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How The Flow State Can Turn You Into A Superhuman

Ever experienced the feeling where you can do no wrong, where every action you take is perfect, where time slows down or speeds up and you’re totally in the moment undistracted by what’s going on around you or by the voice in your head? If you answered yes you’ve experienced The Flow State. The Flow State is the ultimate human performance state, it’s often referred to in layman’s terms as “the Zone.” It’s that time when you perform perfectly. Where everything is effortless, time dilates and you are often left with a huge buzz and a sense of well being. Repeated entry into The Flow State is associated with higher levels of happiness, longer lifespans, higher levels of wealth and more career success. It’s also been calculated that you perform up to 350% better when you are in a flow state. No wonder companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are spending millions on projects to implement more of it the workplace. No wonder professional athletes including kitesurfers are on a quest to get more flow into their performance, imagine how superhuman you’d be if you could perform 350% better every day!  But how do we, who don’t have the budget of these mega corporations get more Flow in our lives and into our sports? Well, the first step is to understand how it works. Before we get anywhere near the flow state we have to go through a series of steps, the first is… The  Struggle Phase. The is, as the name would suggest, the unpleasant (but absolutely necessary) part. It’s also where we’ll spend most of our time. We research, we experiment, we fail…over and over again, but each time we fail a little less. This is the time we’re practicing that new trick and wiping out every time, when we’re desperately trying to work out how the hell to master the waterstart, when we’re pissed off and disillusioned and tempted just to sack it all off and go to the pub. During this stage cortisol levels rise and our brain is emitting beta waves, the type of waves often related to problem solving. It’s frustrating, stressful and is the very reason most of us don’t really have much experience of Flow, because we give up long before we get there. Those who don’t give up come up against another problem.  You see we have been conditioned since a very early age to believe old sayings such as “try, try and try again” or “if you work hard enough you can achieve anything.” And so we do, we struggle harder and harder, getting more and more frustrated, more and more stressed. We literally try to bludgeon our way into a flow state, reasoning if we just keep banging our head against that brick wall long enough we’ll break through… Unfortunately… This doesn’t work. Why? Because Flow is an intensely focused but intensely RELAXED state. The key here is the word “relaxed.” With all that frustration and stress generated through the struggle phase there is…

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