The primary requirement for an optimal state of mind is engagement in an activity which requires our complete attention. A challenging physical or mental task provides the perfect venue because without total focus we will not succeed.
The associated struggle puts us face to face with our limitations. It is at this point where we either back away in failure, or push through into the flow.
I seek out these experiences more and more in my life, so when offered the chance to spend an evening slacklining I stepped up.
This proved to be quite a challenge. At first I could only pop up on the line for a few seconds, my leg wobbling, feeling quite silly indeed. In time though, with repeated attempts, I made it just about halfway across to the other side. This doesn't sound like much, but for me it was an accomplishment, perhaps next time I'll perform even better.
The interesting thing about this is how many things come up in the process:
The ego - cries out because it want's to instantly be good, and not look silly.
The body - fights the line, tensing up, when what is really needed is to relax into it.
The mind - spent rewiring itself in an attempt to learn to balance, not dissimilar to a toddler learning to walk for the first time, tires quickly.
The beauty in all this is that moment, ever so brief, when the mind settles, the body relaxes, the ego fades away, and I find myself balancing on one foot with reasonable comfort.
I laughed. I fell. I looked silly. It was great fun. I will do it again.
I note how energised I felt coming home, how well I slept, and how I woke up ready to face another great day.
It is all in a state of mind - the state of flow - which brings us these opportunities. When was the last time you attempted something completely brand new presenting an opportunity to flow almost instantly? How did it feel to be a beginner?
P.S. I believe that success comes at the intersection of passion and value, and that a strong mind and a clean body are pillars of that success. My goal is to empower entrepreneurs to combine flow state training with adventure sports and yoga as a platform for enhanced performance and creativity in business and in life.