• James F Clark

Living in Flow - How to Love Life! 🌊

If you’ve watched the free training ( http://www.getresults.co/training ) you’ll be familiar with the flow of STEAM - Sensations, Thoughts, Emotions, Actions, Meaning - that you are constantly creating, and the advantage of learning how to direct your STEAM in ways that help you, rather than hinder you.

In this post, I’m going to briefly look at how you can more easily live in flow.

Define flow:

By flow, I mean, easily and quickly getting past any perceived barriers to doing what you need to do, and also learning to enjoy and really relish the process of doing what you need to do. After all if it’s a necessary part of your life, you might as well enjoy it, right?!

From Wikipedia: “In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time.

Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975, the concept has been widely referred to across a variety of fields (and is particularly well recognized in occupational therapy), though the concept has existed for thousands of years under other names, notably in some Eastern religions, for example Buddhism.”

Everyday enjoyment:

This sense of flow is how I spend pretty much all my waking moments, whether working, doing chores, resting or attending to any of the many daily and weekly tasks which are necessary for a well-running life.

That may sound weird, unnatural, or boastful to you, but I shared this simply to illustrate that this level of being fully immersed, focused, energised, involved, and enjoying the process is possible, even for someone as plain and average as me! ;)

This is the way I used to do life: stress, worry, anxiety, panic, fear, some more stress, trying too hard, exhaustion, guilt, shame, self-blaming, repeat.

Not fun, not productive, in fact, worse than useless.

I was definitely not in flow, but I learnt how to be.

Now, I *enjoy* life, all of it! Why not? Why not find the joy in everything?


The truth is that it’s all a game. And how do we play games? We play! Exactly. And play is just another word for flow. When you see a child playing make-believe, that’s flow. When you see a sportsperson in the zone, pushing themselves to achieve all that they can achieve, that’s flow. When you see a musician excelling at their craft, that’s flow.

> You’ve done nothing deserving of life, you didn’t sit an entrance exam to be born,

> If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re in the more socially privileged half of the world’s population (that means at least 3,750,000,000 people are materially worse off than you, and many of them are getting on with life just fine - that's a big number by the way, just remember that - a lot of people are poorer than you, and they're fine. Hint: The Good Life happens regardless of wealth), and on top of that,

> You, like the rest of us, will be dead all too soon. (And you don't even get to know when that will happen, maybe decades from now, maybe days).

And you’re going to waste whatever you've got left of this precious, amazing life stressing over things and making things hard for yourself? Ok, if that’s what you want! ;)

Or, you can just recognise that it’s all a game, an opportunity to learn and grow, to practice, to develop, to discover, to create, to flourish, to thrive, to enjoy, to treat life with Curiousity, Humour, Openness, Inspiration, Creativity and Engagement (that’s another acronym, btw, CHOICE - you’re welcome ;) ).

It’s your call. You can make life hard for yourself, or you can make it easy.

You can decide something is big and scary and difficult, and it will be so for you.

There is nothing that fits that description in my life.

Really? What about …

Work / job / career/ calling? Easy. Recognise what’s in your control and what’s not. Concentrate your efforts on what you can control (hint: it’s that STEAM acronym again). Figure out what you want, and what you can do to move towards that situation, exercise CHOICE. You don’t have 100% control over the outcome, so just do your best, and enjoy the ride.

Relationships? Easy. Recognise what’s in your control and what’s not. Concentrate your efforts on what you can control (hint: it’s that STEAM acronym again). Figure out what you want, and what you can do to move towards that situation, exercise CHOICE. You don’t have 100% control over the outcome, so just do your best, and enjoy the ride.

Parenting? Easy. Recognise what’s in your control and what’s not. Concentrate your efforts on what you can control (hint: it’s that STEAM acronym again). Figure out what you want, and what you can do to move towards that situation, exercise CHOICE. You don’t have 100% control over the outcome, so just do your best, and enjoy the ride.

Complex social situations? Easy. Recognise what’s in your control and what’s not. Concentrate your efforts on what you can control (hint: it’s not other people, it’s you, and yes, it’s that STEAM acronym again). Figure out what you want, and what you can do to move towards that situation, exercise CHOICE. You don’t have 100% control over the outcome, so just do your best, and enjoy the ride.

Life itself? Easy. Recognise what’s in your control and what’s not. Concentrate your efforts on what you can control (hint: it’s that STEAM acronym again). Figure out what you want, and what you can do to move towards that situation, exercise CHOICE. You don’t have 100% control over the outcome, so just do your best, and enjoy the ride.

But what about death? We’re all going to die, no-one knows exactly when for any of us, don’t worry about it. For me death is like going to sleep, and I love going to sleep, so why would I fear it.

What about when you screw up? I screw up every day. That’s life. I guess I could do what I used to do and beat myself up about it and make myself miserable, but that never seemed to help (myself or anyone else), so I don’t do that any more. Instead I learn, I take a good, honest look at the situation, as best as I can understand it, and I seek to do better next time. That’s turned out to be far more helpful. And I get to lose guilt, shame, fear of screwing up again, and actually enjoy the process of learning.

But what about evil? Other people, murderers, politicians, etc? Ok, that’s enough questions for today. I answer that one in the free training ( http://www.getresults.co/training ), so if you’re really interested in figuring all this stuff out, and actually living a life that you love, living in flow, just go watch the first 5 minutes of the free training ( http://www.getresults.co/training ), answer the questions for yourself and get started applying what you learn! ;)

All the best,

James