CONCEPT OF “FLOW”
You have probably heard the term “flow” on many occasions, as it has become a very popular word and concept over the past decades. It can refer to anything from writing to fishing, but you may still wonder what it actually means and how it is related to performance. Well, the concept of “flow” was developed by a Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and essentially depicts completely focused motivation, and it is characterized by complete absorption in one’s activity. As expressed in Wikipedia: “Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” In fact, the very same feelings have been recognized throughout history and across culture long before the Hungarian psychologist put a name on them. The teachings of Buddhism and of Taoism speak of a state of mind that is known as the “action of inaction” or “doing without doing” that greatly resemble the idea behind “flow”. So basically flow is this state of mind you enter when you are doing something you feel you are good at, that is sufficiently challenging and you feel like you have the skills required for it. Sounds like a great thing to master, but how?
Flow theory suggests that three conditions have to be met in order to achieve a state of flow:
– Involvement in an activity with a clear set of goals and a visible progress
– The activity provides clear and immediate feedback
– The confidence in one’s own ability to complete the task at hand
No wonder, athletic performance fits well the description of a flow experience and many of us can recall feeling this immense satisfaction and sheer enjoyment produced by repeating the same movement ever better or more accurately while doing exercise. In fact many athletes can describe this effortless nature of their performance while achieving the best personal results. The physical effect of flow is such that an athlete easily loses perception of surroundings, time and even physiological impulses. However, there is also a mental aspect of the state of Flow in physical performance, and that is something Dr. Pertti Lähteenmäki, a Finnish nutritional expert and doctor in biochemistry, was long fascinated by. He then decided to study further the concept in terms of nutritional compounds and their potential effect on entering the state of flow during an athletic performance, and that is how the Flow Drinks was born.