A flow state is a state of mind that is characterized by a reduction in activity in the prefrontal cortex – known as transient hypofrontality.
In this state our sense of self shuts down and we become highly engaged with whatever we’re doing, to the point where it just seems to ‘flow’ out from us without any conscious input.
In sports, this can sometimes happen in response to a highly tense situation. At this point, time might seem to dilate and slow down as everything moves in slow motion around us. We’ll find ourselves able to react with amazing speed and reactions.
When writing this can happen too. You can end up so fixated on what you’re writing that everything else seems to fall aside and disappear.
And it is said that many startup companies spend their entire time in flow states and that this is one of the biggest predictors of their success.
It is also said that flow states are the ‘ultimate state of human performance’, the key to amazing creativity and even the secret to happiness.
And how do you ensure you spend more of your time in flow? Simple: you start doing things that you absolutely love. You find your true life’s purpose and your passion.
Why Meaning and Purpose Create Flow
When you find your purpose in life, you have a single set goal and something that you feel highly intrinsically motivated to accomplish.
This comes from a belief that that thing is important or a feeling that it is exciting and fascinating. That then causes the brain to focus entirely on that thing going on. Because it seems so important, nothing else seems more important and so all of your resources are directed that way.
We attain flow states when we are snowboarding down the side of a mountain at breakneck speeds because our body knows it needs to promote flow in order to survive. But when we are working on something we love, the same effect is caused by our simple love for that topic.
The incredible motivation, focus and sense of fulfillment that can come from this is unmatched and that is why it is so important that you discover your life’s purpose and your meaning. The challenge starts now!