Snowboarding and Hacking flow: Tools to Outperform

Somewhere in the woods at Bansko, March 2017

There is a sense of effortlessness and freedom as I float through the trees, completely focussed and lost in this one singular act, barely a thought enters the mind beyond that next turn, feeling the total joy, excitement, and fun in all of it. My legs burn in tired soreness, my back aches from the constant pounding, and yet I carry on flowing down the side of the mountain, just me, the snow, my board, and the trees, sensing that there is something incredible at work here.

Later that day as I sit down to write or consider one of the many challenges faced in life, my ideas in business and how they might happen - it all makes sense and I am able to see the solutions clearly.  I feel confident and secure in my capabilities and capacity to step up to the challenges and succeed. Problems become solutions, fear becomes inspiration, and instead of the worry for what may go wrong I am left with excitement for what is to come.

Snowboarding is one of my favourite ways to get in flow. There is something incredible about getting wrapped up in all that gear, heading out into a harsh wintry subzero environment, being lifted atop a great beautiful and incredibly dangerous mountain, and then hammering down the side of it with some compacted wood, metal, and plastic strapped to my feet, gravity as the primary engine for movement. I feel the anticipation and fear, breathe deep and take it all in from the chair lift, close my eyes and sense the power and beauty of the nature that surrounds me, acknowledge with respect the space within which I reside, and think to myself how incredible it is that we humans go to such lengths to build these places and experience these things.

And that in a nutshell is the precise combination of factors required to ‘hack’ flow state:

An awareness and respect of the Rich Environment around me, the fear given the Risk of the elements or injury, the Immediate Feedback of staying completely Focused on what is happening - the smallest wrong move can leave me flat on my face, or the right one feeling awesome. This along with the Challenge/Skill ratio being maxed out - that I am pushing up against the limits of my own perceived physical capabilities, and the total Clarity that comes with a singular Focus on the task at hand.

When we are in this state there is a sense of the superhuman. We find ourselves capable of overcoming challenges and obstacles, tiredness and pain, and moving through fear to this heightened state of mind - we might look back and wonder how we just did what we did. This neuro-chemical shift happening in our bodies stays with us for some time, a day or two following the flow state hack, providing us with a an opportunity to be more creative, heightening our problem solving abilities - essentially living a short period of time with an enhanced version of ourselves.

I find this to be an incredible combination: the flow state hack and the problem solving, business building, creative mindset that follows. Businesses and top performers are waking up to this opportunity and leveraging it to move through challenges and enhance the performance of their teams. I see a huge opportunity for human potential here and hope to see more people leveraging this combination to do bigger and better things in life and business.

Why does our home city or town need to be the place we work, and then the adventure holiday something that resides separately from it?

What benefit might we gain if we take that big challenge with us into the zone?

What stops us from leveraging that flow state mindset to tackle one of the big challenges we face and come home with not only great stories of fun, but with solutions and a high powered confident energy to make them happen?