Flow state

In 2009, Vishen Lakhiani was asked to speak at Engage Today in Calgary, alongside such luminaries as Sir Richard Branson, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Nobel Prize Winner F.W. De Klerk, Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos.com, and world-famous artist Wyland. He talks about ‘flow’, the ultimate state of human existence. You’re in the ‘flow state’ when you are being pulled forward by big goals, but are also happy with exactly where you are.

The concept of being ‘in your flow’ sounds so simple and easy. Most South Africans however profess to being very stressed or under immense pressure. The question is, how much of that stress is beneficial, and how much is necessity?

Defining stress in these terms is unconventional. Traditionally stress is seen as the ultimate evil, to be avoided at all costs, and is perceived to be neither beneficial nor essential. However, if you think about it, the business world thrives on stress. It is the pulsating pressure that makes things happen and moves us forward.

So how does that help us get into our flow? Psychologically, you’re in your flow when you have the perfect balance between feeling challenged, using your abilities to create meaningful work, and finding happiness in the moment. Experiencing the right amount of stress can stimulate you to achieve the overcoming of obstacles, and the advancement of yourself. That way, you play to your natural strengths and keep yourself vital.

By redefining how you think about stress, how you experience it, and by assessing the levels of stress you can tolerate before it becomes harmful, your flow overflows and your stress levels work to your advantage.

“Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”     – Unknown