The heart pounds hard, the nervous system prepares for action, the body prepares to fight or flight. Welcome to stress, to turbulence, to agitation!
When you lift dauntingly heavy weights, speed on the road, climb a steep mountain, train a contact sport, fight for your country, approach hot women, speak to the public, make risky business decisions, or do anything that requires courage, your body is agitated, pumped with adrenaline.
Call it stress, tension, edginess, nervousness. Do not call it worry or anxiety.
When the body is freaking out, the mind has a natural tendency to freak out with it: to heat up, to create anxious thoughts, to create worry.
A strong mind, however, keeps thinking coldly, strategically, and rationally—aiming at pride and goal achievement despite the body’s nervousness.
This is the perfect state of being: to have a cool mind in an edgy body. It is also a great state for flow to happen.
Do You Live A Boring Life?
Most people drink coffee every day, which is a passive way to create agitation in the body. Your life is boring if caffeine is your only way to put your body into fight-or-flight mode. What are your active ways to engage your sympathetic nervous system and experience excitement?
How many times per week do you deliberately expose your body to emotional and physical stress? This is another way of asking: How thrill-seeking and courageous are you?
Your fear is the sharpest definition of your self. You should know it. You should feel it virtually constantly. Fear needs to become your friend, so that you are no longer uncomfortable with it. Rather, primary fear shows you that you are at your edge. Staying with the fear, staying at your edge, allows real transformation to occur. Neither lazy nor aggressive, playing your edge allows you to perceive the moment with the least amount of distortion. (David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man, p. 29f.).
- How to Live Your Life: On the Glory of Flow
- Flow, Control, and Relaxation: The Three Faces of Mindcoolness
- The Dalai Lama on Calmness of Mind
- Will Vs. Flow: Can You Force Yourself to Do Something?