MON: Flow State

Back in the 1960s, psychology as it pertains to human motivation was largely based on tying a carrot to a stick and encouraging people to go after it. Once it was reached, a new stick, and new one after that, and so on and so forth. A steady drip of incentives to solicit the desired behavior.

All of this encapsulated by the concept of sales goals as we know it. Hit your mark, earn a bonus.

Effective, certainly. A psychologist named Csikszentmihalyi thought, surely we can do better when it comes to examining what motivates people and why we choose to perform certain tasks. He believed that there was greater creative satisfaction at play in our work than most were giving credit, or even aware of, and that if we could match creative challenge with attached purpose, we would achieve a state of flow where work output is optimal.

That in states of hyper-focused creativity, where the challenge level to our work was just right, the work began to transcend time and we would get locked into a state of what he called, flow.

In flow, the work challenge is attainable, but just slightly above our current reach causing us to be simultaneously motivated and challenged. This happens with artists, athletes, chess masters, musicians, marathon runners, rock climbers, even business people.

In flow, we live so deeply in the moment that we “forget ourselves in a function.” We are lost in creating a design, building a training program, putting together a client proposal that we are not focused on the end of the task, only the task itself. In flow, the moment itself is fulfilling, not the outcome.

It is in this state of flow that Csikszentmihalyi suggests we create our best work.

If we are to extract a takeaway, it would be that reduce our goal size and narrow it down to something that is within our near grasp, but requires work to obtain it. Not a twenty pound weight loss, but a three pound. Not a 20 pound PR but a five pound. Not daily gym attendance but twice a week. While these are all outside of the true concept of flow, they are analogous to what causes us to thrive and enjoy doing so.

Once we are able to view the journey and the work it involves as inherently self fulfilling in and of itself, we undergo a paradigm shift and we no longer need to be motivated. We no longer view task as work, but productive play, and we achieve flow state.

Unless you find your flow, that carrot on the stick will constantly need to be re-loaded.


More: “Drive”, Pink

Monday, 8.6.18

First. For Strength.
3 Clean and Jerk Progressions
20”/s Pallof Hold
*Every 4’ For 20’ (x5)

Then. For Conditioning.
2/s Humblers
5 Hollow Rocks
3/s 1-Arm KB Lunge
3/s KB Pull Through
Agility Ladder
200m Run