any level of life’s challenges.
Here’s some examples of Flow:
How do you know how to get Flow in your life? You can be guided by how you feel.
How do you find Flow?
Flow is enhanced in many ways.
The process of attaining flow starts with:
• Asking questions of the world;
• Raising awareness of who you are related to others;
• Clarifying how you aspire to live.
So….Flow starts with questions asked.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” – Voltaire
“Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.” - J.S.Mills
It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find flow, and happiness.
Many times it’s up to us to create those optimal experiences for others.
Viktor Frankl, Austrian Psychologist and holocaust survivor, said, “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it, the more you will miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Let us repeat that last line, “it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
So, how do we reach the elusive goal of flow, or of happiness?
“It is a circuitous path of achieving control over the contents of our consciousness”
– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
…a circuitous path of achieving control over the contents of our consciousness.
The TEAR Principle….
If we have a closer look at the Emotion side of things, and how it leads to desire. Here’s the thing – it’s ok to have unlimited DESIRE – remember when we looked at C Goals?
The smart thing, and most efficient, and most rewarding, is to shape your desires.
That is our role, as it is the role of coaches, support services, to shape desire of our athletes. In my sporting work, I get to help people shape their desire.
Let’s have a look at Results. Many forces shape our experiences. Each one has an impact on whether we feel good or bad. Most of them are beyond our control, for example:
So, if there are so many things outside our control, is our happiness, our fate, controlled by outside agencies?
You still have control of the wheel. You still set the course.
You still make the brush strokes on a canvas yet to be finished.
And we are still in charge of who we are to others, when times are tough.
Optimal experiences can still occur. We can still be in control of our actions.
The results we have in life demand our thoughts to lead us.
Observe your emotions and act on them to get a better result…. For you and for others.
Let’s look at some examples of how Flow can affect you physically.
The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to it’s limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
Physical + Spiritual + T.E.A.R = The Best Way to Find Success
“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” – Earl Nightingale
Worthy ideals come when you serve others, to make the world a better place.
Success and happiness are side effects of dedicating yourself to a cause greater than yourself.
Remember what Viktor Frankl said, “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it, the more you will miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”
To improve your ability to climb the mountain of success as a physiotherapist in sport, set your challenges progressively higher, then upskill.
Rinse and repeat.