Flow is being in the zone, the state of mind where you are effortlessly focused on what you’re doing. Everything else falls away, time stands still and all you hear is cowbell. Imagine if you could be in flow all the time? You can, and a great way to up your flow quotient is to make it part of your EO experience.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous book of the same name is a great intro to the subject. And you can get into flow doing almost anything, but what works best for me is physical activity outdoors. I grew up in San Francisco, and even though I was a city kid, my parents made sure that got a lot of air and water time in the mountains and the ocean. I learned to rock climb with my dad in Yosemite at age nine, the same year I learned to skateboard and to sail – and the same year I started my first company!
Regardless of what you choose to do, it should be something that challenges you but is also achievable. You want to set up a rhythm of goal → stretch → success → repeat. I joined EO in 2008 and learned about flow in 2013 on kite surfing trip to Maui. I returned to San Francisco wondering if I could incorporate flow into my EO Forum experience. After some thinking, I proposed we add a physical activity to each Forum meeting, and everyone agreed! That year, we tried many activities together, including capoeira, trail running, yoga and even a swim under the Golden Gate Bridge. These experiences and challenges added a vibrant new dimension to our Forum experience, and the feedback was very positive.
I launched Flow Forum in September 2014 and since then, we’ve held nine meetings and our activities have included a one-mile swim in San Francisco Bay, snowshoeing up a 10,000 ft. peak in the Sierras, hiking in Yosemite, diving for abalone on the California coast, mountain biking and white-water rafting, just to name a few.
Building flow into my EO experience has directly aligned with many of EO’s core values. Flow also builds the intuitive muscle – the more time we spend doing challenging, physical activities, the more we train our intuitive brain. Intuition powers creativity, and we all know how important creativity is to our professional success!
My entrepreneurial journey is now focused 100% on flow, intuition and creativity, and my biggest goal at this point is to become an artist. There is no roadmap for that, but my intuition will lead me the right way, and I’m sure my next business will emerge from that process. Build flow into your EO experience and see how much you can grow!