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What is Flow?

Have you ever been so engaged in an activity that action and awareness merged, everything became effortless, and you emerged surprised by your own ability?

Whether it was catching a falling plate or being surprisingly witty, these moments where we allow our intuitive best to unfold is scientifically referred to as ‘Flow’.

Let us take you on a journey to Understanding Flow.

Clear the diary for the next hour as we give you all the low down you need to understand exactly what is flow.

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Flow Performance Creativity Decision making

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Recognising Flow

Recognising Flow in our life and in those around us is critical to helping our mind and body find it in the future. The better we are at identifying Flow the easier it will be to engineer it.

Flow can be experienced in any human endeavour, from the tasks of daily living to demonstrations of outstanding levels of performance in sport and the performing arts.

“Contrary to what we usually believe, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing time, although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.” – Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

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Flow_State

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Abraham Maslow described the common states during peak performances as, “the individual experiences an expansion of self, a sense of unity, and a meaningfulness in life. The experience lingers in one consciousness and gives a sense of purpose, integration, self determination and empathy”.

Susan Jackson describes Flow as “a state of consciousness where one becomes totally absorbed in what one is doing, to the exclusion of all other thoughts and emotions . a harmonious experience where mind and body are working together effortlessly, leaving the person feeling that something special has just occurred…Flow lifts experience from the ordinary to the optimal, and it is in those moments that we feel truly alive and in tune with what we are doing”.

These fulfilling moments of personal excellence make us feel fantastic, leaving us buzzing for minutes, hours, and sometimes even days. Yet, when trying to capture the essence of what just happened, we are often left perplexed. Olympic archer Denise Parker describes this confusion, “I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t concentrating on anything. It didn’t feel like I was shooting my shots, but like they were shooting themselves. I try to remember what happened so I can get back to that place, but when I try to understand it, I only get confused. It’s like thinking how the world began”. Instead, most of us label the experience as luck and move on before it all gets too weird, or our ego becomes too cluttered with self-adulation to question the experience further. When we do take time to ponder ‘what just happened’, the experience often vanishes from our consciousness because we lack the wherewithal to understand it. Such experiences become like blind spots in our memory; we know they exist but we never properly see them. Consequently, for most of us, these experiences hover unexplored and unexplained in our unconscious.

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Flow Performance Creativity Decision making

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Why is Flow Important?

Why does flow matter? Because quality of experience in what we do matters.

How we use Flow can make the difference between success and failure, a fully engaged life or not.  It propels us out of the mindless humdrum of our everyday life, and allows us to discover our true capabilities. In this way, our lives become richer and more meaningful.

Flow is an underlying state that allows us to feel creative, energised, and alert. When in Flow, scientists find breakthroughs, writers’ pens flow, and students walk away from exams exhilarated.

World leaders and entrepreneurs such as Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson have sung the praises of Flow. Google, Red Bull and many other leading companies have integrated the principles of Flow into their workplace.

The McKinsey Global Research Institute spent 10-years interviewing over 5000 executives to discover that executives are five times more productive in Flow. Even the United States Air Force Research Laboratory has reported “a twofold improvement in how long a person can maintain performance,” asserts biomedical engineer, Andy Mckinley.

Flow not only produces that extra gear most of us seek, but also adds fuel to the curiosity that drives much of what we do. Distinguished professor John Hendry, who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his work in education and transforming Geelong Grammar School, characterises Flow in these words: “Flow captures the intention of all life experiences and is certainly the intention or stated purpose of every human endeavour, be it individual or group, team or institution. All the ‘iatry’ (care) aspects of the helping sciences, e.g. Psychiatry and psychology, medicine and all the human sciences and social sciences are embroiled in the task of pursuing Flow. This is ultimately the purpose of human existence for we wish always to have a better world laced with care and of course a living performance level that enables all to contribute to the best of their capacity moment-to-moment”

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“Flow sits at the heart of the majority, if not all, of the greatest athletic performances, and those achieved without Flow would have been made even more memorable via the experienceSue Jackson

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How we use Flow can make the difference between success and failure, a fully engaged life or not. It propels us out of the mindless humdrum of our everyday life, and allows us to discover our true capabilities. In this way, our lives become richer and more meaningful.

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what is flow

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Understanding Flow

Flow is known by many different names in different activities. Musicians talk about being in the ‘groove’, jazz musicians find the ‘pocket’, fighter pilots enter the ‘bubble’, executives ‘nail it’, coders become ‘wired in’, traders are ‘in the pipe’, bowlers talk about being ‘on a roll’, and basketballers go ‘on fire’. In science it is called the state of ‘Flow’, our optimal state of functioning.

Regardless of the label we use, in this state of total immersion, action and awareness merge, self disappears and we are able to harness our skills to their optimal capacity. Whether it is a fleeting mild moment of Flow or an unforgettable intense state of Flow, we transform an ordinary experience into a highly rewarding and meaningful experience.

Flow occurs when everything comes together in one experience, creating a psychological state of total absorption in the task at hand. Once Flow is understood, the pathway to enhanced performance becomes clear, as the Flow model provides a practical pathway to an optimal psychological state.

Knowing the conditions that set the stage for its occurrence puts Flow into the realms of an attainable psychological state, rather than a vague experience that occurs if luck is on one side.

