What I want to talk to you about was this model called the Find Your Flow model, which was created by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi you can read about it in his book, Flow. For me, someone who’s been working in peak performance and mental toughness work for a really long time, one of the things that I work really, really hard with my athletes on is how can we get you into the zone and the flow state? He has this great kind of XY graph, and so I’m going to have to do this instead of draw it out for you, but we’ll make it work.
If you think about the upper right quadrant, which would be here for me, but I think it’s going to be here for you on the screen. In the upper right-hand quadrant, we have the area of flow. How we get there is when our when we’re challenged, so if we think of the vertical axis as being challenged, something at the very top is very challenging, something at the very bottom is not challenging at all, and then if we move across the horizontal axis, that is when we — that’s our level of ability or our level of skill. When your challenges or the challenge meets your ability or your skill or maybe slightly above it, that’s when you can get into the zone and the flow state.
When it comes to how we work and the goals that we go after and the types of businesses that we’re in and some of the things that we’re shooting for, in the upper left-hand quadrant, so over here for you guys, is a section that we call burnout. Burnout is when something is really challenging, but our skills and our abilities really don’t match up with the challenge that we’re going after. What I see inside of the program or what I see with my athletes is everyone comes to this ambition and you want to come in and you want to jump into the program, and you want to take the promise of what I’m telling you that can deliver and you want it right now.
The reality is we need to develop some skill around how to actually implement and use this system. Trying to shoot for so many goals when we haven’t kind of learned the nuances of how this 90- day a year system works is sort of a recipe for overwhelm. What I sort of challenge people with is yes, eventually, you’ll be able to tackle many, many goals with the system, but right off the bat, why don’t we use this system as a mechanism to learn it and why don’t we use a goal as a mechanism to learn it? Instead of trying to write out 25 goals and trying mastering it or trying to hit those targets of those 25 goals, what about if we used just a few goals and we used one goal and we use that goal as a way to learn how the system works?
That’s why I have some of those getting started videos in the modules are in the recommended reading area so that you can learn the system so you can kind of learn the expectation of how to get something from this system.
If that’s the burnout area is the upper left-hand quadrant where your abilities don’t match up with the challenge I had, the prescription that I would give you to get out of that would be to, A, reduce the amount of goals or set some smaller goals for yourself. Second thing would be to, if you’re in a position where you’re in your business that you’re doing too many things, you should hire, outsource, or delegate, because that’s a sign that you’re doing too many things and us as entrepreneurs, too many people like to wear this sash of I’m looking for control as an entrepreneur.
If you’re looking for control as an entrepreneur, that’s the wrong lens to be taking because really entrepreneurship is about giving up control. We’re looking for independence is what we’re looking for. That’s why we might have left the corporate job or that’s why we kind of sought out entrepreneurship is because we want independence. We’re not looking for control because the more control you seek, the more things you’re going to start to acquire that you have to start to do yourself.
Hire, outsource, or delegate is another prescribe, and then the third one is even just taking a break, pulling yourself away from the work at hand and giving yourself a day off or a weekend off or a vacation, heaven forbid, is prescription.
In the bottom right hand quadrant, down in this section, if we have flow up here and we’ve got burnout over here in this bottom left-hand section, is where our it’s not very challenging, whatever we’re going after, and our abilities far exceed the challenge that we’re at, so we get bored. I call it “boreout”. In that section, three kind of major shifts in order to get into flow is to, one, get a bigger goal for yourself.
The second thing is because you’re not challenging yourself, so we need to get something in our world that’s going to challenge us, and then the second thing we need to do is to get around peers because you already have high abilities, and if you typically have high abilities, you’re around or you have a network of people who have high abilities, as well. Get around those people more because when you’re around peers, they’ll challenge you.
Then the third thing to do is to look at developing some new skills, challenge yourself that way because if you’re bored, developing a new skill can get ourselves back into possibly a state of flow.
Then in the bottom left hand quadrant, which is over here, is apathy, and that’s where it’s almost like we just don’t even care because there’s no skills required to do anything, there’s no challenge whatsoever with what we have going on in our life, and so how we get out of that is one, we’ve got to get a bigger goal, as well, same prescription as “boreout”.
Second thing is we’ve got to change up our environment. Study the effectiveness of your feng shui. You don’t have to change up but it’s a prescription. Change up your environment. Get into a new place, stimulate yourself and your senses with a new environment, whether that’s working in a new place or getting around new people. I Have several high-end Feng Shui clients in Houston, Texas, who have made remarkable changes to their businesses by harnessing the power of Feng Shui to assist in facilitating their Flow State and greater productivity. Doug Stein runs a Fortune 500 company, he is a client of mine and talks about his experience here
The third thing is getting a mentor. While when you have high abilities, you have access to peers, typically, but if you don’t have strong abilities, getting a mentor can help make that habit. That’s what it did for me when I had my mentors. Those people thrust me into a position where I was around just amazing quality people.