Yesterday I talked about turning the corner, and the psychology of progress and accomplishment. For me, turning that corner towards the home stretch has 3 major pieces of awesome.
First, I am almost home, and that feels great. But second, this is the time when I begin to hit my stride. I gain so much confidence from my accomplishment. My process is smooth and completely out of my way. I feel like I can go forever. Finally, my mind and body has reached a state of efficiency as well. It now knows what to expect and has readjusted to a new optimal state.
Confidence is an incredible motivator and fuel for success. There were a few reasons why my hockey career fizzled, but the nail in the coffin was confidence. I remember on game in Mobile, Alabama when I did the exact same ridiculously awful play in two consecutive plays. It was remarkable who the play developed back-to-back to enable the opportunity for me to fail (as a disclaimer on the word failure, I believe all failures are good, and that the word needs to be redefined) on such an embarrassing level.
In the dressing room after the period was over my coach embarrassed me more, directly in front of my teammates. It was humiliating. A few months earlier I was playing with Team Canada, and now I could keep from putting myself offside when no one was around to pressure me. At that moment I said “How about a little confidence coach”. His 1 track typical hockey player/coach mind couldn’t provide me with the encouragement I needed at that time. It is way easier to make fun, than to make better.
Now that I have 7 successfully behind me and I know I can overcome the worst the Master Cleanse has to offer, I know I can move on. This gives my step a little swagger, and that is clearly displayed in my presence.
These days I design software and information. All this work is very cerebral. I juggle a lot of concepts in my mind and manipulate non-tangible objects in a computer screen all day. That takes a lot of metal power –so much so that if I didn’t have good systems in place I wouldn’t be effective. Truthfully speaking, it has taken me a better part of a decade to discover and employ tactics that create a system of workflow that gets out of my way and increases my potential and productivity.
Having the right tools and the right script makes any process easier. This much is obvious to everyone, but it amazes me how many people start off without proper tools and instruction, and then because of that are much more likely to be frustrated with their progress leading them to quit.
The Optimal State of Mind
When you hit this flow zone, your mind and reaches a state of optimal performance. It is firing on all cylinders, and hitting its stride. This state of mind only comes when confidence is gained through the repetition of an efficient process. While this sounds awfully mechanical, I can assure you it isn’t.
First, change your perspective about the repetition of the process. Learn to love the improvement you notice with each repetition –be present in the process– rather than longing for that future when you will be “good” one day.
Second, when you have a framework established creativity flourishes. You have a great deal of freedom to “riff” off of when you have an established set of fundamentals. It is the framework that gives you freedom to “play”; to experiment for the joy of seeing what you can accomplish with the skills you have, and are developing. And finally, it is when we are children at play, that we enter an optimal state of mind and hit our stride.
The metaphor of “hitting your stride” comes from running. There is a point when runners find a rhythm, and grove that their stride seems effortless. This just doesn’t happen to first time runners. It happens to runners with just a little experience, a present sense of concentrated playfulness.
At this stage of The Master Cleanse, I have hit my stride.
Do you feel the confidence building? Is your system established and working for you? Has you body adopted to it’s new reality and is performing at an optimal state?