There are 4 stages in one ‘state of flow’ cycle.
Struggle, Release, Flow, Recovery.
We’ve all experienced them, and flow. This post is to help you identify YOUR symptoms of each stage. This will result in your awareness increasing, and your ability to control these stages to maximize your profitable productivity.
Struggle is marked by anxiety or increased levels of stress. Worry about a job interview. Anxiety about how your blog post will be received. Being nervous about a test, or challenging project to complete. Excitement and terror surrounding proposing to someone! Those are examples we can all relate to.
When, in your recent experience, have you felt those things?
Release is marked by routine, almost automatic, yet attention absorbing tasks. One example would be driving to that job interview. Yes, you’re still nervous, and it’s in the back of your mind – but the front of your mind is focused on driving mostly. Another example is the routine a professional athlete develops prior to competing. Changing from street clothes into her uniform, lacing up the sneakers, walking out to the court, the same warm up routine that requires attention… so much attention that the ‘worry’ about the challenging opponent isn’t PRESSING on their mind – they have ‘released’ the worry and stress and replaced it with ‘routine’.
Can you connect your daily commute, or ‘pre-game ritual’ with that stage of the flow cycle?
The state of flow is Pure Performance.
Time – something happens. Either time FLIES by, or you are aware of EACH second apparently moving in slow motion. Your attention on time is diminished though – it’s all about the task.
Worry and anxiety are gone. Again, your attention is on the TASK, not your form, clothes, or anxiety about what “they” may be thinking…
There are other symptoms -but those are pretty universal.
VERY important question for you – When was the last amazing experience you had, like that?
And here’s the HARD PART!
We will stay as clinical as possible with this description, but it is OH – so personal and intimate.
During recovery, you are no longer experiencing that greatest high of your life. Many flow management novices struggle greatly with that fact – depression, extreme anxiety and worry, lashing out, and even worse, fighting to maintain that amazing feeling results in dangerous behaviors, to say the least. Rock stars and young professional athletes are great examples.
They just do NOT want the ‘high’ from the show to end! Or, that competition was so exhilarating that they go ‘extreme’ in their actions and behaviors to maintain that high. Drugs, crazy social behavior, you’ve heard the stories of the 80’s hair bands crazy antics – right?
YOU, aware of the stages of recovery enables you to develop tactics and practices to safely exit that ‘in the zone’ feeling and ‘come down’ maturely. That way you can wake up and do it again tomorrow!
More familiar examples of the stage of recovery, for us ‘normal’ people, may include things like – “Did I do enough?”; “It’s not good enough!”; “Can I work a few more hours?”; “I’m too stressed to go to sleep!” -There are a LOT of examples, but the bottom line is this overarching reality…
Your unconscious mind, ego, subconscious, what ever you resonate with, that part of you that wants to keep you ‘safe’ by keeping you from growing – that part wants you to burn as MUCH energy as you can, needlessly.
If your “Id” can get you to worry, stress, or be depressed for a half hour, that is a half hour that you didn’t spend FEELING GREAT! THAT, ultimately, is a half hour you ‘wasted’.
Don’t get me wrong here, please. When I’m ‘crashing’ in the evening after a long day of interviews, masterminds, and training, I’m ‘DOWN’! My body may ache. My head my hurt. I may even be ‘depressed’ in the clinical sense – the difference? I’m THRILLED to feel it!
I FEEL GREAT when I’m ‘justifiably down’. (which, if I’m ever ‘down’, it’s totally ‘justified’!)
This is truly, what I’ve found, to be THE game changer. EVERYTHING shifts when you start implementing the recovery stage tactics and start feeling GREAT, even when you’re ‘down’!
Those are the 4 stages of flow.
A shortcut to stage 3 is at your fingertips right now.
All the ‘productivity’ training out there, the ‘miracle morning’, the ‘daily rocket launch system’ – all of it helps you along this path.
Another option is this 5 day course, with 5 ten minute videos for you –
That course will give you specific, flow inducing, tactics to test for yourself! If they are GREAT, you may be interested in joining an upcoming mastermind where we spend 12 weeks mastering the whole process! – http://bit.ly/FocusedFlow
Either way – have a GREAT day!