Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Are you in the flow?

Think of great athletes.
Think of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or perhaps, the Olympian Michael Phelps. What about Tennis prodigies Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal?
The list goes on and on.
When they are in the flow, no one, no power and no entity could ever stop them.
Have you ever witnessed a speaker who can engage an entire audience of 12,000 people yet still be able to have their attention and savor his every word? I have.
When Dr. Ravi Zacharias came to speak last May, he held an entire audience of 12,000 people engaged in his talk. I kid you not when I say that in his 45-minute discourse on truth, you can hear a pin drop in the whole arena.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Have you ever seen a master artist at work? And while he was doing his masterpiece, have you ever felt so struck and amazed that all you could do was stare in wonder? This craft master was ‘in the flow.’
Behaviorists and social scientists define “In the flow” as an “Optimal Stage of Consciousness.” This is when you feel at your best and perform at your best.
Flow is total absorption. Everything else fades away. The self vanishes.
You don’t have to be world famous to experience this.
In fact, I am sure that there were occasions in the past when you worked on a project so intensely that you never even noticed that you were working. Everything sped up. Time became dilated. And it felt like nothing can stop or distract you. This meant that you were “in the flow.”
Many admire experts like these yet feel frustrated. They reason to themselves, “I will never be like them. I wasn’t born with such talents.”
But every expert starts as an “outsider.” They look for activities they would like to engage, and once they found it, they join it. But here is the key difference, they work extra hard on it. And though there would be times when the familiar feeling of “giving up” creeps into their minds and hearts, these people would remember their love for the activity and conquer these feelings.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, says that it takes a person an aggregate 10,000 hours of practice and work to elevate him into a stage of expertise and thus, allows the person to be “In the flow.”
These champions are not exempted from failures. And neither are you.
Failure is highly expected. But if you don’t give your best in what you do, you are actually setting up yourself for more failure.
I give all of myself into my talks, trainings and seminars.
And I do not have any control whether the participants would love it or hate it.
But deep down inside me, I know I have delivered my best and I challenge myself to do better in my next events.
You can control the effort but you can’t control the result. You need to focus on your craft and to be driven with the passion to be better every time you do it.
You can’t be a LeBron, a Kobe or a Jordan, especially if your height is 5’7”’ and below. You can’t be a Phelps if you easily drown in a bath tub of water.
But your passions, your experiences, and your skills are unique to you. Nobody else has the same combination. This is why you have your unique way of making a positive contribution to this world.
Do not live under the shadow of someone else, and try to be someone you are not.
You should be “in the flow” and the only one who can do what you do.
Our days are finite. One day, our time will run out. If you waste your day today, you will run out of opportunities tomorrow.
What is your craft? What is it that you do well?  Don’t go around it, don’t deny it, because this is how you grow and be in the flow.
Don’t just do it well, do it better every time, all the time.
(You can connect with Francis Kong through Facebook at or listen to his program called “Business Matters” from Monday to Friday at 8:00 am and 6:30 pm in 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.)

No comments: