the unquantifiable self

Flow triggers: what pro athletes can teach us about getting in the zone

The elusive state of flow—or being in the zone—has been shown to maximize performance and promote creativity across a multitude of endeavors. Some psychologists even think flow is the key to happiness.

Steven Kotler, who shares his research in flow states in professional athletes in The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, describes the flow state as when:

We are so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Time flies. Self vanishes. Performance goes through the roof.

In this 4-minute video, Kotler shares several conditions for encouraging flow, all of which enhance present moment awareness:

Flow follows focus. It is a state that can only show up in the now, in the present tense. So what all these triggers are are ways of driving our attention into the now…they’re the ways that evolution shaped our brain to pay attention to the moment.

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