When’s the last time you found your flow at work? When we say flow, we’re talking about Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s definition of the word.
He defined it as the mental state in which you’re completely focused, engaged and enjoying what you’re doing — you might have also heard of flow by its colloquial term, being “in the zone.” No matter what you call it, one thing is for sure: Work is a whole lot easier when you’re locked in this way.
You can prep yourself for work in plenty of ways in order to be as productive as possible. However, finding your flow requires a conscious mental effort. In order to get yourself there, we’ve compiled the following quotes about flow to inspire you the next time your day isn’t quite flowing. Read them, let them motivate you and then get going: You’re in the zone, after all.
“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well.” – Jack Welch
“One of my teachers once said that the way you know you’re on the right path is that it works. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t run into blocks and brick walls, but it does mean that you can find a way around them or find a way to change yourself or your project in order to find the flow again and have it work.” – James Redfield
“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“Life is so much easier when I allow myself to be myself and go with the flow. Whatever that looks like on a given day. If I can get quiet enough to truly check in with myself, I usually end up on the right track.” – Taylor Schilling
“My hand does the work and I don’t have to think. In fact, were I to think, it would stop the flow. It’s like a dam in the brain that bursts.” – Edna O’Brien
“Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow.” – Paracelsus
“The self-expands through acts of self-forgetfulness.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
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“You can’t buy something which does not exist. In a way, let’s make things exist and then judge later. Don’t cancel the process of creativity too early: Let it flow.” – Ross Lovegrove
“It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“The most important part of life is work, it’s the flow, it’s getting stuff done, feeling like you’re doing something.” – Penn Jillette
“It is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“If you feel bored or uncomfortable as you’re writing, ask yourself what’s bothering you and write about that. Sometimes your creative energy is like water in a kinked hose, and before thoughts can flow on the topic at hand, you have to straighten the hose by attending to whatever is preoccupying you.” – Natalie Goldberg
“If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“I’ve gone seventy-nine hours without sleep, creating. When that flow is going, it’s almost like a high. You don’t want it to stop. You don’t want to go to sleep for fear of missing something.” – Dr. Dre
“Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
“I’ve kind of entered a flow state. I’ve been there before while climbing. You are not thinking ahead. You are just thinking about what is in front of you each second.” – Aron Ralston
“When I’m the happiest, my desk is not neat. It has lots of pens and books I love. It gets messy when I’m in the flow. So many houses are neat.” – Alexandra Stoddard
“I live my life on self-believe and I live it partly on going with the flow.” – Melanie Brown
“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it.” – Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
You have the energy. Go find your flow.
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