Have you ever had one of those days where you feel you’re just wading through treacle? And despite having lots to accomplish you either can’t get started, keep coming up against obstacles or things just take forever to get done?
Contrast that with those days when things come together almost effortlessly and you even surprise yourself by how much you accomplish in a short space of time?
So why is this?
Well one explanation might be that you’re either in flow or you’re not.
Flow occurs when you’re fully absorbed and enjoying what you’re doing. You might lose track of time, be oblivious to distractions, perform with effortless ease, and things just seem to fall into place. It’s the difference between struggling uphill and flowing down stream.
And given the choice, which would you rather choose? ;-)
So how can you create more flow in your life?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience and explains that balancing challenge and skill can help us get into flow. Too little challenge might lead to boredom, too much challenge can create anxiety. However we can all become highly skilled in areas that we don’t particularly enjoy and the more time we spend on those activities the more unfulfilled we become. So maybe there’s more to it than that.
In essence, when we’re in flow, we’re being true to ourselves.
For some this is based on a feeling, a sense of following your heart or intuition, being motivated by love and having a strong sense of purpose
It’s also about choosing activities that are a good fit with who you really are. In Deepak Chopra’s book 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, he writes that ‘nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease’. He explains that grass doesn’t try to grow it just grows. Fish don’t try to swim they just swim. And when we too, follow our intrinsic nature, we can create more with less effort.
When we are in harmony with nature, and with our true selves, we can enjoy more flow in our lives. And one way we can do this is by being in harmony with our inner nature and natural energies.
For example, some of us have more wood energy and are naturally suited to being creative, seeing the bigger picture, coming up with new ideas and getting things started.
Others have more fire energy and are better suited being with people, building relationships and creating new connections.
There are those who have more earth energy, are grounded, compassionate, enjoy being part of a team and are good at getting things done.
And others with more metal energy who have a good eye for detail and enjoy working in an orderly and more systems-oriented way.
Of course, it may be that you need to do a little of all of these in your working week. But when you allow more time to focus on those activities that suit you best you are much more likely to experience flow in your life which means more success and prosperity too!
To find out which strategies will build or destroy flow for you follow this link and take the test.
And remember, “If you are doing anything that feels like hard work, you are already doing the wrong thing” ;-)