FINDING YOUR FLOW TOOLKIT
THE EVOLUTION OF FLOW
Last week we discussed the interconnected and dynamic nature of the flow experience—where building your capacity to invite flow requires that you see these complex systems influencing each other to either help or hinder flow.
Seeing flow as a by-product of fully engaged and aligned systems requires that you, from time to time, take a strategic pause to stretch your perspective and explore your arena and your relationship to it.
This gives you a viewing point from which to ask: What’s Important Now? And where do I need to place my attention and resources to enhance a Flow Asset or decrease a Flow Liability?
The 720° Sweep™ Assessment was designed for just this purpose. It offers 60+ questions to help you identify your current Flow Assets and Flow Liabilities (FA/FL)—all within one specific Meaningful Life Arena (MLA).
These questions are just a start—helping you identify the internal and external FA/FLs that are in play. If you are honest in your assessment, you should have a pretty good handle on your current Personal Flow Formula, which identifies the one or two areas that need your attention.
While we continue to move towards a “strength’s based” culture I have found that most people find great value in eliminating the liabilities that inhibit flow.
Once an area of development is chosen (i.e. a commitment to practice deep relaxation and visualization, journaling past successes, updating your vision statement, switching out a nutritional practice, etc.) you get even more focused by setting SMART goals—goals that are Specific, Meaningful/Measurable, Aggressive yet Realistic, and Time-bound. This is where the rubber meets the road—where you can identify the specific actions you need to take daily in order to move the needle on the desired change.
If you recall in Flow Tool 45, you learned something about transferring your SMART goals onto a personal scorecarding system (paper or online). This accountability tool gives you a clear line of sight between what actions you are taking (inputs) and the outcomes you are seeking (outputs). Correlating inputs to outputs takes place through iteration and refined action. This daily practice, feedback, and refinement are what drive change in any meaningful life arena.
At this point, we hit both an ending and a beginning point.
From Unconscious Incompetence came Conscious Incompetence. And from Conscious Competence came Unconscious Competence. What started as a lack of awareness became something newly valued, which required your focused attention. Through practice, feedback, and refinement, a new habit began to form—even a virtue—something that no longer required your conscious attention but instead embedded itself deep within your behavioral repertoire through committed daily actions.
But then it’s time to move on… You have made a change and closed the gap. You have evolved. It’s time to broaden your awareness once again and identify your next “one thing.”
This is the evolution of Finding Your Flow: it is the recognition that awareness, identifying FAs and FLs to work on, is an ongoing process of self-discovery and perpetual self-mastery.
In my work with professionals and university students I require them to have an ongoing “training mission”—something that they are always working on because that is what it takes to excel. It’s the standard mindset for professional athletes, fighter pilots, surgeons, and theatrical performers—and for you and me who seek to up our games of life.
So as I continue to discuss the illusion of closure in this Finding Your Flow Toolkit series, I hope you recognize that this is just the beginning. This journey, which began with a single step (in Flow Toolkit #1) will continue throughout your life as long as you continue to seek, strive, and achieve, unless of course, you choose to stop it, which is all too common in society today.
Unlike animals and trees that grow to their full potential without thought, choice, or ambition, we humans have the unique ability to stall, stop or even reverse our own growth. Have you ever met a 75-year-old who seems to have matured to the age of 25 and then simply repeated that age for 50 years in a row? The world is full of them…
But if you have gotten this far in this Flow Tools series, I’m hopeful that you have found yourself in a place where you can see more clearly not only the many inter-connected principles, tools, and practices that will help find more flow in your life but the commitment to be fully engaged on your evolutionary path directing you ever closer to fulfilling the full measure of your creation.
EXERCISE AND PRACTICE:
- Take the 720° Assessment and identify your Flow Assets and Flow Liabilities. www.fyfassessment.com
- Identify your “one thing” and create a SMART Goal
- Transfer your SMART Goal to your Personal Scorecarding system and track your progress weekly until you have met your milestones and completed your intended goal.
- Reward yourself, then rinse and repeat!