This is our flow overview. For people in this class and people watching, anybody's who's taken flow fundamentals, Some of this is gonna overlap a little bit. Hopefully every place there's overlap we're taking you someplace new where there's new information in there for you guys. But there is gonna be a little overlap if you're familiar with flow fundamentals. So, as way to kind of kick it off, we're going to be talking about flow which is an optimal state of consciousness. And when I wrote "Rise of Super Man", I teamed up with a bunch of top athletes and a bunch of top artists to create a series of videos. So one of them was with Chase Jarvis, who is the founder, one of the founders of CreativeLive and is the guy who kind of made all this happen today. So I thought we'd kick off the flow section by looking at Chase's video on flow and creativity that we made together. Just to give you a sense of what flow feels like. (slow music)
You've heard poets talk about poems literally like flo...
wing out of their body. Painters, same thing. They get a on a, on a roll. You've all seen a musician when they're in that state. The guitar, the piano, the, whatever instrument just become a part of their body. Their ego is completely gone and it's just their connection to their art. Their connection to the emotions that they're trying to share with the audience. That is pure flow. (slow techno music) Flow comes through taking risks. Risks of putting yourself out there through vulnerability. For Travis on the side of a mountain or for Dean on the side of a wall, that risk is very physical and for an artist or for a creative, the risk is far more emotional.
Creativity is essentially a novel insight bumping into an old idea to create something totally, radically new.
To really tap into creativity you have to take a picture that no one else in the world can take. You have to shoot a film that no one else in the world can make. You have to paint something that no one else on the world can paint.
So flow massively amps up creativity. From a neural anatomical standpoint, parts of the prefrontal cortex deactivating so your inner critic, for example, gets shut down in flow. Inner critic is normally a governor on creativity. It keeps you doubting those ideas. When it turns off creative ideas can spiral, can flow.
Flow doesn't happen necessarily only in, in bite sized minute by minute chunks. You can feel flow over the course oof a project. I've had this many times in my career. Where it seems like your, your just butting your head against the wall for weeks and then something happens and everything just starts to get easy.
Flow heightens what's called "outside the box" thinking or lateral thinking. The ability of the brain to link very, very tangential ideas together into something new.
When you're in a flow state, it begets creativity and then creativity in turn begets more flow.
Most importantly, you have really interesting brainwave activity. This is kind of very similar to the state that you're in, almost as you're falling asleep, when ideas are linking together in really, really, wild, wild ways. It's a massive amplification in creativity.
It's almost like that thread that's sitting there in front of you and you can grab that thread and, to me the best moments in my career as an artist or when there was no one around, it's 4:00 in the morning, I've grabbed on to one of those threads and then I'm on for the ride. (slow techno music)
Cool. So, as I've said, flow is defined, technically, as an optimal state of consciousness. A state of consciousness where we feel our best and we perform our best. More specifically, flow refers to those moments of rapt attention and total absorption. Where we get so focused on the task at hand everything else disappears. Action and awareness will start to merge. So the doer and the action, they become the same thing. The surfer becomes the wave. The painter becomes the canvas. There's no separation. So it's the self, sense of self consciousness will disappear completely. Time passes strangely. The technical term is it dilates. Time dilation. What that mostly means, most of the time, is time speeds up. So five hours will pass by in like five seconds. This is an experience familiar to anybody you've written an email, you sit down to write that quick email, get really sucked in, you end up writing an essay, you look up a couple hours later and it's pages long. That's time dilation. Occasionally, most, more specifically usually this happens in sport, but in can happen in creativity, creative flow as well. Time will slow down. You'll get a freeze frame effect. Compare to anybody who's been in a car crash. And throughout, all aspects of performance, both mental and physical go through the roof.