Flow is Healthy Madness
What is the Flow State?
Flow is healthy madness. Take it from Nietzsche: And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. And it's not a coincidence that many Existentialists consider themselves Absurdists. Because such a joy, such inspiration, such marvel, feels absurd, crazy. Yet it gives people like Jordan Peterson the power to keep directing plays despite being sick, and record speed writers like Brandon Sanderson to keep publishing.
Flow takes us over and the energy and inspiration feels crazy - because it comes from within, not from outside. It has nothing to do with external circumstance. It does not need music. It does not need praise. It does not need support. It proceeds to carry us forward with passion and enthusiasm, no matter how dark our days or how tough our life. It does not need drugs, in fact, it shuns it.
How do you feed flow?
How do you feed flow? I recommend you feed it by looking at and understanding your own Flow Personality Type. Who are you when you are the happiest and the most excited? What do you do? What are the triggers and circumstances that put you in flow? Reading? Writing? Exercise?
How do you sustain flow?
How do you sustain flow? I recommend you look at what lifestyle you need to maintain flow. People in flow avoid unhealthy stressors and demands. Brandon Sanderson, who recently announced 5 new (fully written and finished) books in one full sweep, recently said that his touring before COVID had put him under strong stress and at risks of burnout. But the COVID-19 pandemic brought this to a heel, and gave him the space and room to do what he loves most - write. He wrote in secret, for himself, because it brought him joy, and it gave him space and energy.
Flow does not seek compliments or rewards from the outer world. It avoids the ego. It does not care for success. It does not force itself. It does not tell itself "I should.". It just goes where it wants and does what it loves. Flow does not blindly consume information in a state of autopilot. Flow does not watch the television or mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Instagram. Flow writes notes and lives with intent and presence. Flow is mindful and active.
What is your flow type?
Check in with yourself and form a flow hypothesis. What do you need to do to enter into a state of flow? What activities will help you feel and maintain flow? Test your hypothesis. Go out into the world and pursue a lifestyle that connects to your personality type. Go an invent, if you are an ENTP. Go and express yourself, if you are an INFP. Try it out and see how it feels. Adjust as you go, as necessary, as you learn more about yourself. And have fun.