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The Key to Finding Flow

2024.05.27


Quite a bit has been written about finding flow. In the professional world, people are usually looking to find flow as it relates to the work task at hand. That is - getting into the zone where you’ve got energized focus and you lose your sense of time. (Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi’s book Finding Flow is a great read if you are new to the concept.)

Today let's talk about the other kind of flow. Let’s call it capital “f” Flow.


What is Flow?

This is the feeling you get when life in general feels smooth - regardless of what’s going on at work or at large.

When you are in this kind of Flow, you are tuned into your authentic self and act from that place of grounded confidence. You have a deep trust that you are showing up in this world exactly as you should be. You are deeply connected to your own energy and are tapped into something greater.

It’s not that everything is rosy – there are still challenges and unexpected hurdles. But somehow it all feels manageable. You naturally take things in stride.

When you are in Flow, you feel your feelings as they happen and because you observe them in real time, they are processed in real time and don’t get stored as baggage to unpack later.

Flow means you find it easy to move in sync with the rhythm of the timing that is - accepting the pace and working with it instead of forcing your own pace or fighting against the timing.

When you are in overall Flow, then task flow is also easier to find.

Imagine what you could achieve if you were in Flow more often! What kind of leader would you be? What kind of friend, caregiver, or neighbor? What would it be possible for you to achieve in your community or the world?


Finding Flow

Your natural state is Flow, though likely you’ve long since forgotten it to be true. It was conditioned out of you through years of schooling, indoctrination into workplace culture, and conforming to societal norms. It’s reinforced daily by the pace and complexity of modern life.

I’m here to remind you that Flow is your birthright.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back. It is your birthright to experience Flow every day, all day.

The act of reclaiming your Flow is a subversive one. It requires you to unlearn your social conditioning. To reassert your sovereignty over your inner kingdom.

The first step reclaiming your Flow is very simple in concept.

In order to be in Flow, we need to not be in a state of chronic depletion.

Which of course, is easier said than done because most leaders (and adults in general) primarily operate from a state of depletion.

Depletion has become the default. We’re habituated to it so we accept it as normal. But normal doesn’t mean healthy!

If you want more Flow in your life, you’ve got to commit to tackling your depletion. Make it a priority.


Reflective Practice

  • What activities/situations help you to fill up your energy (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual)?
  • What activities/situations deplete your energy?

Actions

  • What’s one small thing you will do – today – to replenish your energy?

  • What’s one small thing you will STOP doing – today – to keep your energy from being depleted in the first place?

  • What’s one medium sized thing you will do – in the next week – to replenish your energy?

  • What’s one medium sized thing you will STOP doing – in the next week – to keep your energy from being depleted in the first place?

  • What’s one big thing you will do – in the next month or so – to replenish your energy?

  • What’s one big thing you will STOP doing – in the next month or so – to keep your energy from being depleted in the first place?

Bonus points: Take an impromptu afternoon or day off in the next two weeks.


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