Motivation States of Flow
I know at this point you’re all excited about achieving this mental and emotional state. I know you’re probably thinking that this is somehow some way the magic bullet that would solve all sorts of problems in your life. I understand your excitement. There’s definitely a lot to get pumped up about.
However, there’s a problem with states of flow. It’s kind of like starting a fire. There are three ways you can start a fire.
You can use pine cones or other easily combustible material that is light, fluffy or well-spaced apart. Loose coconut fibers are much like pinecones.
Alternatively, you can use twigs and branches. These are a little thicker, a bit longer and harder.
Finally, you can use logs to get a campfire.
Keep in mind that your choice of materials play a big role on your outcome.
Let’s start with pinecones. When you start a fire with a pine cone, you get a really nice flame. In fact, the flame is going to shoot out. It ignites that fast. It’s nice and bright.
This is very similar to your enthusiasm and fascination and flirtation when you get excited about a new idea or a new project or a new person. It starts out bright but, unfortunately, it flames out just as quickly. It is short-lived unless you keep piling on coconut fiber or pinecones into the flickering fire that you have.
If you choose to start a fire with twigs and branches, it’s very similar to having focused goals. You’re not just fixated on the emotional intensity of what you’re doing but you are focused on your goals and this is an improvement.
The problem is, just like with twigs and branches that need constant air and replenishment or else it will flame out, you need constant attention and a lot of structure. However, just like building a fire with twigs and branches, you can last longer if you constantly refocus on your goals.
Finally, you can start a fire with logs. If you’ve ever gone camping, you know that this is the most time-intensive. This takes a long, long time. In fact, you have to burn a lot of stuff around the logs just to heat the logs and get them to catch fire.
The good news is once you get them going, you don’t have to do much else. They keep burning on and on and on all throughout the night. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to wake up and look at the campfire the next day and there are still bright embers courtesy of the logs that they just burned.
What I just described are the different levels of motivation that leads to your state of flow. All three of them would lead you there. You can start out all pumped up and motivated and achieve a state of flow. You can do that. You can also constantly replenish your focus and achieve a state of flow. Finally, you can take it long and slow but your state of flow lasts longer.
There are different ways to do this, but the best way is to go for the logs. These stand for sustainable motivation. This book teaches you how to achieve sustainable motivation so you trigger your state of flow more frequently and stay within that state for a much longer time.
I have nothing against enthusiasm, fixation or fascination. However, the problem is those don’t last all that long. Similarly, constant focus can burn you out. Sustainable motivation takes a quite a bit more work and it takes some time to get going. The good news is that mentally pays for itself once you get it going.