Find your flow | International Golf Psychology Association

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Charlie Nickell was asked to present his sales strategies at the next national Mona Vie convention. Mona Vie is a network marketing company that sells a fruit drink with 19 different fruits-one being the popular-acai berry. Charlie had entered the company 9 months ago and had become its top salesman on the West coast. The leadership was so impressed with his rapid rise and network marketing skills that they wanted him to share it with others in the corporation.

Charlie had reservations excepting such a grand invitation. He had never spoken before more than 20 people, let alone two thousand of his colleagues. But Charlie accepted.

The day of his presentation, Charlie was all nerves, but as he walked to the podium, he felt a peace and calmness. As he gave his speech, Charlie was brimming with enthusiasm. It seemed to him that everyone in the audience was hanging on his every word. Every humorous comment produced a huge laugh. Every word spoken came from the lips so crisply. While the presentation lasted 60 minutes, it seemed but seconds. Charlie felt a sense of great joy and honor and wanted the presentation to never end.

Charlie was in the zone. The zone is that magical place where everything feels right-you can do no wrong, and the difficult seems easy. It is a place we long to be but rarely find.

One of the first psychologist to study the zone was MihalyCsikszentmihaly. Rather than the zone, he calls it flow, and has found that everyone can experience flow-from athletes to musicians to business professionals. After recording the responses of hundreds of subjects, Dr. C discovered that certain conditions have to be present to reach this optimal state. These include such factors as a challenging situation, an optimal intensity level, complete focus on the task, a feeling of supreme confidence as well as feelings of joy.

Although there are certain conditions that help to produce the zone, everyone describes this place a bit differently. The hall-of-fame golfer, Sam Snead, describes the zone as a cool mad-he is intense by relaxed. While Bobby Locke, another supreme golfer, said he found the zone when he possessed a calm deportment. The author, Timothy Hallinan has commented that his most creative experiences come when he is writing hot. He doesn’t analyze anything but just takes off with his thoughts. However, I found that my best writing comes to me when I started off slow, critiquing my work before moving into new material.

Given that the flow state is unique to the individual, we need to create our own road map to finding the zone more often. This starts with awareness. Assignment #2 Find your flow in the emotional awareness section helps you to discover how you can get into your flow.