The Path to Flow

Most of us have habits and patterns that prevent us from actualizing the best version of ourselves. It's possible to create a life full of Flow, but you need to start at some point. If you've been looking for this point: This is it!

 

Previously on FlowBank Insider

In our last entry we told you which four factors are necessary for Flow to happen. You might think: "Okay okay, we get it: Flow needs Focus, Freedom, Feedback & Four-Percent-Challange. But how do we manage to live up to this?" You're right, we still owe you an explanation.

 

Focus

Number one: Minimize distractions. You will never be focused if your partner is sitting next to you all the time telling you tales from your last holiday. You'll never be focused if your phone is ringing off the hook every other minute or your dog is barking at you to take him to the park. Flow is about focusing your attention completely on one thing. So, avoid distractions, turn off your phone, close the door, let the dog run around in the garden.

 

Beautiful dog at home looking very bored

 

Something else that might help: Set an alarm. Optimum time: 45 minutes. In those 45 minutes, you'll be totally engaged in the action you want to perform. No ifs. No buts. No yada yada. Simply do it. And then reward yourself with a 15-minute break. – That's an effective rhythm. Trust us.

 

Freedom

How are you supposed to have fun if you're not free? Failure must be an option. Allow yourself to fail and always remember: no one’s born a master. Create mind freedom for yourself. Fear is the opposite of freedom. Also, compulsion is the opposite of freedom. You must really want it and you must be free to decide what you want. Otherwise, it won't work. And your life or existence shouldn’t depend on the task you do. After all, it's tough to be light-hearted if your life depends on it. Relax. Create room in your mind. Allow yourself to fail and to screw things up. Allow yourself not to know everything. Allow yourself to be mindful of your joy.

 

Feedback

If you want to grow and be successful, you need to know what success actually means. For this, having feedback is essential. Or, if not having it, creating it yourself. The easier an exercise is, the easier we can give ourselves feedback. You can tell if you came to work on time by looking at your watch, and if not, by your boss's angry face. If the task becomes more complex, sometimes it isn't so easy to get the right feedback. Take the example of trading: How do you know whether your stock is just in a momentary slump and will recover tomorrow, or whether you must get rid of it quickly because otherwise you'll lose money? In short: You don't know. But you can protocol your actions. That way you'll be able to recognize a system of failures and successes. Maybe you're someone who holds their stocks too long and therefore eliminates value too often. Or maybe you're someone who sells too quickly and therefore can’t benefit from the recovery in value. If you don't come up with a system, you'll repeat the same mistakes over and over again. For more complex issues it's therefore helpful to keep a diary. This way you can reconstruct your successes and failures and later adapt your actions to the experience you have gained. Without a diary you'll stay in the dark and won't ever recognize the structure of your behavior or pattern in your actions.

 

Four-Percent-Challenge

This is a point that comes up again and again. How do I know what I'm actually able to perform and where exactly I have to grow my skills four percent? Again: You can't know. But you can feel it. Four percent is only a guideline. Be honest with yourself and learn to assess yourself. Begin by observing yourself carefully, and you'll start to recognize what you can or cannot do, and where you still need to practice. It doesn't help your progress to helplessly overestimate yourself. If you've just started playing basketball, you won't want to compete with Michael Jordan, LeBron James or Stephen Curry. That's the way it is with everything you do and with everything that needs practice. I'll say it again: No one’s born a master. You know what you can and can't do. If you notice that you get scared at the very thought of an action, it may be too hard for you at that moment. Try to make it easier for you by giving yourself more time. Or let it become easier by sticking with it, continuing to practice and thus becoming better and better.

 

Background image with sketches and drawings on grey wall

 

So what?

The moral of the story is clear: Time is a prime factor in the world. And in life. And in trading. Whatever you do, it takes time. And whatever you perform, it takes time to improve and become the better version of your rookie self. Give yourself time to grow! It’s difficult to establish a habit at first. Of course it is. Otherwise, everyone would have great habits. You can train yourself towards the positive and healthy ones. Start small. You don’t have to focus 45 minutes at a time. Start with 15. Or 5. But start. And keep repeating. Through repetition magic arises. Same goes for freedom: Practicing freedom will bring you to freedom eventually. You won’t feel it at the beginning. But you’ll recognize it, when you’re there. All these processes take time. Establishing your own diary asks for discipline and discipline asks for repetition in time. Take your time. It takes years to learn and a lifetime to master yourself. With small steps towards it, everything is achievable.

 

Don't stop challenging yourself.

Don't stop improving.

Don't stop trying.

 

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