Task To Flow To Happiness
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
This is about golf but it may also seep into life. If you are like me you have figured out that “free time” is really much less fun than “accomplishment.” If you are like me you have figured out that “hope” is just as important as “desire.” If you are like me you enjoy a community or maybe even a family that is collectively attempting to push the edge and maybe accomplish something that has never been done before.
I will let you take that to life but I am gonna take it to golf. Having the “free time” to just go out and hit balls is not as much fun as “accomplishing” a task or shooting a score. The “desire” to compete and push the envelope of scoring is lost without the “hope” that we carry to the first tee. As a coach and a player I absolutely love being around fellow players and coaches that are sharing with the world as they push the envelope of performance. This sharing might be Fury’s 58 or a group of us, as coaches, sharing ideas to improve a player’s performance. It is the “why” of what I do as a coach.
The “why” is important. There are pitfalls to goals and the biggest one is not getting to it. The “why” gets me as a coach/player through the pitfalls. The “why” gets players through the tasks, body motions, skill builds, and processes. The “why” helps me communicate the same idea in different ways to different people. The “why” is maybe the goal, maybe the hope, maybe the grit that keeps us in there. That “why” I am always looking to define, or at least understand more. Maybe more than technique, I feel it is important to understand the “why” so that I can encourage others to find it.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of FLOW maybe defines it best. Mr. C, through years of research gives us a simple set of conditions that create flow:
First we need to confront tasks that we have a chance of completing. (Such as hitting the ball first, then hitting it out of the sweet spot, then controlling direction…..you get the idea. Have a task and complete before moving on. Play two tees up and shoot the lowest score of your life and don’t move back until you have. That sorta stuff.)
Second we need to concentrate which is very doable so long as our task is clearly defined. (You have heard it a thousand times, don’t go to the range or putting green without a plan. Don’t just hit putt after putt or ball after ball. At higher ends of skill add to the clearly defined task performance measures and test yourself.)
Third we need immediate feedback on how poorly you are doing or how you are crushing it! (This is the reason skill builds and body motions are important. If you are failing you have to know why…..but if you are crushing it…) Soon as the task becomes easier you will have this feeling of it being effortless and you will be in control. Here your insecurities will disappear and all those stresses of everyday life will be gone for a bit. Confidence will arise and the care and concern for what others think will disappear and in a very weird way, after the task is complete your sense of self worth will actually come back stronger after the event is over.
I encourage to read Mr. C’s work. I encourage you to stick to tasks. I encourage to collaborate with others (After all isn’t job of a great coach is to coach you to push your envelope? Aren’t we all in this together? ) I encourage you to see constraints in your practice as LIBERATION (Go to practice with a plan people!) I encourage you to see no order or disorder as CONSTRAINING YOUR SKILLS and MIND because there is nothing there to accomplish.
Let’s get good…….really good.
Attached is a clip of Mr. C’s TedTalk.