Volume 3, Issue 29
We are emotional beings. We are hardwired to have some emotional drama going on in the background at all times. Getting into the Zone aka Flow state requires awareness and management of that background emotional mood. If we are not proactively programming it, it will program itself.
After a long series of successes, the background state is often one of confidence, a can-do, can-win attitude. However, this can also set one up to crash in the case of a setback. “What is happening?” we will wonder. “This can’t be happening to me. I never fail.”
To prepare oneself for a challenging game ahead, one uses mental rehearsal including all the things that the other players might do, and the contingency plans of one’s own best actions in each scenario. At the end of such rehearsals, one pre-envisions as vividly as possible, with all emotions engaged, winning the game. At the very end of the preparation one gives up all care about winning or losing. Attachment to outcome blocks the Zone. You have to be playing the game for the sheer enjoyment of it, for its own sake, to shift into the Zone.
With the emotions as a wrapper around our whole psychic experience, the thoughts flit along the surface of the mind. Emotions program thoughts and vice versa. Everything affects everything else in there.
In the complex accelerated culture in which we live, self-mastery of our inner space, or even awareness of what is going on in there, is extremely complicated. Neuroses arise of certain types, like biocomputer viruses, and the viral infection spreads through society by intercommunication of memes and moods upon which neuroses depend.
Two recurring neurotic themes involve money and frustration. The culture is set up to cause most human inhabitants of Earth not living in a tribal setting to need to think like slaves or indentured servants, always worrying about money. Some conspiracy theory was involved but mostly it was natural forces. At first money was just a marker to help memory remember trades and symbolize real “property” such as animals and grain. Then it became what it is today, the leading indicator of our feelings of self-worth, belonging, achievement, status, freedom, security, wellness and potency. I’m probably leaving some things out.
Frustration is a natural effect when society does not encourage (or recognize) one’s inborn skills in certain directions that would channel one into a career he/she loves. Instead one takes a job one can tolerate but that may do little to bring out those inborn skills. Frustration mounts when co-workers and bosses don’t go along with the inspiring ideas one has about how to do one’s job better. The mix of money fear and frustration turns to rage, often bottled up inside where it is one of the causes of illnesses of the mind and body. One is blocked from getting into the Zone, which if achieved would provide ideas for action solutions that in turn would bring more money, security, and clever ways to break through the frustrating resistance to one’s best ideas.
The start of a new cycle can be effected by seizing the control point where the avalanche starts — the surrounding emotional mood. Control of the emotive space around the psyche is the key. Detachment from outcome is the core of heroism. A sense of humor gives perspective. Willingness to face the worst with confidence in oneself (and for some, confidence in God/the Universe) confers a courageous fatalism that has been rediscovered by all of the heroes in history.
In order to program the emotional wrapper, detachment is not enough. Our psychospheres thrive on emotion. Replace negative emotion, the doom of the Zone, with positive emotion — which means remembering what you have to be grateful for and what you have to look forward to and to be excited about. There may be challenging (even heartbreaking) trials but you need to be able to see them as opportunities to show what you’re really made of.
Best to all,
Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.