The Flow State - Deepstash

The Flow State

In the state of flow, our attention is on a limited perceptual field which gets our full attention and investment, not bothered about the score, we are fully into the action and awareness of the activity, doing what we love.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Feel free to stop striving: learn to relish being an amateur | Psyche Ideas

Striving Hard To Live

Our daily lives are filled with ambition, deadlines and competition.

  • It is taught to us that we have to strive for everything: accomplishments, prosperity, or happiness.
  • We have to do stuff: act, think, eat, dance, slog, sleep or practice, trying to optimize our ways of being.

It is a never-ending rat race where the faster we run, the more we have to sprint ahead, as there is always someone ahead of us.

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The word amateur came to the English language in the 18th century, making the distinction between the newbie and the professional. The amateur does the particular activity (painting, music, sport)without any spirit of mastery or competitiveness, making the pursuit itself the reward.

Once we remove goal-seeking or constant competitiveness from our aspirations, we come into the optimal experience zone, which according to many psychologists is akin to happiness.

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  • It is often found that practising hinders progress and that real, authentic and individualistic mastery emerges when one gives up formal practising and gets completely natural and experimental.
  • The 10,000 hours of practice formula, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Outliers, has the stamp of ambition and goal-seeking.
  • Our inner amateur turns the teaching upside down, and instead of ambition, injects fearlessness, spontaneity, aliveness and commitment to the activity.

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RELATED IDEA

1. Choose a conducive environment.

Excellence needs a social environment that provides us with enough comfort, respect, and time to develop our talents. Choose jobs, friends and partners who encourage what you are trying to do.

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Albert Einstein

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."

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Striving for excellence

Many self-help writers are either telling people to work hard and be productive or practise self-care to avoid burnout. But neither advice is great.

If we only focus on getting by, we won't grow. If we become overly obsessed with ideals, we'll burn out. We need balance where we can distribute time effectively and in a way that leads to excellence, not just success.

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