To Get Into Flow More Often, Be Childlike (Not Childish)
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19:14
Flow is a funny state of consciousness.
When we get so immersed on the task at hand, our prefrontal cortex temporarily shuts down in what’s known as “transient hypofrontality.”
This is one of the last brain regions to fully mature, upwards of age twenty-five give or take a few years. The long-term decision-making and executive functioning are critical as we mature and progress through stages of adult development.
For flow though, we need to go into the other direction.
Rather than over-processing and over-thinking, getting in our own ways and fighting our inner critics, we need to become childlike.
Now this does not mean childish or immature- there’s a difference.
Childlike wonder, curious about everything, willing to fail, turning everything into a game and where every moment has that Christmas Eve magic, that’s the secret.
It’s the popular meme of having the confidence of a five-year old dressed like Batman.
We hinder ourselves by taking ourselves too seriously and not embracing that Richard Feynman-like playfulness.
The late Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said,
“Games are obvious flow activities, and play is the flow experience par excellence.”
If you want to get into flow more often, be childlike and go play.