State of Concentration
When you are in a state of flow, or “in the ZONE,” you are able to achieve abnormal feats for yourself. When you are in a state of concentration, you are playing at what you believe to be your best. When you are not in any state, you are clumped in with the rest of the population. We can call this the state of average. You are currently in one these three states as of right now. You can never be in two states at any particular time, but you can transition very quickly and sometimes at will from one state to another. Your state is based on many factors including your competency level, your confidence level and your daily intentions. To be always in a state of flow is ideal, but highly improbable. To be in a state of average is likely, but typically useless. To be in a state of concentration takes some effort and can sometimes be draining based on your mental conditioning and natural abilities, but is also beneficial and essential to your everyday growth. The idea is to be present as much as possible in this state of concentration so that no matter what your progress becomes innate and undetermined by outside circumstances, because average will always fall behind and flow has a hard time making up of loss time.
What it means to be in the ZONE
This flow state is very magical. I think it’s possible that everybody has entered into such a state of euphoria at least once in their lifetime. The average person may not have noticed, nor did their peers due to the fact that their performance would not be considered impressive or something comparable to the GREATS of our time. Being in the ZONE is the state of the mind being in a place of tranquility, harmony, and complete understanding. In this state, you don’t so much as think, but you seem to only do. It’s like you know what to do without knowing. It feels effortless and always right. You couldn’t feel any more at home when you’re in this state of flow. You are unwavered by any obstacle, challenges, or problems that may enter into your world. To you, it was always apart of your world. Tony Robbins is a master at helping people achieve such a powerful state of consciousness, using breathing, movement, and speaking techniques to tap into that power packed center of the mind that knows all that is needed to be known in order to perform in all conditions effectively.
Almost all of us have no idea how to enter into this state of flow at will and for good reason; it’s a Super Power.
When you enter into a state of flow, you are essentially tapping into your inner superwoman or superman. You have an unfair advantage whether it be on the basketball court, the classroom, or even on the New York stock exchange. Some of the most successful authors in the world created masterpieces that have been unparalleled by mankind not because they were smart or had a specific type of degree, but because their book was written while in a state of flow.
I think the most commonly experienced situation where people have entered into a state of flow almost across the board is during the honeymoon stages of a relationship. This is that magical time when every moment with your partner seems like heaven and every day together feels like a fantasy. It’s like the two of you are in sync with everything and it feels like you can do no wrong. You make all the right moves and say all the right things. It’s the perfect relationship and you are madly in love. Until one day something gets in the way. It could be you, it could be her, it could be a misunderstanding from both of you, but some how things got off track. Your perfect world slowly fades away and you come tumbling abruptly back into reality. AKA, the state of average. What really happened? You stepped out of your state of flow.
The curse of mediocrity
What is the point of being average? Well, I guess if you think about it somebody has to be average. And though this is definitely true, it does not mean that our current average is acceptable. There will always be an average level of doing things, which simply means there will always be a commonly experienced set of actions and results, but if we keep those results limited to the same checkpoints then we will never progress as a species. That being said, being average is a curse on humanity, while resetting the standards for average is our savior from ourselves.
The state of average is a mindless state. It is uncreative, unresponsive, victim minded, and problem polluted. Being in a state of average is un-motivating and will have you stuck in the fabric of space and time. The state of average is a lazy existence that is upheld on the foundational view that doing more would be pointless, useless, or committing an injustice to yourself or possibly to someone else.
This state of average typically falls in line with our most current emotions and primal feelings. If you’re tired you sleep, if you’re bored you get distracted, if you’re annoyed you get an attitude, if you’re scared you avoid, if you’re upset you get hostile, if you’re frustrated you get reactive, and if you’re not interested you focus your attention else where. These are examples of how your actions become completely lead by your emotional and mental state of being. In this state, jealousy, anger, sadness, depression, greed, anxiety, paranoia, worry, over confidence, excitement, confusion and selfishness can get the best of you. This is not a proactive state, it is a reactive state and a reactive response can cause a war that never should have happened in the first place.
Focus on the moment
The state of concentration is another term for focused. Being focused is a little different from being in the ZONE, though it could be mistaken for looking the same. Being focused is a conscious decisions that requires all of your effort and will power. It is draining and exhausting to hold for long periods of time. Focus is a muscle and your focus muscle, when utilized, places your thoughts inside of a funnel pointed at the execution of a specific task or project. Why is this important? Because the more focus you put into completing any particular mission, the greater your chances are of entering into a state of flow.
Your state of concentration is your ability to only pay attention to what it is you are doing. It is forcing yourself to only engage your mind in the task at hand. It is performing with your eyes, not with what you think you see. If you are thinking about past events, a possible future, or another unrelated task, then you are not exhibiting focus. This is what causes a wide receiver to drop a wide open pass. This is what creates paperwork errors from a veteran secretary. This is the reason why you miss the question on a test though you knew the actual answer. Lack of focus creates a lack in performance.
When you are in flow, you are operating in a heightened state of awareness and ability. It is an unnatural place for you to be in and cannot be expected for you to reach on a regular basis since it is not a natural place for you to be in. When you are in a state of average, you either have no idea what you are doing or you are making no conscious effort to get and do better. When you are in a state of concentration you are putting your best foot forward every time. This doesn’t mean that you will do well or that you will have a great outcome, it simply means you gave it your best with the abilities you currently have. It is only in this focused state that one can move from mediocre, to descent, to good, to great, and even legendary. No matter what talents and gifts you have or don’t have, no one has enough natural ability to be a legend without intense focus and no one has to be doomed at the level of mediocrity forever if they concentrate on mastering their craft long enough. It takes a constant practice of focusing and honing in on the moment and task at hand to develop the mental fortitude to perform at your best. This relates to your career, your schooling, your parenting, your relationship, and your ambitions. If you can’t concentrate, if you can’t see with what your eyes can physically absorb now and not what your mind can see elsewhere in the ethers, then you will be doomed to failure and a life of mediocrity where you get to experience survival and not fulfillment.
Here is your challenge. Can you focus on the day? Meaning, can you give 120% of your effort in the three most important areas of your life today? Can you put your complete focus into each task that you engage in on your to-do list today? Can you make every task important, every encounter meaningful, and every experience beneficial? Can you concentrate on the next 24-hours or will you try to unplug and let your mind drift into places unknown? Your challenge is to make this the most productive day of your life and when you wake up tomorrow you mission will be the same. Do it everyday as if it were the first day.
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Mel Jones the BEAST