I was playing one-on-one basketball against a friend who, frankly, just owned me over years playing against each other.
He was taller and stronger than me so he’d just “body me up” and back me down to the hoop until he was close enough to just lay it in.
Until one day, inexplicably, I just took over the game and never looked back.
I was “dialed in” and there was nothing he could do to stop me.
I was “in the zone”.
I was experiencing “flow”, which is defined as the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in that activity.
That’s what happened to me that day on the basketball court.
I didn’t see it coming.
And I didn’t plan it.
I was just so focused and determined that all the prior losses and doubt never crept into my mind.
Flow is a state we can all achieve, however fleeting it might be.
The reason I write about it here is because flow can be experienced in many situations. While it’s usually referenced in the context of high-performance sports, I maintain that it can be experienced during interpersonal interactions as well.
How do I know?
Because I’ve experienced it – on dates.
And I know I’m not alone.
People around you fade away.
Your totally immersed in the conversation.
You feel a connection or kinship with the person across from you.
You’re “vibing” with your date and a feeling of calm washes over you.
Now, having a great interaction like that doesn’t just happen. There has to be mutual attraction, common likes and values, etc.
But the interaction itself can still fall flat unless you’re able to focus, relax and immerse yourself in the interaction – in other words, flow.
For all the characteristics of flow – concentration, clarity of goals, transformation of time, effortlessness, etc – the one that is most telling is this:
The activity has to be challenging enough where you must summon skills developed through repetition over time.
And that’s the point.
Flow can only be achieved if you keep at something.
I was only able to achieve it in basketball because I got beat so many times.
And flow can be achieved with women but you need a challenge.
You need to keep asking women out, going on dates and stepping out of your comfort zone.
That’s the key to achieving flow!