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Thread: Flow/Being In The Zone

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    Default Flow/Being In The Zone

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29

    Sometimes known as "being in the zone" and 'flow'. It's started to take my interest of late as to whether you could devise a simple method for achieving it... and wondering whether it is desirable at all.

    I've only been conscious of it a few times, usually when playing competitive games such as Battlefield 2142, and when taking exams at school.

    Do you tend to feel this effect a lot, just a little, or never?

    Do you have any interesting information or stories in regards to it.
    INTP/ILI(Ni) /5w4

    "When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done.
    Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed."

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    Look into The Breakout Principle. It's interesting.

    To answer the question, I don't remember the last time I experienced that.
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    The Breakout Principle would seem to explain why I play badminton better during a warm-up, than when I'm playing a match.
    INTP/ILI(Ni) /5w4

    "When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done.
    Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed."

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    Flow is very important to me; I would say it's probably one of the best things for my state of mind. Solitary sports (biking, skateboarding, shooting pucks around) are a great way to find flow. Unfortunately, when I need flow the most - like at work - it's usually absent. On a good night, however, 12 hours can fly by (though that happens very rarely).

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    By definition flow cannot be achieved in many instances, since if that was true, then it would become the baseline level of functioning, upon which another "flow" should be built.

    I generally easily achieve flow when I am dancing. Not as easy, but possible, while working on translations. Even slightly harder, but still happens, during examination - especially oral examinations. It never happens when I'm studying.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    i'm always in tha zone. usually my focus doesn't falter once i start doing something.
    asd

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    Creepy-Diana

    Default Re: Flow/Being In The Zone

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    Quote Originally Posted by heath
    i'm always in tha zone.
    Then you are never in the zone.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    well, technically, no. but 'flow psychology,' doesn't strike me as a technicality to give a fuck about at all when defining my actions.
    asd

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    Creepy-Diana

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    it's true. but i felt provoked, and i responded with what i thought of flow psychology. i'll stop thinkng and just be nice to people in the future.
    asd

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    Creepy-Diana

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    i've read the wiki on flow psychology before, and it has valid points. But it's used more as a vessel for misdiagnosis of problems. A way to say, "i'm not going to take actipon because i'm not 'flowing'" or whatever. Fodder to build the mountain of self-consciousness that most people carry.
    asd

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    Quote Originally Posted by heath
    i've read the wiki on flow psychology before, and it has valid points. But it's used more as a vessel for misdiagnosis of problems. A way to say, "i'm not going to take actipon because i'm not 'flowing'" or whatever. Fodder to build the mountain of self-consciousness that most people carry.
    I think it's more saying that flow would be the best state to achieve your goals, but it's not essential.

    The state where you don't have to think about what you're doing, just what you want to achieve.
    INTP/ILI(Ni) /5w4

    "When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done.
    Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed."

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    Creepy-Diana

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    I have a question. Who else feels like this is your natural state? That this is when things are right, and the disruption of this is what is unnatural?
    How the hell can that be someone's "natural" state when the quote clearly refers to a passing mental state?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Because you're almost always in that mental state. It's less normal not to be.
    Then you must be some kind of freak. One can not be fully immersed by a feeling of energized focus in everything they do, it's a recurring state that only takes upon certain activities and at certain time intervals. Like, do you really feel fully immersed and energized when you go to the bathroom, eat your breakfast, put your clothes on, go to sleep, etc? Does everything you do really require so much focus and linear concentration? It makes no sense, and I think you might be misinterpreting the quote. (Or I may be misinterpreting what you say.)
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Sigh. Very often, not always, sorry. And no, focus is not required, but neither is it difficult, and in fact, the opposite is far more difficult, to remain unfocused, to not go entirely into something, to hold back and scatter yourself in many directions - that is what feels weird, and like a "passing mental state".

    I'm using this concept, and this quote to explain how things are for me, and asking if anyone else sees things similarly. I'm not saying that what some psychologist decided has to fit in every aspect. It's the concept, and the general mental state that's being described that to me seems like it should be a person's baseline, normal state, whereas when not in this, THEN you feel weird, and like something is different or unnatural.
    OK, well I resonate with the quote in the way I understand it, which is pretty much what it literally says. I recognize it as a mental state of operation that I often utilize myself and feel comfortable/natural with.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    I've done some reading on Flow; my brother-in-law did a lot of research on it as a graduate student and shared some of his insights with me, as well as a book on the subject. I experience it most vividly when writing poetry. I used to get it when I worked at a coffee shop during the very busy hours, when I was making drinks, just working as fast as possible continuously...I loved that feeling Rarely I get it at intervals when biking.

