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Flow circle and how to harness it

Kirjoittanut: Ismo Huusko - tiimistä Kaaos.

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Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Flow circle and how to harness it


Do you remember how it felt to be in the flow zone and how you get your tasks done in no time? In this essay I’m going to talk about flow circle and how you can apply it to your daily life in order to achieve flow states more often.

What connects high performance athletes from different sports is that how they all are in flow states during the races or games. They achieve this state often and it’s mandatory if you seek the victory. Flow state also turns impossible things to possible and it has been proven countless times. For example, Rian Doris mentions in his YouTube video how front flips on a BMX were thought to be impossible and very deadly and now triple front flips are on the table. These things require flow state to happen. Sport athletes are not only ones that can use flow state, but it can also be used everywhere, and many big companies uses flow state within their employees. Flow state can be also used in your personal level on basically anything, it’s up to you. (Doris 2023)

Flow circle consist five different elements. First one is engaging, second one is struggle, third one is release, forth one is flow itself and the fifth one is recovery. Everything starts with engaging the tasks. With engaging you make the decision to face the struggle ahead. It requires mental capacity to do the start because it creates the most of resistance. Like jumping from an airplane, you are waiting there for the jump and your mind can start show you worst case scenarios and the decision starts to feel big and there is lot of resistance, but you still make the decision to jump. (Doris 2023)

After engaging comes struggle and it means that the difficulties of the tasks are now at your hands, and you are not running away from them anymore. Here we are in the uncomfort zone, and it can bring anxiety and fear but if you want to achieve the victory and finish the tasks, you need to go through the struggle. (Doris 2023)

Release comes after the struggle, in this phase discomfort and storm starts to wear down and sun starts to shine so to say. Your brain starts to release chemicals that makes you feel good like dopamine for example, and you start to feel good about doing the task. When release has occurred, you launch yourself in the flow state, the fourth part of the flow circle that we have been looking for. Here you don’t have fear and different kind of negative emotions and instead of that the dopamine moves you forward, and things goes smoothly. (Doris 2023)

The last part of the flow circle is the recovery phase which is crucial after being in the flow state and going through the struggle. Your mind and body needs time to cool of from the stress so you can enter the flow state again. (Doris 2023)

Now when we know about the flow circle, we can go through things that helps to achieve the flow state. Setting clear goals are important so you know what you are doing and where you want to go. When you are setting goals, make them clear and break it down to smaller steps. Achieving smaller goals motivates you to move on towards the bigger goal. You can make your smaller goals very specific, so they feel easy to achieve and that way your mind doesn’t create any barriers that easily. (Doris 2023)

It’s harder to achieve flow state when the challenge is too big and if you feel overqualified for the task. To achieve flow state, you need to balance these two out and keep the challenge little bit bigger than what your skills are. In this way the healthy challenge drives you forward and makes you perform better. When you know that you are capable of doing it, your confidence grows. Also, with this balance is good to adjust the situation in your favor if you can and make it not to take too much of your energy. If the tasks take enormous amount of time, it’s most likely that you don’t want to do them or it’s harder to get it done so regulate your time with the tasks and know your boundaries. (Doris 2023)

Good tip to achieve flow state is to bypass your natural reaction inhibition. That means that we have our natural responses towards difficult and stressful situations, and they can keep us from doing the things that needs to be done. Good example of this is cold shower, it has numerous health benefits but when the time is to turn the cold shower on, you back down. This is the natural reaction to cold and it starts to create these worst-case scenarios in your head even thought everything would be alright, and better in fact. To bypass this reaction, you need to act fast. Turn the cold shower on before you are having the second thought of doupt because that thought doesn’t serve the bigger picture. (Doris 2023)

Flow state makes you feel good, and it makes you want to achieve it more often. In today’s world we have lot of distractions that interrupts us from achieving the flow state so make sure you really dedicate time to the task at your hands. Schedule and minimize the distractions. All that starts to pay off, and you will achieve flow more often. (Doris 2023)



Doris, R.2023. “The 15- Second Rule That Makes Procrastination Impossible”. Lecture. YouTube-video. Publisher Rian Doris 27.10.2023. Referred 12.11.2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkDxsQRbIwo&ab_channel=RianDoris


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