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  • Writer's pictureNik Dash

Menu for FLOW. The Super Bowl

Consistent messages that exist in FLOW. Feed the brain and body through a winning environment.

1. Clarity- I’m sure we are all aware of the power well-defined goals have on our productivity, so it isn’t really a surprise to see it here as a trigger to access a flow state. It is easier to do anything when you have a clear path to take and don’t need to stop for clarity

2. Unambiguous feedback- Receiving immediate feedback from others, or from ourselves, on a course or an action allows us to have a free-flowing process and we can change course if necessary, in real-time

3. Challenge-skill balance- Undergoing a task that is just beyond our current knowledge or skillset keeps our attention, but it can’t be too far beyond so that we lose interest or feel overwhelmed and quit. Flow is found just at the edge of our skillset or better still, slightly beyond your current level to enable progression. Managing this challenge-skill balance and reframing challenge, failing and success as all part of the process of success.

4. Concentration on the task- You have complete 100% attention on the task. Any irrelevant stimuli fade away from your notice

5. Novelty, Curiosity, Passion, Purpose- Having intrinsic motivation and a natural curiosity lead to flow. It is much easier to give attention to something we find of interest. Also, when your topic is a passion and related to your purpose it helps with getting into a flow state

6. Autonomy- When you are the one in charge you have control over where you go with your task which helps get into a flow state.

7. Consequence (individual)- Risk enhances your curiosity and motivates you to work harder. The brain doesn’t distinguish between the type of risk so it could be a physical risk, a social risk, creative risk, or a financial risk

8. Sense of Control- Closely related to familiarity and autonomy. When we are given control over something we know we will be held accountable, and we want to show we are deserving of that trust. This gives confidence and challenge give us a motivation boost

9. Deep Embodiment- this is when our actions and attention become one, like when we become at one with our surroundings. An example would be when an artist feels like a paint brush is an extension of their arm. It helps to actively immerse yourself in an activity by finding its deeper purpose

10. Complexity Closely related to the challenge-skill balance. We want the task to be challenged enough so we pay close attention to the task at hand but not so much so we feel overwhelmed

11. Unpredictability- Basically this is anything that drives our interest and tells our brain that we need to pay attention

12. Rich Environment- A rich environment is a balance between novelty and familiarity. We want enough familiarity to have a sense of control, yet enough novelty to maintain our interest. This is also related to concentration because we want an environment that is not distracting. Personally, I like to have music playing that I can sing to. Some people like music without words as this is less distracting.

13. Shared Goals (team)- Just as clear goals help our individual flow, having shared goals in a group allows us to have a clear direction and enter flow together without stopping to question or doubt

14. Equal Participation (team)- Having a group of people with comparable skills and talents allows them to complement each other and not have one person dominate for the others. This also helps the members feel welcome to contribute their thoughts and ideas equally without judgement leading to a healthy group flow environment

15. Blending Egos (group)- This is where the group gets out of their own selves and are not acting with only our own interests in mind. The group has a hive mentality, meaning they are thinking about the mission with what is best for the group leading their decision making

16. Moving Forward (group)- We want to acknowledge everyone, extend, and then build upon them with Open Communication. Spontaneous brainstorming sessions are more likely to result in innovative ideas versus a meeting with a set agenda due to an informal setting and all ideas being welcome. This leads to collective creativity, flow, and building upon the ideas of the group

17. Shared Risk (group) (#7 individual)- Just as an element of risk of some kind will enhance our individual flow, having a shared sense of risk as a group will stimulate flow. A risk of failure can drive the group into flow

18. Aclimation- Mainly a group flow trigger, however, it can also be an individual one. Being comfortable with group members as well as a task’s process or topic help with flow because there is no second guessing, and you know what to expect or doubts in your path to reduce flow

19. Desire to Prove Someone Wrong- This can be a huge driving force behind the successful completion of something. The desire to prove ourselves is a big motivation factor

20). Creativity- creativity can be enhanced using boosters that work for us, such as reading/consuming information. Enhancing our knowledge base will increase our possibility for pattern recognition leading to new and innovative ideas. Another booster is realizing failure is just an opportunity to learn from and lead to new and better ideas. Failure doesn’t mean the end and by reducing the fear of failure we give ourselves permission to think creatively and outside the box


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