Isn’t it funny how certain moments in life seem to slow down in a very positive way? The term I always think of, but have never literally experienced, is “seeing the stitches on the baseball” as the pitcher releases the pitch. In that moment everything you’ve worked so hard to do just clicks and you’re left in a wonderful state of flow. If you’ve experienced working in a flow state before on anything you know that it’s an awesome sensation. Everything clicks, even when it actually doesn’t. There’s no active voice in your head, there’s no past, there’s no future. There’s only the task you are doing in that moment and it is amazing!
Today I was fortunate to be on the Get Ahead: Ask a Recruiter live chat. You can check it out here if you’d like to watch or share it. This is something I’ve never really done before, going live in front of nothing but my iPhone was a wild experience. Once we got rolling everything just seemed to flow and I thoroughly enjoyed being in a state of flow. It was wild, once the chat was over it was like I abruptly came back to reality. Interesting side note: I even experienced a sensation of loss immediately at the conclusion as I knew the task I’d been working on was no complete and I had an emptiness in me. I’ve been here before, the greatest experience like this was after the marathon Becky and I completed together. Just as in dealing with grief I knew the way to fix this feeling, I took a moment to be grateful for the opportunity. Crazy how the feeling of loss or a sensation like it follows that flow state often for me…
Of course there is so much to be thankful for today, especially from this event. From the folks who set it up to my cohost to everyone who tuned in and asked fantastic questions. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help others. I’m grateful for so many things related to the event, but what I want to blog about today is very much outside of the experience itself. I’m thankful for three things that created the flow state.
First, there was a tremendous amount of preparation put into this. Trial runs, dress rehearsals, recordings, research, practice, and training. The hard work, repetition, and practice really prepared me for this. When I was first asked to do this I thought it would be a breeze and I would just cruise through it, maybe a practice run or two and we’d be ready. Little did I know how much preparation went into this. I’m grateful for the preparation.
Next, I am grateful for flexibility. In the moment there’s a choice to be made when something doesn’t go as planned. Thanks to the preparation I’d gone through so many scenarios in my brain in advance should something not work out. Even when I think I’ve planned for everything there’s still bound to be a curveball or two. The big one that got me today was during an answer I was giving and my iPhone said the battery was almost dead! My heart kept out of my chest but I took a deep breath and rolled with it. The phone was plugged into my laptop and I’d turned my laptop off so I would t be distracted. I had to take a deep breath while answering the question, quickly problem solve, and then fix the situation. Even with all the preparation I had to remain flexible and ready to respond to anything. The funny thing is that it all happened so smoothly I kept cruising in that state of flow. I am thankful for flexibility.
Last, I’m thankful for triggers. Ever since a specific presentation I gave I always remind myself to “flip the switch” before performing. I know, it sounds homey, but I honest to God say “flip the switch” aloud and picture a big red light switch that I’m flipping into the On position. This reminds me that it is time to be on and ready. As many of you know, I can’t just be stone cold serious. With that in mind I rely on one other trigger under stress right before starting. I crack one quick joke to lighten the situation for my team and I. Today it was telling them right before we went live “I feel bad about not telling you all this sooner, but under extreme stress I’m a crier and I’m feeling really stressed right now.” The facial reactions in that split second shortly before going live was all I need to stay locked in from flipping the switch while staying loose from a quick laugh. I’m thankful for those triggers that helped me be ready to go.
The presentation went well. There’s already things I’ve gone back to and critiqued – that’s just me. All in all it seemed to be a success based on the comments, questions and responses. Being in a state of flow during it was amazing, but I’m most grateful for those three aspects of the presentation itself that helped me reach that state.