Have you ever been working with a skilled group of people and noticed everyone’s efforts just fit perfectly? As a group, you were so effective that time slipped by and the tasks seemed effortlessly in sync.
Those occasions are rare and quite precious, and I’ve heard that called a “state of flow.”
I suspect it’s easiest to notice when you are working, playing or relaxing, in such a deep “piece of mind” state, that the present just seems to stretch out infinitely, and oddly enough, time goes by without you even noticing any bumps in the road.
We’re going to devote today to the concept of finding a state of flow, and here’s something we will dip back into, profoundly said by the Dali Lama:
“You are happy when you help others become happy.”
Have you heard of a newer concept called “Blissiplin”?
Disciplined + Bliss = Blissiplin
The idea that blissiplin and flow are related will be self-evident after you’re through our EWC video-share today, starring Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mind Valley Academy.
The talk you are about to watch was voted to be one of the top two talks at a conference where the Dali Llama, Steven Covey, and Richard Branson, among other well-known visionary thinkers were in attendance… so this isn’t our recommendation only! Plus, in a spurt of incredible cosmic chance, Christopher started taking Lakhiani’s free web-classes and has said they really have already helped him look at things differently!
Anyway, we’ll let you see what you think!
Here’s my distilled message if you take nothing else from Mr. Lakhiani: from a tiny spark, if you love what you do, the state of flow can magnify your efforts tenfold.
Vishen Lakhiani’s Ten Tactics for Achieving a State of Flow
Everyone, even the Ever Widening Circles and Mind Valley Academy teams love cheat sheets! So here’s a gift from us to you: Mind Valley and CEO Vishen Lakhiani’s Ten Tactics for Achieving Flow:
- Practice Daily Gratitude – Create a log with the daily things that you are thankful for.
What you appreciate appreciates. Start every day with a formal routine of writing your own thoughts down and looking at the things others appreciate. The science says: Overall Happiness goes up 20%.
- Awesomeness Reports – Formalize the celebration of weekly successes. This is celebrating what went right. BELL of AWESOMENESS… can only be rung in moments of shear and total awesomeness!
- Distribute Profits – Completely aligns the Profits, Purpose and People.
- Applaud Each Other – People flourish on praise.
- Learning is Mandatory – 45/5 rule: No one works more than 45 hours, and everyone spends 5 of those hours learning something, actively studying something new.
- Weekly sharing the learning – You learn by teaching.
- Group Meditation – Establish a special time each week – one hour – to quiet and guide the mind.
- Company Sponsored Fun – Have lots of parties and the leaders should be the first one in the pool with their clothes on.
- Positive Stamina – No point in looking backwards, create a bold new vision of the future. When things go wrong, don’t go with them! Flip the mindset from focusing on the problem, to focus on the future. Learn to manage your mind. Every time a negative thought comes to you – ZAP it. Do that repeatedly, and you will build “positive stamina” and ratchet up your ability to innovate your way out of problems, making the old issues obsolete quickly.
- Expand your circle of friends and colleague – Remember, the 5 closest people you hang out with is who you become. Find your way into conferences, study groups, friendships with folks who are the people you’d like to become. 2
Using this quick checklist after having watched Lakhiani’s hour-long video above, we promise, if you put your mind to it with gusto, you will be happier, more productive, and overall just feel better in all ways!
How to Live Life in a State of Flow
Okay, so you’ve achieved flow… once. Now what? How do we live in a state of flow, always? That is the big question and the big trick.
Once again, I’ve been immensely inspired by Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mind Valley Academy, a global brand and company that creates and builds businesses that align with their goal to “push humanity forward;” they promote everything from online universities for personal growth, to events like their annual “Awesomeness Fest,” to mobile phone apps. They’ve also won WorldBlu’s global “Most Democratic Workplace Award” for five years in a row (WOW!).
This is going to be a two part blog series: this week, I’m going to sum up Lakhiani’s philosophy of “Blissipline,” (Bliss + Discipline) which is the practice of keeping yourself happy; next week, I’m going to discuss 10 innovative tactics Mind Valley uses to keep their budding team and flourishing company exceptionally happy, productive, inventive and totally inspiring.
Mind Valley just released the chart pictured at the bottom of this page, which shows how to live your life in what they call “Flow State.”
Wikipedia defines flow as the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. It is a state of supreme creativity. Mr. Lakhiani’s takes this and expands flow as the state where you’re happy in the present, but you also have grand visions of the future.
Thus, having goals and dreams is crucial, but your happiness cannot be tied to those aspirations. You must be happy before you attain them, which may seem counter intuitive at first. This is called the “Paradox of Intention;” the way to truly create our ideal future for ourselves is to first accept, honor and be grateful for exactly where we’re at in the present moment, wherever that may be (check out EWC’s article on the benefits of connecting to gratitude everyday here).
In the diagram below, you’ll see both “Happy in the Now” and “Vision of the Future,” and how to cultivate both. I could probably write an entire book on either of those topics, but for now I’ll leave it to you to check out the chart and see what you think about Lakhiani’s interpretation of those areas! (I particularly like what he dubs the “Brules.”)
What else fascinates me is the image in middle, showing the four states of being on a graph. You can see that when you have a high level of happiness and vision, you live in flow- the desires state to be in. When you have a high level of daily happiness but low vision for your future, you live in what Lakhiani’s calls the “current reality trap.” Some people think this is a good thing, and perhaps it is, especially in the short term.
But here’s the problem; we all have (at least) two spiritual needs:
1) The need to grow
2) The need to contribute
Thanks for that Tony Robbins! Therefore, if you’re merely happy without any direction or vision for the future, then you won’t meet the needs of contributing and growing, and thus your life won’t have that fulfillment that we all ultimately seek.
So, you can see how living in a state of flow means finding that perfect balance of being happy RIGHT NOW, while holding onto a inspiring vision for the future.
Being in the state of flow magnifies the impact of whatever you do. When you consciously put yourself in this state, the universe bends in your favor. Notice when Flow happens, and change your life to make it happen.” 3
That wraps it up for now. Think on this. We went back after a few days and watched Lakhiani’s video again and it felt fresh in the light of a few days of work.
Stay open, curious and optimistic!
Want a little more fun with your insights?
Scroll down to the very bottom of this page for a couple articles I can recommend next, or hop over to our homepage to scroll down through even more things that will feel expansive and inspiring!