Flow Discipline

Day 179 Week 26 Q2 Thursday, June 27, 2024

Yes, this seems like an oxymoronic combination. But I can assure you that it is not. Let’s say that you do know how to get into flow. Not everyone does, but let’s say that you do for the moment. And by the way, if you do not, it is probably time to learn how to do it. Or if you cannot get into a state of flow and the act of creating is so much more complex, so much more time-consuming, and so much less rewarding.

Getting into flow allows you to transcend yourself. Once you get yourself out of the way, life becomes a lot easier. Your intellectual, analytical, linear, hierarchical brain does not do you any favors when it comes to creativity, which seems to flow better in an unimpeded subconscious-to-conscious continuum.

Seriously, flow is worth pursuing, and if you do something a lot for a long time, you should be getting there unless your brand is in your way, which can be the case if you are very intelligent. Try and be dumber for a little bit. It’ll make life a lot easier for you and everybody around you.

Sure, the intellect is excellent for figuring out approximately what to do, but if you want to figure out precisely what to do, you need to stop thinking and start feeling, being, and flowing.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I’m going to assume that you think getting into a state of flow is worth doing and that you actually have some idea of how to get there. This is where flow discipline becomes incredibly important. If you know how to get into flow, then why are you not doing it more often?

One reason you are not getting into the flow state as often as you might is that discipline is required to get there on a regular, not accidental, basis. Yes, you can get there naturally and accidentally without discipline, but it is much more expeditious if you apply discipline and follow the steps that have gotten you there many times before.

One of the first things you can do is remove distractions that prevent you from getting into a state of flow. You can reduce the overhead associated with getting it to flow by optimizing the conditions that support it. The distractions and overhead will differ from person to person, and only you know what they are because your state of flow is a personal place. You are an individual, and your state of flow is an individual one, but you can make an attempt to better understand it, including how to get there and how to prolong it.

The combination of understanding and action that can be applied to a consistent practice can be called a flow discipline. The behavior associated with this consistent practice can be habituated, thereby lowering the overhead associated with flow discipline. So do it!