How I Find My Flow State

Mr. Mullet

A pro athlete on realizing your potential through finding the Flow State

How do find the creative flow state when your life feels boring? by Braden Barwich on Unsplash

The flow state is the deepest place of our existence on Earth.

Yet, why do I stick to behaviors and things in life that remain utterly and uselessly boring?

Usually nothing.

What do I do when my life or career becomes a mindless routine of boredom or going through the motions?

Usually depression, anxiety, sadness, or yeah, more boredom.

What do I do when my fitness routine is stale or not authentic to who I am?

I quit.

Ironically, quitting can be the right thing, especially when it keeps feeling wrong over and over and over. Yet, how do we know what or when the right time or path to change is?

The irony is, we don’t know until we do.

And we usually do when we understand what we value. What we value is usually something deeper. Something subconscious. This flow state is underneath this most important parts forward for us.

It’s right to quit the things that keep us out of the flow state and start exploring this deeper meaning, purpose, or side of ourselves.

For example, when I played basketball, in the pros, or in college, I would find that inner place that no one could be except me. Where time slowed down, where the fans and crowd and TV cameras disappeared. This flow state could be alone in a gym shooting or playing in front of 40,000 on ESPN.

This is where I want to get more and more.

The flow state was something I realized should lead me in life after basketball.

This is why I write.

Listen to music.

Make beats.

Explore and travel the world.

Invent new fitness startups.

Teach kids and adults how to hoop and get fit.

The flow state is the most productive side of me as well, mostly because the world just disappears for a while.

But what about you, where is your flow state? I mean, you are reading this piece for a reason, right?

The Huffington Post wrote, “… the ten factors that can accompany this flow state are:

  1. Having clear goals about what you want to achieve
  2. Concentration and focus
  3. Participating in an intrinsically rewarding activity
  4. Losing feelings of self-consciousness
  5. Timelessness; losing track of time passing
  6. Being able to immediately judge your own progress; instant feedback on your performance
  7. Knowing that your skills align with the goals of the task
  8. Feeling control over the situation and the outcome
  9. Lack of awareness of physical needs
  10. Complete focus on the activity itself…”

Stoics would choose their suffering or exploring another path towards the flow state, but what do most people do?

We ignore our flow state. We ignore our dreams, our passions, our creative flow, and our values.

We give our power away and let society choose for us.

This is usually the subconscious conditioning of a culture, a childhood, or a career.

A shitty parent.

A bad coach.

We listen to those small voices that tell us what we shouldn’t try to do.

When you are in the flow state there is no room for that shitty voice.

But when we aren’t, our dreams, skills, and talents get minimized by the limits of our conscious minds.

The ego monkey mind doesn’t want to recognize the growth, power, and talent we all possess. It wants us to stay worried and anxious about the past or future.

What if our mindlessness becomes us because we allow it?

Should I keep doing what I’m mindless about?

I think not.

The flow state is about complete mindfulness and saturation of every atom and moment in our body.

It’s the hour of hot yoga every morning you look forward to.

The morning run through the forest.

The journaling, the poetry, the songwriting, and the inventions that sit idle inside us.

The speech writing, the system making, or complex number crunching.

My flow state happens when I make my vision board for 2021.

My flow state occurs when I reside with my true friends (and lovers).

The flow state is authentic to who you are and who you are becoming.

In 2017, I started inventing my own basketball fitness routines and workouts and chose to stop being mindless about one thing I could control in my life:

My fitness routine.

I did this because the authenticity of team sports is something you can’t always put your finger on when it’s over. But there is one truth I know: you miss your team. You miss the team banter, the locker room, the trash talk, the after-party, the camaraderie, and the exhilaration of hitting a shot or crash of missing a shot when your team most needed it.

The reason your flow state is failing:

You are lying to yourself.

Well, for starters, it means I’d rather shoot jumpers and talk about Kyrie Irving with my friends about why he is falling off the deep end (like mentally) than jump on a 30-minute treadmill with my headphones on and run alone.

Living in authenticity is an internal place that contains a few basic elements.

Authenticity and the flow state work together to be those elements. This is where you lose yourself in the act. In the paint stroke. In the dribble. In the competition. In the business call. Inside the physical burn of sprinting, jumping, or changing direction to win a skill and fitness challenge. In progressing for something you love to play, do, or be.

Play is an important word.

Your life’s work can feel like play.

Writing can feel like play to me (not always, but you know, most of the time).

I don’t love to play one-mile repeats for 60 minutes as much as I like to hit game-winning jumpers for 60 minutes.

Find, invent, play, or explore your flow state with these areas in fitness, life, and startups.

The Huffington Post article sums up the flow state saying, “…the mental state of flow involves “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

The flow state is authenticity.

This will never ever change.

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Mr. Mullet tells us European how pro sports, love to life lessons, wild travel experiences, and awakening the dreams of those stuck in the American Matrix are connected. Most importantly, Mr. Mullet lives his life like a mullet.

Chicago, IL

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