What is a Flow State?

what is a flow state

Steven Kotler of the Flow Research Collective (where I’m becoming certified to coach on Flow States) paraphrases Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s definition of Flow “as an optimal state of consciousness, a state where you feel your best and perform your best.


“More specifically, the term refers to those moments of rapt attention and total absorption, when you get so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears.


“Action and awareness merge. Your sense of self vanishes. Your sense of time distorts (either, typically, speeds up; or, occasionally, slows down).


“And throughout, all aspects of performance, both mental and physical, go through the roof.


“You don’t get to live in a #FlowState. And you wouldn’t want to.”

-Steven Kotler 


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found #FlowStates are universal in humans, given particular precursors. 


The term Flow was the phenomenological description of the experience people used to describe their experience of being in the zone, or “mind like water” as martial artists describe. 


Biologically, Flow is an emergent state of being that appears when individual or groups engage in activities of complexity. Flow is triggered by certain conditions, to create an energy exchange in the nervous system to shift energy for greater focus and attention. 


And while you can’t live in a continuous Flow state because it’s a cycle that requires a significant amount of physical energy, you can become #autotelic in your leadership style to cultivate Flow for your teams and work. 


The JEDI practice becomes intrinsically rewarding and motivating when we do the work in Flow.


Have you created daily practices for triggering Flow states?

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