Optimising Performance (Part 7)

by Patrick Liew on September 28, 2011

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, there are ten factors that form part of the flow state.

1.       Goals

There must be clear goals. These goals must be in alignment with your capacity and competence to achieve it.

You must feel that you have to stretch and improve your skill set to achieve the goals.

2.       Concentration

You must focus on issues that are keys to achieving your goals. There should be a high degree of concentration on the task at hand and there should be no distractions, both from within and outside of you.

3.       Self – Consciousness

When you are in the flow, you are not concerned about how you appear to others. There is mindfulness for the present. The past and future do not come into play at all.

The world around you seemed to have disappeared as you focus your thoughts on making things work.

4.       Lost In Time

Perception of time is being distorted as you focus on your task. You are either lost in time or in some cases, you feel that time has slowed down and you have more time to make better decisions and to improve your performance.

5.       Feedback

To achieve and sustain the flow state, you need to have relevant, clear and prompt feedback. It will help you correct your direction, improve yourself, and make the necessary changes to achieve the desired results.

6.       Equilibrium

The task at hand must not be too easy or you’ll be bored. On the other hand, it must not be too hard or you will not be motivated to achieve it.

There must be a balance between the challenge and the skill and ability to resolve it.

7.       Control

In a flow state, there is a heightened sense of control over the task or situation. You feel that you are in a better position to lead and manage the activities to achieve the desired results.

8.       Reward

The reward is not just in reaching the goal, you feel that the task at hand is rewarding in itself. As a result, you are passionate about performing it and enjoying yourself at the same time.

9.       Physical Awareness

When you are in a flow state, you are not conscious about your body senses. You may not even feel hungry or thirsty because you are so deep into the task and focus on achieving the goals.

10.   Focus

Your total being is being absorbed by the task at hand. You are not focusing on anything else except it.


The above factors are components of a flow state. You don’t need all of them but a combination of some of them to be in such a state.

To optimize performance, aim to achieve a flow state and to sustain it until you achieve your goals.



I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we apply these factors to achieve a flow state?



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