“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them.”
~ Albert Einstein
When was the last time you experienced true flow? When you connected to the genius within you? What if you had the process to tap in to your flow whenever you want? That’s what this blog is about – Getting into your flow
state does not need to be by accident!
I’m on a trip to the United States right now, and have had a chance to connect with a super-expert in Flow: Steven Kotler.
Steven co-wrote the NY Times Bestseller, “Abundance”, with Peter Diamandis. His latest book, “The Rise of Superman” comes out this March. It is all about how elite athletes and extreme sportspeople get into flow, and what we
can learn from them. Steven has teamed up with many of the leading action and adventure athletes along with top scientists to decipher what these athletes are doing to harness flow.
What does this mean to you? How can flow improve your results? Steven calls flow “The source code to our intrinsic motivation”. He cites many studies, from McKinsey to the US Army, that have found that people who harness
their flow state can increase their productivity and results by 200% to 500%+
“The opportunity cost…is enormous…. Most report that they and their employees are in the zone at work less than 10 percent of the time. [But] if employees…are five times more productive in flow than they are on average, consider what even a relatively modest 20-percentage-point increase in flow time would yield in overall workplace productivity—it would almost double.”
—The McKinsey Quarterly
I’ve recorded a conversation I had with Steven about the science behind “The Rise of Superman” and the mission of his “Flow Genome Project” – to understand and unlock ultimate human performance in each of us.
You can listen to the entire conversation we had below. One of the things Steven explained is the four stages that we go through to achieve our flow state. There’s much more in the recording, but here’s a summary that you
can apply immediately:
The Four Stages of Flow
Stage One – STRUGGLE
The first stage of the four stage flow cycle feels almost like the opposite of flow. This is when you’re working hard, pushing to train, research, brainstorm – when you’re overloading the brain with information “until your
heads about to explode, but not completely explode”. Most people never push this first stage far enough, which is why they constantly miss the doorway to the flow experience.
Stage Two – RELAXATION
This is when you take your mind off the problem entirely, taking a break, going for a walk or doing something physical. This isn’t the same as watching television or some other distraction that keeps your brain busy. It’s
about relaxing the brain so the conscious mind lets the subconscious mind take over. Many people miss this break and as a result are constantly in overload and burnout, missing flow altogether.
Stage Three – FLOW
This third stage is the superman experience – where inspiration takes over, and where your preparation and relaxation expresses itself almost magically. You come up with the best ideas, you achieve results almost
effortlessly, and you often surprise yourself by your own performance. It’s almost an out-of-body experience whether it’s mastery of a physical, emotional or mental activity.
Stage Four – CONSOLIDATION
The final stage is where learning and memory is amplified dramatically, consolidating the experience of flow into your unconscious. There’s also a downside, where you come off the high of the feel-good neurochemicals
released during the flow state. You go on a down which often leads to self sabotage or an emotional reaction to try and regain the flow state. The key here is not to let this stress block the learning or reverse the results
of being in flow, but to move smoothly back to the next phase of struggle and repeat the cycle.
Most of us aren’t aware of this four stage cycle, and so we end up either not getting into flow, or we mess things up when we get there. Knowing the cycle exists gives you a map to know where you are, and what to do at each
What challenge or task do you have where it would really help to step in to your flow to conquer it? Use these four steps to get going today.
You can listen to my full conversation with Steven here. Steven is highly engaging and is full of interesting studies and science to back up what he says.
I also recommend you buy his book, which is available now for pre-order at 20% off the list price. Simply go to his site here: http://riseofsuperman.com
And finally, I love his pre-launch video trailer for the book, which has already been watched over 250,000 times. You’ll find it below…
Keep making magic,
How you Lead with your Genius
I’ve seen so many cases where leaders have run into trouble because they’ve acted in a way they are naturally not good at.
You see, Wealth, all great leaders out there, say Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg each has a different way of leading and they’ve been successful because they’ve followed their Genius. Some are good at managing disputes internally and externally, very good with people whereas some are good at setting up goals for their teams and sharing their vision.
Imagine Steve Jobs leading the way Jack Welch does, i.e. focusing on developing strong relationships and being a people oriented leader. He would’ve failed miserably. We all know Steve Jobs was not a peoples person. He was a task oriented leader.
You have a natural way to lead. Knowing this allows to lead your team in extraordinary ways. Often you will find your natural leadership style is very different to your friends and workmates.
Fast Forward your Business
In just over a month, i will be in Australia to kickstart our 4th Fast Forward your Business Global Tour. Over 8,000 entrepreneurs have attended the Fast Forward annual tour in the past. The Australia tour will be followed
by Japan & Taiwan in June, US in August and UK in September.
This is the one event to catch up with the very latest strategies and systems to fast forward your business. I will be joined by leading Change Makers, sharing with you the very latest of what is working TODAY.
To know more about the cities and dates, click here.