The idea of “Flow” was brought into the experimental psychology world by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He describes the feeling as follows,
“The optimal state of inner experience is one in which there is order in consciousness. This happens when psychic energy—or attention—is invested in realistic goals, and when skills match the opportunities for action. The pursuit of a goal brings order in awareness because a person must concentrate attention on the task at hand and momentarily forget everything else. These periods of struggling to overcome challenges are what people find to be the most enjoyable times of their lives. A person who has achieved control over psychic energy and has invested it in consciously chosen goals cannot help but grow into a more complex being. By stretching skills, by reaching toward higher challenges, such a person becomes an increasingly extraordinary individual.”
For me, my achievement of Flow comes from playing basketball, dancing and lifting weights. When I play basketball against a tough opponent that challenges me, my competitive drive accelerates, I want to score on them and score on them in a variety of ways, and I love playing lock-down defense on a player better than me, I thrive on that challenge.
When it comes to lifting weights, my motivation comes from see significant gains in strength over the months of hard work. I draw from my inspired soul to be better emotionally, intellectually and physically. I love being able to impress people with how much I can lift because people tend to underestimate me because of my weight. I love the idea of “one more rep,” after you think you might quit, and you go for another to push yourself mentally past a plateau.
When I dance, there are no boundaries. My body becomes a wave of honest expression. The rhythm, melody, beats and lyrics are all little waves my body can take a ride on, just depends on which wave I want to ride. When I dance, I love going hard and fast to catch a beat, to be one with the music. My hip hop classes are incredibly challenging because I can’t remember routines well when I’m consistently being given new moves – That takes training and muscle memory.
Today’s challenge – handstand push-ups – I’ve never done them and really would like to try to see if I can. By every estimation of my strength i believe I can do it. Should be a great challenge for my body and mind. What will you do new today to push your boundaries – physically, emotionally, mentally?
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” – Earl Nightingale