One resource for everything flow. View our Library homepage here
In order to find Flow, the first step is to understand what the actual experience.
Through understanding the nuances of the flow experience, we define and label it; in doing so we give our mind and body signposts towards finding it. We separate it from those performances that were successful but felt stiff and forced, and also moments of ecstasy that lacked focus and execution.
“I was already on pole, then by half a second and then one second and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my teammate with the same car. And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel. Not only the tunnel under the hotel, but the whole circuit was a tunnel. I was just going and going, more and more and more and more. I was way over the limit, but still able to find even more” - Aryton Senna, widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time explaining flow.
“When you get in that zone, it’s just a supreme confidence that you know it’s going in. It’s not a matter of if – it’s going in…Everything slows down. You just have supreme confidence. When that happens, you really do not try to focus on what’s going on [around you], because you could lose it in a second…You have to really try to stay in the present, not let anything break that rhythm…You get in the zone and just try to stay here. You don’t think about your surroundings, or what’s going on with the crowd or the team. You’re kind of locked in”. - Kobe Bryant, 5 time NBA champion and widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
These are descriptions of flow experiences from two of the best in their craft, but as you can see these descriptions are unique to them. Across all professions, there are thousands of unique descriptions of these treasured moments.