Do you follow #motivationalquotes or #hustle on insta?
Chances are, this is the most widely used quote on such hashtags.
But is it true?
Do you really need to suffer pain every time you have to achieve something?
Have you ever played guitar? Or any musical instrument?
If you have, did you notice that after a while, you cannot consciously remember the notes, I mean you feel you’re in flow. Your hands do their job. If you’ve practiced many times, you must’ve felt this. When you think of playing a song, it comes naturally to you. You don’t have to think every time – String 5 fret 3.. string 2 fret 7…
Or maybe when you’re so used to cooking, you do some things naturally. Without being consciously aware.
And how does the food taste? As usual? Delicious?
This can also happen for example when you’re playing football. After lot of practice you get so used to the game that after a while you seem to be doing it effortlessly, you don’t consciously think to kick now.. to move there… It just happens. And when you become aware that you were lost in the game, chances are you will make a error.
The point is – this is flow.
This state is called flow. We all experience this… Loosing track of time, getting absorbed into the thing at hand, we are not conscious, we don’t analyse every move, it just happens.
And how is your performance when such state occurs?
Most of the times it must be wonderful! It’s like you become a pro within minutes!
But what does this have to do with the quote?
If you are in a profession where you experience flow while doing you work.. maybe you’re a dancer, or artist, or writer, or even sportsman, if you experience flow with your work, try to experience the state as often as possible.
My point is that research has shown that you don’t always need pain to succeed. The process of attaining something worthwhile can also be enjoyable and it’s good for your mental and physical health if it’s enjoyable!
We often have this fix mindset that if I’m not feeling pain I’m not working hard enough and therefore I won’t succeed.
It’s not the case.
We exhaust ourselves and those around us unnecessarily if we adapt such mindset.
Flow is when you’re totally immersed in what you are doing, fully concentrating, unaware of yourself. The activity is challenging and engrossing, stretching your skills and expertise.
– Sonja Lubomirksy
So flow activities are not easy. They are challenging and engrossing.
Not too easy, not too hard. Something that also matches your skills and expertise.
Flow leads us to be involved in life, rather than alienated from it. To enjoy activities rather than find them dreary.
To have a sense of control rather than helplessness.
To feel a strong sense of self rather than unworthiness.
– Sonja Lubomirksy
This is just to remind you that work doesn’t always need to involve pain to gain something worthwhile.
Of course, hard work is real and necessary. But it should be satisfying, not extreme to the point of burnout or exhaustion.