Let’s consider a moment when you hit the perfect tennis shot – you are in the right place at the right time and your swing is flawless. Your racket makes contact with the ball at the perfect angle and speed, sending it soaring over the net and into your opponent’s court. That’s what it feels like to be in the flow.

“Being in the flow” means you’re tuned into your mind and body, everything is clicking, and you’re operating at your best. The term was coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who found that people were happiest when in a state of flow, when they’re so engrossed and energized by what they’re doing that they lose track of time.

How do you get into this flow state though?

First, you need a clear goal – something specific you’re striving to achieve. Whether it’s getting an A on your next math test or hitting a home run in your upcoming baseball game, having a specific objective will give you a sense of direction and drive your efforts.

Next, it’s about striking a balance between skills and challenge. When you’re capable of completing a task but find it difficult, it drives you to focus, thereby helping you achieve the flow. If the task is too easy, you may quickly lose your attention and end up bored. So in essence, you want to be challenged but within reach of overcoming that challenge.

Finally, immediate feedback can mean the difference between staying in the flow or falling out of it. Think about when you play video games, you know how well you’re doing within minutes because the game gives you scores and updates. The quicker we get feedback, the more likely we are to adjust our strategies and maintain the flow.

So being in the flow can mean you’re at the top of your game, whether it’s playing sports, painting, coding, or even enjoying a video game. Attaining this state requires finding a balance between challenge and skill, setting clear goals, and receiving quick feedback. Remember, when you’re in flow, you’re not only doing your best, but you’re also feeling your best.

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