It is important that we understand the concept of Flow during our journey of building Dream Habits. Flow is a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The concept describes the state of mind we go into when our current challenge is “just outside” of our current abilities or skill level. The state of mind is described as losing one’s sense of space and time while performing a task.
In other words, it allows for full “immersion” in the task at hand. This is quite the opposite of an anxious, depressed or otherwise negative emotional state of mind. Often times what happens to me and many other people I know is that when we take on too much at once, we become overwhelmed, stressed and filled with lots of negative emotions. This is not conducive to a creative mindset.
All of our habits should bring joy most of the time when we practice them. There will be days that we dread doing anything, especially our Dream Habits, but the majority of the time we should feel a sense of excitement and happiness when we move towards our dreams by our daily practice. This can only really happen if we are practicing at a level that is enough to challenge us, but easy enough that we don’t feel overwhelmed.
The beauty is that all of the positive emotions that we think we will feel when we finally accomplish our dreams, we actually start feeling right here, in the present moment, and even more so, every day. All of a sudden we give ourselves more and more opportunities to feel good as we practice and it leaves us with a sense of fulfillment and progress.
When we feel like we are fulfilled and we are also progressing, this also has a tendency to build momentum. When we finally experience the effect of momentum, what happens is that we become “compelled” to practice our habits every day, because they bring us such a positive overall experience.
This is even more than motivation and desire, it is more like a “I have to because I want to” type of experience. It is like we are shoveling good emotions into our body by doing our practice. As humans, we like the idea that we can do a given task or activity and get a certain type of outcome. Smoke a cigarette, feel energized, have a beer, feel relaxed, eat chocolate, feel happy. However, these quick pleasures don’t keep us in positive emotional states for long and we also do not get to experience the joy of being fulfilled.
When we have momentum behind our Dreams that compels us forward, we start to crave our Dream Habits, because we know that most of the time when we do them, we will feel great about it.
This is why we practice every single day of our lives, because we crave it.