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Many athletes describe the experience of flow as if time just stopped, they were out of their mind, and there was no concept of doubt only implicit trust and absolute confidence. Understanding time is key to allowing states of flow to occur.
The reality is time is a human concept that doesn't exist except in our minds. It is a convention that us humans adhere to in order to make sense of this world, and manage our lives.
The universe has no real concept of time. Astronomical theories even believe black holes hold different parallels of time, a ship could spend one day in a black hole and come back to our galaxy only to find hundreds of years have passed. Clearly time is a matter of perspective, that we barely understand.
Even amongst our race we have measured time differently; for example the Chinese use a different annual calendar from 'western' calendars. As an individual our perception of time differs when we are a child when every hour seems endless, to when we are aged and weeks seem to fly by. Time flies by when we are having fun in the moment, but seems to last forever when we are watching the clock utterly bored. So time really only exists in our heads and in the apparatus we have created to measure it. Yet we have become obsessed with it. We plan our days by it, carry it around on our wrists, and get a sense of comfort and order from it.
Our conscious minds revel in the realms of time. Time has become a fuel for conscious thought. Our conscious mind lives in the past and future and struggles to exist in the now. If we take time to examine our thoughts we will find that most strings of thought can be connected to future projections or past experiences. It is very rare that we find ourselves simply enjoying the present, with no attachment to past experiences or future concerns or agendas. This obsession with living in our minds swinging to and from the past/future is one of the main culprits that hinders our states of flow.
Planning, reminiscing, and projecting are all symptoms of conscious thought, taking us away from the now. When we take our awareness into the future or past we create anxiety, doubt, worry, taking us further away from the resolute trust so apparent in flow. The future and past create a place for our fears to exist and survive. It empowers our fears to thrive and become real, taking us ever further away from our flow.