    @Diana, I'm not sure if what you're talking about is the same as the "Flow" being discussed here, partly because the one circumstance that gave me Flow the most reliably, working during peak hours at the coffee shop, involved a lot of multi-tasking. The idea is not just that you are totally immersed in something or focused single-mindedly; if that was the case, millions of people across the globe would get Flow watching TV and playing video games Flow is a very particular experience that happens when you are using a "just right" amount of mental focus and/or physical ability; working at very high capacity, but not attempting to over-stretch yourself. It's not really something that can be achieved from, say, doing dishes or mowing the lawn; there is an element of pushing yourself involved.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I found this figure from the article interesting:






    So according to that, flow only really happens with tasks with sufficient skill level and challenge. I experience flow to a moderate extent, maybe a couple times a week. I'd like to experience it more frequently. I think some of the situations I think of as flow are really just relaxation. They aren't particularly challenging but they're enjoyable and when I engage in them, I can lose track of the time.

    Some examples of when I experience "flow" are when solving puzzles or brainteasers. Once I start on one, I can get obsessed and not want to stop until I've figured it out. Hmmm, now that I think about it, this may fit closer to arousal on the above diagram. Depends on the puzzle though.

    On my job, I'll sometimes experience flow when I'm engaged in a project of interest to me, or working on a reference question. One of the projects I did was develop a user-guide for searching the library's catalog more effectively. It was just the right level of challenge and I remember being totally immersed in the project and losing track of time as I was doing it.
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Anyway, my real question: Does anyone else identify with that being your normal mode of being, that it's not an unusual state at all, but rather being shaken out of it is the unnatural state?
    I think you are just talking about normal concentration, instead of the state what I mean when I say:"I'm in the zone, man" (this brings some memories). But I'm not sure if that's the same thing as "the flow" in the article. I can't see it to applied to anything more complex action than simple "spinal-cord"-activity like a fast paced game. It's sort of Zen-like state, that's dreamlike, you don't pay anymore consciously attention what you are doing the body sort of does it almost automatically, even my eyes are focused differently. It's similar to when I space out, because of Ni, but then I can just be staring at the wall doing nothing (except thinking/imagining). But that's also different from how it was when I did packing really fast at my old workplace (that I called kung-fu packing ), that might have been the same as "the flow" on that article.
    Last edited by Warlord; 08-05-2009 at 09:05 AM.
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

    INTp

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    the Flow! It's easiest to get when I'm doing activities by myself, especially physical ones. Biking, martial arts, loading packages, or any kind of exercise. That's actually probably a big reason why I like my job a billion times better than when I worked at the bank. It's kind of hard to get in the flow checking bank balances and stuff.

    Finding the flow with someone else is a lot harder imo. It usually takes a little time to adapt and get on the same wavelength but, man, it's so unbelievably awesome when you get to that point. It's like being twins. I say that because I have one and we can usually get to that point really easily when we pick up something new (less so physical stuff for my brother, less so analytical stuff for myself, but we cover each other's bases pretty well to the point that we bring each other up to speed). It's just something we naturally gravitate to or something.

    Now that I think about it, the above is probably what I mean when I tell people they remind me of my brother haha.
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    playing the piano.
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    I've experienced it like 3 times in my life. It's amazing. I live for those moments of supreme clarity as I like to think of 'em. I hope one day to achieve it while acting.
    Easy Day

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWC3 View Post
    I've experienced it like 3 times in my life. It's amazing. I live for those moments of supreme clarity as I like to think of 'em. I hope one day to achieve it while acting.
    Don't forget the video camera!
    Moonlight will fall
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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    Don't forget the video camera!
    ?
    Easy Day

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    Moonlight will fall
    Winter will end
    Harvest will come
    Your heart will mend

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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    ! *Finally understands* You want to see it, on tape, when I'm in the zone... Gotcha!
    Easy Day

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    Popcorn just says so much!
    Moonlight will fall
    Winter will end
    Harvest will come
    Your heart will mend

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