Before anything else you must lose your fear – of death, of the consequences of a bold maneuver, of others peoples opinions of you. That single moment will suddenly open up vistas of possibilities. – Robert Greene (33 Strategies of War)
I’m currently in London, and during the long plane ride I began reading The Rise of a Superman: Decoding the Science of Human Performance by Steven Kotter.
The book is about “flow,” which is an optimal state of consciousness, a peak state where we both feel our best and perform our best, completely focused at the task at hand that everything else falls away.
I’m sure we have all felt “flow,” or being in the zone, sometime in our lives. It’s where time flies by without us noticing, we don’t feel hunger or thirst, our focus is pure intensity.
The question is: how can we get to the state of flow and how can we consistently stay there?
For starters, it comes from knowing what to do and feeling the confidence that nothing is going to stop you. Taking on high-risk challenges can profanely alter our consciousness and significantly enhance mental abilities.
What are our high-risk challenges? The personal fear you have that is holding you back from doing what your heart and soul want to do.
I’m sure you have heard of that sorry excuse called writer’s block. Or have heard people always having an excuse (or excuses) why they can’t start specific tasks to achieve their goals? Those excuses are all based on fears holding us back from getting better, improving, and reaching our goals. I have a friend who told me he was waiting for inspiration to start writing. What? It may never hit you my friend, so do it anyway. Do the work, find what works for you, and go with the flow. The inspiration will come.
I write a lot. For me, I start a lot of songs but I only finish a few. Why? Because I fear that the songs won’t be any good, that my time spent writing was wasted and I’ll see I’m only a hack attempting to do something I should have never tried.
I told myself it’s time to get over that fear. I plan to finish the songs I start, and if I like them I will share them with whoever wants to listen. If I consistently work on my craft, I will get better. I’m not attempting to write a big hit, I’m just writing what’s inside. If I’m proud of it, I share it and leave it for my family and friends to learn more about me.
What challenges are you currently facing in your life that are preventing you from experience “flow?”
The mind and body are much more powerful than we give it credit for. Without taking on challenges how else are we going to find out what we are capable of?
Face them and take them on. Then put yourself into other challenging situations. It’s the only way to overcome and build your confidence.
We only have one life to live my friends, and it’s a short one.
It’s time to rise…