Flow can be simply described as:

“A rewarding state of absorption in which control feels effortless” – Cameron Norsworthy

“A person’s total absorption into an activity, characterised by the nine dimensions of flow.” Susan Jackson

“In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” Wikipedia

“Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” – Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

Flow was first realised through the study of happiness, fulfilment and meaning when Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi was studying artists for his postgraduate thesis. Why do we become so engaged in activities we love? As the artists worked they seemed to go into a trance-like state. To his surprise he found that the end product or outcome was less important to them than the process of doing the work itself, suggesting that external rewards were less important than intrinsic rewards or feelings.

Psychologists and researchers, helped by the movement of positive psychology, have studied Flow more in the last two decades than ever before. Over the years Flow has been linked to well-being, performance, creativity, improved decision making, optimal learning environments, and even become a therapeutic framework.

This state of being, and the concept of Flow, had been found to be consistent across various ‘performers’ such as athletes, artists, religious mystics, scientists, Nobel Prize winners, factory workers, executives, motorcycle gangsters, farmers, physicians, students, shepherds, and thousands of other people.

The Flow model has been scientifically proven to be robust across different activities, skill levels, cultures, genders, ages, and demographics.

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Flow Performance Creativity Decision making

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Enhancing the Quality of Your Experience

“It is useful to remember occasionally that life unfolds as a chain of subjective experiences…The quality of these experiences determine whether, and to what extent, life was worth living” – Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

Are you aware that the quality of your experience varies throughout the day?

Most people are aware of this, but most people also feel that external events, circumstances or other people are responsible for this fluctuation.

If you want to find flow, then this changes today.

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Well that is it for now.

We hope you have absorbed a golden nugget or two.

What next?

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Join us on the FLOW CERTIFICATE.

In this in-depth course, we will go into detail about The Pathway to Flow™ and the Scientific Signature of Flow™.

We will explain how flow interacts with your mind and body and how to build habits and apply practical Flow Skills to maximise the experience in any given situation.

During this course you will be given a course coach to communicate with throughout the course.

  • Learn how to thrive under stress
  • Learn to amplify your performance
  • Level-up your development of self and others
  • Learn how to optimise emotions
  • Learn how to manage your thoughts

You will be able to connect and interact with people all over the world. You’ll learn from experts in various fields, TEDx speakers, World Champions, famous scientists and World Champion coaches.

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Online & Self-Paced
We all have busy schedules. Get started and complete the course in your own time. It’s all online.

Rigorous & Reliable
We deliver a world-leading programme; synthesising and applying decades of Flow research. Join in and find out for yourself.

Affordable & Accessible
We believe in disseminating critical information on Flow, which is why we have created this affordable course. The coaching communications alone is worth it, let alone the tools and methodologies to finding Flow.

  • Practical and effective decision-making
  • Practical skills to drive direction and clarity
  • Practical skills to manage motivation levels
  • Access to world-renowned coaches
  • Learn how to achieve greater satisfaction.

Only US$495

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See what others have to say…

“The Flow State is what takes life to the next level, for enjoyment and performance. Over my career I have developed a mindset that has helped me through high-pressure scenarios and Olympic focus. It has been critical to reaching a string of excellent performances.” – Rebecca Soni – 6 Olympic Medals, World Record Holder

“Richard Feynman was famous for his method of learning the complex. If you can’t explain it to a five year old, change your language and try again. Flow is an extremely complex topic that I have studied for years with many of the leading teachers around the world and I have not come across language and concepts as accessible as provided by Cameron and Susan from the Flow Centre. I devoured the Level 1 course within a day and loved the way the language allowed me to inquire deeply. I was provided a powerful framework to create increased opportunities for flow in my performance.” – Steve Brophy, Coach, Trainer

“I now have new tools to enrich the classes I teach. I took The Flow Centres online course, Foundations of Flow, and was very impressed by the quality and clarity of information on offer. As a trainer in leadership and professional development, I now have new information and tools to enrich the classes I teach. Recommended.” – Nick Kettles, Coach, Trainer

“Cameron and The Flow Centre have helped me to take the first steps towards integrating the Flow State into the next phase of my life. Understanding the mechanics of Flow has made me more conscious about how to consciously attain a Flow State in parts of my life where it doesn’t inherently surface. I look forward to a more meaningful journey into the future of my career thanks to the Flow Centre and all that I have learned.”
Sally Frear, Executive

“Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed working with The Flow Centre. The idea of Flow was certainly new to me. Flow more, think less, probably not what I expected when I booked. Working with FLOW has improved not only my personal performance but also the way I coach others. I would definitely recommend this to anyone seeking improved performance.”
Tony Eldridge

“After 15+ years of full time climbing and alpinism, whereby I accidentally engaged in the Flow State on a frequent basis in the mountains, I decided to take the time to learn the fundamentals behind Flow in Flow level 1 and 2. Learning the principals, science, and process of entering into the Flow State has allowed as allowed me to consciously engage in Flow experiences on a daily basis. In the end I feel more productive and rewarded in many aspects of my daily life.” – Zoe Hart

“After attending the course, I managed to identify and control or isolate many things that block and interfere with my performance. Cameron and TFC was able to bring my understanding to a new level, where I am now able to navigate myself on my challenges.” – Steven Thain

“Learning about flow has been life-changing for me in all areas of life. It will give you a tried and tested system to use in any challenge. I wish I had started much earlier with this, because you can learn how to find flow.” – Lorraine Huber, World Champion Skier

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If you are not ready to get started on your journey to finding flow, then you can always sign up for some free tips to ‘Find Your Flow’.

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