One of the most powerful, yet misunderstood concepts… is the idea of FLOW.
In this day and age we often hear phrases like…
“We need to get into FLOW…”
“When you are in your FLOW… you will succeed…”
“Everything is easy when you are in the ZONE (your FLOW)….”
What does it all mean?
Probably one of the best ways to explain FLOW is to use this analogy…
When you look at the beginning of a watercourse (this is known as the headwaters), the flow of the water can be either slow or fast depending on the circumstances.
For example, if the water is coming from a filled crater (an extinct volcano that is constantly being filled by rainfall and snow melt), then the flow of water can be quite constant and not necessarily rapid.
However, if the water is coming from the mountains, mostly due to rainfall but also the melting of winter snow, then the water flow can be quite intermittent depending on how hot the spring to summer season is in that part of the world.
Typically, it is not one mountain or hill that causes the headwaters to be created but rather a mountain range, and water typically will move from a number of sources and merge into what will become the primary channel which creates a river.
As water starts to cascade down a slope using gravitational force it will do two things:
Firstly, it will ALWAYS follow the path of least resistance… which means it will go over, under, around or through objects that are in its path without generally disturbing the terrain, following a path of least resistance… this obviously makes sense as water is fluid and it will easily move around or over rocks and trees that get in its way.
Secondly, all watercourses merge during the course of their migration to the sea and as such they get larger, faster, more powerful and quite torrential. Which basically means that although under most circumstances the water will go over, under, around or through objects that are in its path… the likelihood that the sheer power of the water can and will disturb the terrain and start to gouge its own path is greater.
However, if you actually notice the flow of fast flowing water courses the original path of the watercourse is still determined by the water finding its path of least resistance to achieve the ultimate goal of ending up in the sea.
When we think of flow in a human sense, it means that we find the simplest, most efficient and easiest way to achieve a particular goal… effectively finding a path of least resistance to achieving success.
One of the greatest failings of the human condition is that although we may see the simplest, easiest and most efficient path to achieve any particular goal, we somehow self sabotage ourselves by second-guessing and complicating each and every step of the process which creates greater and greater difficulty.
Yet, anyone who has played sport… either as an individual or in a team, has experienced the phenomenon known as “Being In The Zone”.
Being in the zone, is simply being totally in flow… you are performing effortlessly, efficiently with almost superhuman results… at the end of which you don’t even realise the effort you put in or the time it’s taken to achieve the remarkable result that you achieved… simple, effortless and powerful!
We can all achieve this, if we take the time to MASTER the skills we need to create the successes in our lives, both personally and professionally.
Perhaps, the greatest lesson to be learned in life is that, “If it is simple, easy and efficient, leave it alone, don’t mess with it, and follow the path of least resistance”.
This is FLOW!