When I was a young kid, driving large distances really did not bother me, I remember that day that we drove from just outside Little Rock, Arkansas to Wilmington Delaware (1,100+ miles) in one day, and the next day we went for a large hike. This last time, I had to drive back at night in the dark in the pouring rain; at times I had zero visibility. The day after, I was sitting in the office feeling like a zombie; it was an almost completely unproductive day.
You would think that after driving to the location where I teach, followed by a rotten (first) night in a different bed (motel room), I would be out of it. I might feel like it, but the moment I step into the classroom, it is like a switch is being flipped.
I have this ritual when I teach and it really helps me get my stuff together. I can be in the crappiest mood, or tired; drag myself out of my motel bed and into the room where I will be teaching, but when I get in there, I forget about it all. I can literally solo teach for six or seven hours; be on; be engaging; feel great; and simply do not let on what’s the matter with me. I give it my everything! Oh yes, I can fake it with the best! But when when the class is done and the last person leaves the room, I am done for, I am exhausted. As a fellow teacher of mine and I once compared: "Good teaching is like good sex, you are exhausted after that." Hopefully I am teaching a second day and I can go back to my motel room and go for a nap. Having to drive back to the office and then back home is tortuous at times.
So how do you achieve flow? To each his or her own, but as I mentioned, I have somewhat of a ritual. Owen Schaffer mentioned that there are seven conditions for getting, being and staying in flow:
- High perceived challenges
- High perceived skills
- Knowing what to do
- Knowing how to do it
- Knowing how well you are doing
- Knowing where to go (where navigation is involved ... or maybe my ritual)
- Freedom from distractions
|Nothing better than a morning hike through the woods, exploring life and death around you. Here is where I experience flow, forget about it all and take photographs to document nature's beauty, even a dead tree that is slowly decaying.|