I know that the expression is usually “Time Flies” but tonight really felt more like it was FLOWING than flying.
There was no sense of hurry or urgency to the hour, it just passed like liquid…
First, Kirsty and I were teaching Body Balance, and then we found that we were done.
I won’t suggest to you that the class was perfect – which often leads to a sense of Flow – where everything comes out right, everyone moves in unison and you can do no wrong. I made mistakes, stumbled on a few words. Even Kirsty made a few mistakes.
But between the two of us, and the music and our participants, we had an awesome class, and I think everyone left feeling really successful.
According to good old Wickipedia, Flow is:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Thanks Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.
I remember studying Csikszentmihalyi in university, and I found his Flow theory to be one of the most compelling and interesting theories on time, motivation, engagement and perception of a task.
Flow theory postulates three conditions that have to be met to achieve a flow state:
- One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals. This adds direction and structure to the task.
- The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows him or her to adjust his or her performance to maintain the flow state.
- One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and his or her own perceived skills. One must have confidence that he or she is capable to do the task at hand.
So in the case of tonight’s Balance class, I knew what I had to do; I knew if I was being successful in leading the class, and was able to make corrections as I progressed; and I had a good balance between my skills & confidence and the level of the challenge of the task.
Funny to break it down like that. While on one hand Flow feels like magic, on the other hand you can say “It’s because all the conditions were just right.”
I suppose having all the conditions just right is just a little bit magical, isn’t it?
Have you ever gotten into a Flow state while exercising?