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Carson

@carson_61

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Requirements To Enter Flow

To enter flow, you need appropriated self-control, environmental conditions, skills, task and rewards. Besides that, you must know what you’re doing, be able to see whether or not you’re doing it well, and be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

The last point is especially important, it's mastery combined with challenge that brings flow. Too much challenge and we get overcome with anxiety. Not enough, and our brain loses focus and looks for other stimuli.

@carson_61

Finding Flow: 5 Steps to Get in the Zone and Be More Productive

zapier.com

Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi
"In the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces."
Self control to trigger a state of Flow

To get into a state of flow more often, we need to be able to increase our level of control over our consciousness:

  • Find standards to determine whether any action you’re going to take is desirable towards getting into a state of flow.
  • Self-control and flow depend on immediate feedback; find ways to constantly monitor your performance and adjust as you continue.
  • Be wary of your mental energy. Define your work schedule to account for the variations in mental strength throughout the day.
Find a novel and exciting space

Routine is good for productivity but doesn’t help you enter in the flow state. Instead, find an environment that challenges you on a daily basis and pushes you a bit outside of your comfort zone.

Ideally those are environments and activities where your actions have real consequences to you, challenge you out of your comfort zone and require more of your attention or you to react quickly to changes. 

Steven Kotler
Steve Jobs artificially created the environmental conditions that massively upped the amount of novelty, unpredictability, and complexity in the environment because people across departments and disciplines started running into each other and having conversations. As a result, flow, innovation, and creativity went up.
Practice deliberately to bring on more Flow

Flow is dependent on finding that sweet spot between your skills and the challenge at hand. Having some mastery and knowing how to use it is necessary to reach flow state.

You can achieve this by not just going through the motions of an activity, but having a specific, analyzable and measurable goal for every practice session and optimizing things to challenge and increase your mastery every new session.

Robert Greene
If a subject excites us, if it stirs our deepest curiosity, or if we have to learn because the stakes are high, we pay much more attention.
Connect to a clear purpose

Imbuing your task with a clear sense of purpose greatly facilitates flow. You can do that by creating a personal mission statement and tying your values and skills to how you can make a real change in the world.

Create your mission statement, find what are your passions, values and skills, as well as the value you create, who are you creating for and the expected outcome. 

Don’t look for extrinsic motivation

Having work and tasks that we feel real have meaning behind and enjoy doing for the sake of doing is ideal to achieve flow. Money. Awards. Praise. These can be byproducts of the flow work you do, but they cannot be the core motivation behind what you’re doing.

If you can find that kind of task, not only will you find yourself slipping into flow more often, but you’ll naturally shift towards doing work that is truly meaningful to you.

The Flow State

Flow is the mental state where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time.

The moment you recognize being in flow, its blissful sensation begins to dissolve and the world, complete with its distractions, comes rushing back into our heads.

Describing Morality

Morality is a set of standards that help people to live cooperatively in groups. Morality is not fixed. What is acceptable in one culture might not be admissible in another culture.

Sometimes, acting in a moral manner means individuals must sacrifice their short-term interests to benefit society. Individuals who don't do this may be considered immoral.

What Does Morality Really Mean?

verywellmind.com

  • Freud's morality and the superego: Sigmund Freud suggested people developed morally when they set aside their selfish needs for the values of important socialising agents (e.g. parents)
  • Piaget's theory of moral development: Jean Piaget theorised that moral development unfolds over certain stages as children learn to adopt moral behaviours for their own sake.
  • B.F. Skinner's behavioural theory focused on the power of external forces, such as praise and the desire for positive attention.
  • Lawrence Kohlberg's moral reasoning consisted of six stages of moral development.

Morals usually shift over time, for example, pre-marital sex was once viewed as wrong, but many now find this acceptable. In some regions, cultures and religions, contraception is considered immoral, while other people consider contraception moral.

There are seven universal morals: be brave, be fair, defer to authority, help your group, love your family, return favours, and respect others' property.

Some people believe morality is personal, while ethics refer to the standards of a community.

Both laws and morals regulate behaviour in a community. Both have firm foundations in the idea that everyone should have autonomy and have respect for others. Some argue that laws and morality are independent, while others believe they are interdependent.

The Outline method

It requires you to structure your notes in form of an outline by using bullet points to represent different topics and their subtopics. 

Start writing main topics on the far left of the page and add related subtopic in bullet points below using indents.

The Best Note-Taking Methods

medium.goodnotes.com

The Cornell Method
  • The page is divided into 3 or 4 sections (top for title and, bottom for summary, 2 columns in the center).  
  • 30% of width should be kept in the left column while the remaining 70% for the right column.
  • All notes go into the main note-taking column
  • The smaller column on the left side is for comments, questions or hints about the actual notes. 
The Boxing Method

All notes that are related to each other are grouped together in a box. 

A dedicated box is assigned for each section of notes which cuts down the time needed for reading and reviewing.

Apps are especially helpful for this method because content on the page can be reordered or resized subsequently.

The Charting Method

It is an ideal method for notes that involve a lot of information in form of facts and statistics, that need to be learned by heart.

The information will be organized in several columns, similar to a table or spreadsheet. Each column represents a unique category which makes the rows easily comparable. 

