Golf is a game that can be both infuriating and exhilarating. There are times when I despise it, yet those rare moments of extraordinary shots keep me coming back for more. Well, to be honest, given my game, I mostly lean towards the “hate” side. But hey, with some good moments sprinkled among the bad, it’s an ebb and flow kind of journey!
In golf, finding those instances of complete immersion and focus is like discovering a hidden treasure. We’ve all experienced those captivating moments when time stands still and the world fades away. It’s what psychologists call “being in flow.”
Flow, a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, refers to a state of optimal experience where individuals feel fully absorbed and intrinsically motivated by the task at hand. It’s a mental state characterized by a complete merging of action and awareness, where individuals are completely focused and perform at their peak. When we are in flow, we experience a sense of control, deep enjoyment, and a distorted perception of time.
A few years ago, I made it a goal to play at least nine holes of golf every week during the summer. I am happy to say that I achieved my goal. Like everything in life, the more you do it, the better you get. By the end of that summer, my game had significantly improved… well, at least by my standards. I managed to break 90, shooting my personal best round ever. I guess I can say I was getting better, for me, that is.
Flow is closely connected to the concept of eustress. When individuals are engaged in activities that match their skills and abilities, they are more likely to experience eustress and then enter a state of flow. The balance between the challenge of the task and an individual’s skills creates an optimal environment for flow to occur.
The day that I broke 90 was a day I could do no wrong. I was a little stressed when the round first started, then I hit my first drive, slight draw landed in the middle of the fairway, second shot on the green, first putt almost in the cup, 4th shot…PAR! I got in the groove; I was in the flow. I shot an 86 for the round…As I said, it was good for me.
When we experience flow, not only do we enjoy the activity itself, but we also derive numerous benefits. Flow promotes a sense of well-being, increased self-confidence, and personal growth. It enhances our performance and productivity, as we are fully focused and able to tap into our potential. Being in flow fosters a sense of fulfillment and happiness, contributing to our overall satisfaction with life.
In essence, being in flow is an optimal state where we are fully immersed and engaged in an activity. It’s marked by effortless concentration, pure enjoyment, and a warped sense of time. Flow arises when the challenge of a task aligns with our skills, propelling us into a realm of intense engagement and peak performance. So, embrace those moments of flow, cherish them, and let them carry you to new heights!
“Time slows down. Self vanishes. Action and awareness merge. Welcome to flow.” – Steven Kotler
How will you find your flow?!
Have a great weekend.