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September 2, 2019

Flow: The Intersection of Discipline and Surrender

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I heard something really interesting at an event recently that I wanted to dive deeper into. It’s one way to understand how to enter a flow state. By definition, a flow state is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized, uninterrupted focus. That forms the ceiling of their cognitive capacity. The idea we talked about, is that one can find a flow state at the intersection of discipline and surrender.

Doesn’t that just sound deep?

Well, I think there’s some pretty solid reasoning behind it. As for discipline, it is the ability to execute under all circumstances. It’s an ability to prioritize what is important and to ensure that it will be taken care of, and in some sense you identify with it. That’s where the uninterrupted focus part of the definition comes in. Discipline is a personal accountability to the things that you know you need to do. However, it has its own limitations in that is exists solely on the execution side and not on the capacity side.

Surrender on the other hand, is powerful. It is placing complete faith in the process. In surrendering, you can get out of your own way and lift the limitations you put on yourself, allowing you to enter a new level of operation. It’s important to note that surrender is different than submission, because there is zero resistance to it happening. No fight, not second guessing, just peace.

By utilizing the accountability and executional properties of discipline, and pairing it with the liberating expansion of surrender, you can reach a state of mind that otherwise couldn’t be achieved.

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