Everyone wants more ease in our lives…
We work very hard during the week so we can enjoy time off during the weekends. But did you know that you can actually do things to control flow in your life? Here’s how to create flow by learning to manage yourself.
“We cannot expect anyone to help us live;
we must discover how to do it by ourselves.”
Human beings live within a state of consciousness. It is our sentience that distinguishes us from other species. Consciousness becomes conditioned by many factors. For centuries, humans have connected consciousness to a belief in something much larger and more interconnected than an individual. Historically different cultures have defined this consciousness as God(s), the spirit, energy, a universal life force, nature, Tao, Chi, the eternal… It is so universal that to use words to define it sets arbitrary limits. For the purposes and application of consciousness within the dimensions of time and space, we will refer to this heightened state as consciousness as flow.
Flow as defined by Mihaly Cskszentmihalyi is “the natural, effortless unfolding of life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony.” Many people have experienced flow throughout their lives; where the elements of time and space seem to disappear, and an individual is absorbed in the present moment and task at hand. These moments are defined by Csikszentmihalyi as “Peak Experiences”… and are often reserved for top athletes, musicians, writers, and artists. But did you know that you can design your life to support flow, and intentionally create opportunities for more peak experiences… and that when you do, you’ll inevitably increase your overall satisfaction and happiness.
Csikszentmihalyi’s research determined that flow is almost universally perceived as an after-effect when a person sets clear goals, obtains immediate feedback and when his or her skills are challenged and engaged in heightened action opportunities. It follows that a life of flow then, can be a result of creating opportunities that keep pace with skills and provide ever-greater challenges.
It is assumed that consciousness does not just happen. Each day consists of 24 hours, each year 365 days, and the average life expectancy of any individual is hovering around 80 years. Just as no one person has more life than another, no one has more time (or space) than another. The quality of your life then depends on what we do in the years we have.
By heightening your awareness of your own natural behaviors, and by understanding the components over which you have control, you can do things that intentionally create space and time for more peak experiences to occur in your life.
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Creating more time and space for flow allows you more opportunities for heightened consciousness and increases your overall happiness.
Since we all wish to attain more ‘happiness’, a critical component to that end – is to attain more flow experiences in one’s life. Another essential component for flow to occur is to manage one’s own inner experience. One who is well-versed at managing her inner experience (the conversation that occurs inside your head) can simply shift the meaning of words to create “challenges” from “obstacles”, “solutions” to “problems”, and “opportunities for improvement” out of “failures”.
- Heightening Awareness
- Establishing Trust
- Surrendering To Acceptance
- Making Decisions
- Taking Action
Each of these skills critically depends on one’s ability to manage his or her self-talk.
This section will include definitions of the above skills, scenario examples of each skill and time and space-based remedies designed to create more flow opportunities for individuals.
Secret 1 – The Importance of Self-Talk
Our internal experience is almost always colored by self-talk. Self-talk is defined as an internal dialog apparent only to the communicator. Internal dialog is affected by life experience, attitude, environment and life stage. Self-talk can be defined as one’s internal perspective or ‘view’ and may either serve, or stand in the way of an individual’s consciousness and behavior. Self-talk permeates nearly every situation.
Are you aware of your self-talk? What do you typically say to yourself? Are you kind, encouraging and empowering, or do you ridicule, chide and hold yourself hostage?
Secret 2 – Become Aware
You must first attain a level of cognizance and conscious awareness of who you are and what you do (or do not do) naturally. Awareness implies knowledge gained through one’s own perceptions or by means of information.
Where do you have low insight? What typically comes up over and over again for you that may blind your awareness? The Time & Space Style Inventory helps increase personal awareness by defining behaviors that describe traits and tendencies effectively. When certain behaviors are given voice through words, they are easier to observe and therefore easier to address if you desire to change your time management and organizing behaviors.
Secret 3 – Trust Your Feelings
Trust is defined as ones ability to rely upon or place confidence in something or someone. Trust is an essential condition upon which individuals must rely to minimize risk and protect themselves. Managing one’s internal experience is dependent upon integrity, strength, ability, confidence, hope and certainty.
What trust traps show up for you? Where do you struggle with your confidence? What feels too risky that holds you back? The Time & Space Style Inventory helps increase ones confidence in his/her strengths and abilities, enable him to support his natural tendencies better and allowing him to let go of that which does not serve him.
Secret 4 – Move Toward Acceptance
Acceptance is a mental attitude that assumes something is believable and accepted as true. Acceptance involves a complex system of beliefs and feelings, values and behaviors that combine to form an internal core belief that something is true as it is, for what it is.
What stands in the way of living in acceptance? Where does judgement show up and take over your life – keeping you stuck? The Time & Space Style Inventory helps people accept their natural style strengths and abilities, and give them proven techniques, behaviors and products to support themselves and things they should avoid.
Secret 5 – Make Decisions
Making Decisions is defined as having the power to determine an outcome and having the power and freedom to choose and project potential consequences. Making decisions comes with consequences. The ability to make decisions then is contingent upon reliably weighing the pros and cons of certain decisions.
What stands in the way of making decisions more powerfully? Where do you encounter decision delays and difficulties? The Time & Space Style Inventory helps people make more confident decisions by give them predictable consequences relevant to their style preferences.
Secret 6 – Take Action
Taking Action is defined as the state or process of acting or doing. When taking action, the outcome is having something done or accomplished. Often taking action is comprised of a series of activities with causes and often unpredictable effects. Taking action is by definition, experiencing an opportunity for flow.
What stands in your way to taking the right action more often? Where do you feel struggle and conflict? When do you shut down? The Time & Space Style Inventory helps people to move toward action more readily and accomplish more.
Secret 7 – Reflect Upon Your Experiences
Reflection is defined as giving thought or consideration to an action and its consequences. It is in reflection that one can assimilate learning and heightened consciousness from an experience. Reflection can be either internal or external expression of learning.
The Time & Space Style Inventory heightens consciousness and overall satisfaction by providing answers to life-long struggles and questions.
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Flow steps help you manage your time, organize your space and refer to how you arrange space (i.e., do you like things out where you can see them or hidden away behind closed doors?)
There are no “better” or “worse” personality styles and most everyone demonstrates a natural preference and typical behavioral regardless of time, space, resources, culture or location. Because your personality style is determined by the behaviors you demonstrate over time, people can see evidence in their behaviors and typically agree that they have a combination of behavioral styles.
What’s important is to understand who you are in terms of what comes naturally to you and manage your resources so that you can take advantage of your already-existing natural behavioral tendencies.
Your Sanity Assignment
Scroll (way) down and please share your thoughts about how you create more flow in your life below. What do you do to get yourself into a flow state of behavior? What knocks you out of flow? What do you feel are your current obstacles to experiencing more flow in your life today? Please share your comments, thoughts and ideas with others below.