The Mapping Method

Helps organize your notes by dividing them into branches, enabling you to establish relationships between the topics. 

Start with writing the main topic at the top of the map. Keep dividing it into subtopics on the left and right as you go down

Learning is not the same as studying

You might not study at all. However, learning underpins your life.

In relationships, you need to understand your partner and know how to communicate. At work, you profit from being good at rare and valuable skills. Health involves learning what to eat and when to exercise.

Given that learning is essential, it helps to understand how it works.

Get Better at the Things You Do Every Day

scotthyoung.com

Doing something every day doesn't guarantee mastery, only adequacy. What is needed is deliberate practice.

Only putting in time does not lead to mastery. You may improve at first but will eventually reach a comfortable level and stay there indefinitely.

Research on violinists shows that those who went on to become concert performers didn't practice more, but the time spent in deliberate practice was much higher.

Deliberate practice means trading automatic behavior for strategies to increase performance.

  • Change to more challenging environments where your performance is no longer adequate. It will put you back on the learning curve.
  • Get a coach to get access to high-quality instruction and feedback. If you're on a tight budget, informally ask for feedback.
  • Use new methods to increase your chance for a breakthrough.
  • Join a community for practice. A community can share methods and learn from each other.
  • Focus on a specific area of improvement. In writing, pick one sentence and rewrite to make it more clear.
The brain is obsessed with unfinished tasks

When we have unfinished tasks, we think about them continuously. But the moment they are completed, we forget about them. If we have unread email, we constantly wonder what it says. But once it has been dealt with, we often cannot recall the details of it.

The name for this phenomena is called the Zeigarnik effect and named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik.

Why Your Brain Dwells on Unfinished Tasks

hbr.org

Once our brain receives information, it temporarily stores sensory memory (sight, hearing, smells, taste, and touch). If we pay attention to the information, it moves to our short-term memories.

If the task is incomplete, our brains can't let it go until it's done. That is why TV dramas use cliffhangers to end episodes.

  • Reduce your tendency to procrastinate. If you have a task you've been avoiding, begin with the smallest thing to be done. The desire to close the loop will help you take small steps to get it done.
  • Get people to take note of what you're saying. Try using ellipses instead of a full stop in your headline so that your reader will feel like "there's more to this."
  • Memorize more information. Break your information up into parts. Or spread your learning over several days.
  • Remember difficult names. Learn one part of the name, then come back to the second part when your done memorizing the first.
Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
  • Comparing Yourself to Others. Too much focus on others is bad for business and worse for self-confidence.
  • Failure to Take Risks and Consistently Challenge Yourself. The most successful people are always pushing limits and expanding boundaries.
  • Succumbing to Distractions. Eliminate distractions by giving yourself a specific deadline each day. After you’ve accomplished your goal, you can reward yourself with a Facebook or Twitter visit.
  • Inaction. Distraction and procrastination are like handcuffs that shackle your dreams.
  • An Unwillingness to Relinquish Past Mistakes. Learn from your flubs and challenge yourself to be better in the future. Then let that guilt go!

5 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors You Should Avoid

success.com

The Future of Work

As more and more jobs are eliminated due to technology, we need to keep reinventing ourselves and stay in a permanent state of transition, to be relevant in the future.

The Art of Re-inventing ourselves has 3 key factors:

  • Thinking "different"
  • Working with varied partners
  • Using Technology for creativity and for the pursuit of happiness

The Art of "Reinventing Yourself" in an Automated World!

medium.com

The Big Challenge

In a fast-changing world, everyone needs to live in a “permanent state of transition” or “reinvention.”

We need to continuously adapt ourselves to unlock the opportunities and meet the challenges of our new technology-driven world.

Thinking Different

The ability to recognize what has changed, accept that new reality and then adapt to it is the essence of “thinking different.”

A worldwide Digital Transformation has changed a lot of elements of our lives, including life expectancy, skill-set requirements, and new kinds of economies. Thinking different is a must-have approach to see new possibilities in the world of tomorrow.

Working with Varied Partners

Teaming up with different, less than obvious partners, forming new and unlikely bonds, developing new ways of collaboration and finding uncharted and unknown ways of branching out is a definitive way of staying relevant and creative.

Use Technology To Be Creative And Happy

Technology should ultimately be an enabler to enhance our personal lives in a better way.

Technology is best used when it complements us and enriches our lives in a positive way. We should be more happy, more creative and have spare time to spend doing what we love.

Bad Advice From Professional Advisors

There are advisors for everything: fashion, investment, career, relationship, nutrition and spirituality, all with best intentions. And professional advisors commit an unintended mistake of being too cautious with their clients choices, and are significantly more risk-averse due to many factors.

To off-set accountability, or because of not being in the best interests of the client (due to factors such as envy), many advisors give more weightage to the negative aspects, rather than focusing on the potential benefits.

Why Good Advice Is Often Bad

insights.som.yale.edu

  • If a professional advisor is too risk-averse, due to being liable for potential loss, the advisee suffers from a lack of good advice.
  • If the advisor is too close to the advisee, things get personal and both parties try to compromise on the risky decisions so that the social bond is not strained or broken, leading to long-term opportunity costs.

These psychological factors contribute to conflicted and substandard advice from the professional advisors.