You are in FLOW. You are utterly absorbed in the on-going activity. You are highly focussed yet wonderfully relaxed. You are in the optimal state for creative work or study.
You are in THE ZONE. This is the moment you have trained for. You are beyond your personal best. You are in that special state where your actions flow smoothly, direct from your unconscious awareness. You are in the optimal state for inspired performance.
The Flow . Zone
Music - Acting - Sports- Martial Arts Business Presentations & Negotiations - Public Speaking
Andrew Lawrence-King introduces
Flow and The Zone:
similar but different.
FLOW was defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1988, in his study of Consciousness and the Psychology of optimal experience. He identified typical Flow phenomena (read more here), including Time Distortion in Flow, and the positive feelings experienced afterwards.
Csikszentmihalyi associated Flow with the Autotelic Personality, the kind of person who climbs Everest 'because it's there', who can practise a musical phrase for hours simply to get it as perfect as possible, who can devote intense concentration to Tai Chi, or spend hours training in some demanding sport. The Autotelic Personality sees these activities as worthwhile, for themselves, without needing any particular 'reward' for all their efforts.
The concept of Flow was enthusiastically seized on by sports, music & drama coaches, and other creative types, who linked it to the idea of being in 'The Zone', that special state for optimal performance. But whereas Flow is about on-going experience, The Zone is about a particular moment of performance; Flow is unconcerned with payback, The Zone looks for results. Although these two special states are related, perhaps they are not identical.
Meanwhile, Csikszentmihalyi's Flow depends heavily on Personality Type. Does this mean we have to spend years re-moulding our personalities before we can get into Flow? What if I want to be in The Zone, right now? And most of us do need some kind of payback - maybe not 100% instant gratification, but something, someday soon, at least!
On this website, elite performer, international Consciousness researcher and indefatigable investigator of the learning process, Professor Dr Andrew Lawrence-King re-defines Flow and The Zone, and offers you ways to Access Super-Creativity, right now.