I was listening to an interesting design programme on ABC Radio National the other day. There was discussion about underground stations in America and how the designers realised there were different locations where crowds and groups of people would congregate. A ‘choking effect’ was happening within the rabbit warrens that make up larger stations. These choke spots became areas of increased rubbish, loitering and petty theft, not to mention the inherent safety of large groups of undirected people.
The solution to these problems was found in signage. If people clearly knew where they are going then they kept moving.
I believe to get in to the activated part of our flow, the deep and powerful part, we need just three things:
Confidence: Part of the source of being in flow is believing in ourselves. I believe in the art of goal setting and I love planning, however I feel that if we create plans and set goals, we are helpless in taking action if we don’t feel we can achieve them.
Inner belief is built by improving our inner confidence. We do this by reflecting how far we’ve come in life and re-membering and valuing our natural talents. Inner confidence is swollen with inspiration and together with practical skills for external confidence, a natural upward spiral of higher confidence occurs.
Clear direction: This is where the Choke Effect comes in. Not knowing where we’re going is like trying to come back from somewhere we’ve never been. If we don’t have a clear indication of the next few steps in life, we can loiter and take up time-filling activities. Make sure you create a simple list of the 1-3 things you’re focusing on today or this week and you’ll feel more calm, certainty and be more productive.
Communication: In our subway station analogy, we use communication to help us navigate around people and objects to where we want to go. Communication isn’t just external spoken communication, when at a railway station, the electronic signs, the sound of coming trains or a timetable may all be ideas being communicated with us. Keep your senses open to them all.
Can you see how you may be ‘choked’ in some areas of life? If you want that to change something in that area, simply focus on it and make a prioritised plan. Remember there are people and resources around you to communicate with to help you get clear direction.