Flow: the nirvana of everyday life 

We are all searching.

Fundamentally we’re searching for our role in the world.

What am I here for? It can’t be what I’m currently doing at this second- wondering what the hype is about Ed Sheehan (new album released today – do I quite like it, is it as good as everyone’s saying…). I can’t be fulfilling my potential by thinking these things while chomping on a banana.

Ive read books grappling with life’s big issues and what we are here for and they conclude usually that we need a mixture of pleasure and purpose. I can’t argue with that. It sounds worthwhile and it gives us all something to do – so we don’t sit at home all day in our pants eating peanut butter and marmite on toast (not tried it – you absolutely must. It’s pure salty heaven. In fact I first ate it after climbing Snowdon and named it the Salty Snowdon Sandwich. I digress.)

Back to the point. While pondering this hypothesis and carrying out my day to day tasks I have realised that what we’re all striving for is ‘flow’. That’s the living nirvana. That’s what we all need. And we need far more of it than we currently get. Yet we can’t schedule it, we can’t demand it. It’s elusive and if you think about it then it will always escape you..

It’s when we forget to do other things we normally care passionately about. Like eating. We forget our worries and our troubles. We forget our hopes and our failings. We are simply being. We are 100 per cent in the moment. Not wanting for anything and not mulling what could have been.

This is the moment when everything clicks without you realising – or trying. Time becomes timeless.

I’m no great tennis player but I find my flow when I’m hitting – or missing – a ball. It’s magic. You feel revived. I didn’t get this magic-ness the first time I hit a ball. I’ve had to hit a gazillion balls to get this feeling. But when I’ve felt it it’s been like a chocolate-ice-cream-syrupy-pancakey-gooey-sugary-heavenly rush of pure joy. And so much cheaper than drugs.

Artists happen upon it. They are so completely occupied with what they’re doing that they forget they have children, forget there’s a dog waiting to go outside, forget there are bills to be paid. They are in it.

Why are we not taught to ‘find your flow’ at school, or university or at work? How do we find it? We need to start doing more. Creating more. Making more. Being more. Then we’ll find it.

But, remember, as you search for your flow…don’t let on that you’re looking for it.


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