There’s an often written about concept of “flow” in the world of performance psychology (and there’s a good chunk of it in ‘flavour of the month’ book Drive). The theory says that you reach the much sought after state of flow when there is a perfect match between the level of challenge you face and your ability/skill to meet that challenge. It’s a great concept and one that has a lot of supporting evidence. From the elite performance perspective, we know that those people who most consistently experience flow possess the following:
1. The ability to accurately and objectively perceive the challenge of tasks in a way that is personal to them (never assume that people can accurately assess the challenge of a task in the first place!)
2. The ability to accurately and productively have a completely contemporary view of their own skills and abilities (most people know what they’re not good at, rather than where their skills and abilities truly lay).
Those two concepts sit right at the heart of Performance Intelligence too (as well as at the basis of the definition of stress) and compelling as the theory of flow is, we’d suggest that if you want to maximise the chances of experiencing the magical state of flow with consistency, then you need to put in the ground work to understand and develop your Performance Intelligence – after all, if you misperceive the level of challenge that you’re facing or underplay the abilities that you have, then you’re not even going to get off the starting blocks in the race for flow!
So, how good are you at having a very clear picture of the specific nature of the challenge you’re facing and how god are you at really understanding and valuing all of your abilities?