If Flow is focused motivation, then understanding motivation will help us go into flow easier.
The definition I use for motivation is: Motivation is the direction and intensity of effort. Understanding this opens up a whole new way to motivate yourself.
Directions is nothing more than knowing what you want, setting clear goals for yourself. This not something new. But maybe if we think about it a bit more, we could actually reach them easier.
The first question we need to answer is: What are we paying attention to?
In terms of reaching our goals we can either pay attention to what will keep us from reaching the goal or we can pay attention to what will enable us to reach our goal. Now this is a fundamental thinking paradigm. And most of us have a preference for one or the other.
What we need to add to this preference is that we all have a choice on what we focus our attention. And therefore we must take responsibility for our choice. Knowing that which we focus our attention on, thrives.
So from my viewpoint paying to much attention to what can keep us from reaching our goals might just enlarge those problems. Which is OK if you have a deep drive and love of solving problems. A lot of people, unfortunately, do not have such a drive or the needed faith in themselves and their abilities, and they allow those problems to stand in their way and of course they lose their motivation. And thus they also miss out on flow.
Choosing to focus our attention on what enables us to reach our goals is so much more fun and aligns with the flow principle of playing according to your strengths.
It is also easier to commit to your goal, when you focus on your enablers. And commitment is the essence of the second dimension of motivation – the intensity of effort.
Intensity of effort simply asks the question: How hungry are you for your goal?
If you really, really want your goal, you will be willing to do what it takes. You would be willing to step up to the plate, put yourself on the line and commit.
Funny how few people are willing to commit. This, while commitment is the starting point of getting what you want. Until you make this choice nothing will happen. The moment you take the first step, Things start to fall in place and we find reaching our goal is easier than we thought. It is as if the universe is waiting for us to commit, before the doors of opportunities swing open.
In essence then, motivation is the direction and intensity of our efforts. My questions to you is: On what do you focus – Problems or Ability? And how hungry are you?
With love and flow