In the Flow - How to Be in the Moment

In the book "The Rise of Superman" author Steven Kotler talks about the Flow. The Flow is the optimal state where you feel your best and perform your best. He was looking at the experiences of extreme athletes when he wrote this book. I'm a whitewater kayaker, so I've actually been able to experience this feeling. The Grand Canyon has some of the biggest rapids on the continent. You have massive waves coming at you from every direction and it's a very scary and chaotic environment. After about a week, everything suddenly slowed down. I could see the wave coming at me from a mile away and it was like everything was in slow motion. I would act without even thinking. I think that's what he was talking about when he discussed being in the flow.

This isn't a new concept. Over 2500 years ago, Lao Tzu wrote in the "Tao Te Ching" about something very similar. He wrote that "The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings...He doesn't think about his actions; They flow from the core of his being." Basically, that's being in the Flow and completely in the moment.  So how can you apply this to your life?

When I was in the Canyon, I had to keep telling myself "I'm where I'm supposed to be and doing what I'm supposed to be doing". Each day I had to overcome my fears and take action or I'd miss out on the experience of paddling the Canyon. Each day you have to decide to overcome your fears and take action to move towards reaching your goals. You have to make a choice. You have to choose to be happy today. You can't put off your happiness till tomorrow, or next week, or when you get a promotion. You have to choose to be happy today.

You can choose to look at the positive side of things. You can choose to be around the positive people that make you happy. You can choose to do work that you find meaningful and that brings joy to your life. Every day you make all of these choices that allow you to be happy today and not put it off until tomorrow. There's no guarantee of tomorrow. All we have is today. We have this 24 hours and we have to choose to enjoy it and to be in the moment.