I have been fascinated with the idea of “flow” for a few years now. Flow is a state where you are performing optimally and effortlessly. More and more studies seem to be popping up on getting into the flow state. Malcolm Gladwell discussed the “10,000-hour Rule” in his entertaining and informative book Outliers, “claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours” (from Wikipedia, sorry). After putting in this many hours, it is not unheard of for athletes, artists, musicians and so on to experience flow.
I have been fortunate enough to get into the flow state in my life while pursuing two passions. When I am writing, I occasionally get into a state where the writing seems to take over, like it is being done not by me, but through me. Back when I played basketball all of the time, two games stand out where I feel like I just couldn’t miss a shot (this was two out of hundreds of games, mind you). Shot after shot felt near-perfect, like the basketball rim was 10-feet wide. Even a shot or two that I put up that didn’t feel right went in. Flow is an amazing feeling (unfortunately it is pretty rare, at least for me).
In an interesting article, Daniel Goleman shares more on achieving a flow state: