I recently finished the final book of Steven King’s epic Magnum Opus, “The Dark Tower”. A phenomenal epic journey of Roland the Gunslinger and his troupe of comrades and how they overcome the impossible to fight evil and reach the tower. I loved it.
Shortly before the very end of the final book, the part that you have been waiting for since the beginning of book 1, the part where Roland finally reaches the dark tower (not a spoiler because let’s be honest, you always knew he would get there), he interjects his own voice, as Steven King, and says…
“The ordinary everyday consciousness that we have leaves out MORE than it takes in. And because of this it leaves out things that are terribly important. It leaves out things that would, if we did know them, allay our anxieties and fears and horrors. And If we could extend our awareness to include those things that we leave out, we would have a deep interior peace.” — Alan Watts
In any given moment, your brain is processing about 400 billion bits of data — but you’re only able to see about about 2000 bits of that information. That’s about 0.00000005%.
All of us have had the experience where we want to accomplish something but regardless of what we try, we don’t make the progress that we’re looking for.
Call it the proverbial, “spinning my tires in the mud”, or “beating my head against the wall”.
There’s a problem or challenge we want to overcome, and in trying to overcome it, no matter what we try, nothing seems to work.
It’s a frustrating situation to be in. You know what you want to do, you know how to do it, but for some reason it’s just not happening.
It’s enough to…
One of my biggest problems in my work life is perpetually biting off more than I can chew. Agreeing to things that I shouldn’t be doing, and then in doing so, creating far too much work for myself.
The problem with this is often that I underestimate how long something will take me, or how complex the task actually is. Then when I get started I quickly realize just how big what I agreed to is, the overwhelm or anxiety settles in on me.
Another way that overwhelm manifests is when I bite off too much volume of work and…
When I was a child I was diagnosed with ADHD. The doctors told me that I couldn’t focus and that I was a “hyperactive” child.
As a teenager they tried to give me Adderall and it turned me into a zombie. I hated it. Felt like it stripped me of my personality.
Needless to say I stopped taking it, and instead had to rely on more natural methods of managing my ADHD ridden mind.
Over time though, through taking this natural approach, I’ve learned a lot about managing distractions, focusing for extended periods of time, and how all of this…
What “triggers” a productivity for you?
Is it nature? Exercise? A specific activity like writing or a physical sport? Music? All of these stacked together at once?!
If you want to get into states of peak performance on a reliable and consistent basis, an important aspect of this is learning what gets you INTO flow in the first place.
In the same way that we can have emotional triggers (as in a certain type of person or situation can trigger an emotion out of you), or we have stress triggers, or we have motivational triggers — we have flow triggers…
My journey into flow states started around 2016 when I first discovered the world of Tim Ferriss while running my startup company (but it really started a lot earlier than that).
He was the guy who pointed me in the direction of people like Josh Waitzkin, who talks about Flow in the Art of Learning, and Cal Newport and Deep Work, and Derek Sivers with “fuck yes or no”, and so many other people/concepts like blocking out your time, saying no to people, 80/20 rule, and all these other ways to perform at your best.
Have you ever felt so focused and so immersed in an activity that you lose track of time, things are seemingly effortless, and you perform at your best? That feeling of being “in the zone”, “tapped in”, “in the pocket”, or simply “flowing?”
If so, you have experienced what is called a “Flow State”
A “Flow State” is a state of mind where we perform at our best, and feel our best while doing it.
It’s a scientific term too — Flow isn’t some woo woo hippie philosophical term — it’s something that we’ve been able to study and research…
Over the last few months, I’ve written a lot about the subject of flow states, but I haven’t written much on why. I haven’t really created any context as to why I’m so fascinated with this subject.
I guess I touched upon it a bit in How Flow States changed by understanding of Meditation, but I don’t really feel that captures the whole essence of the story.
I’m a big fan of Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey, so let’s flip things around a bit and let me give the complete picture in its proper sequence of events. …
Throughout the last month or so I’ve been writing a lot about Flow States — what they are, how to achieve them, what is going on in the brain, and more.
It’s become a recent passion of mine because it explains many of the times that I have produced my best work. It also explains some of the most memorable and joyous experiences I’ve had in life.
But one of the problems that I see in the pursuit of flow states is that it is looked at as yet another means of increasing productivity, output, and overall performance.