What does flow mean?

“What does flow mean?”  It’s a little different for everybody, but let’s start with the dictionary definition…

When asking the internet, What does flow mean?  The answers range from textbook and scientific to subjective and fun.  According to Google:


  1. (of a fluid, gas, or electricity) move along or out steadily and continuously in a current or stream.
    “from here the river flows north”
    1. synonyms: run, course, glide, drift, circulate
  2.  go from one place to another in a steady stream, typically in large numbers.
    “the firm is hoping the orders will keep flowing in


  3. the action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream.
    “the flow of water into the pond”
  4. a steady, continuous stream of something.
    “she eased the car into the flow of traffic”
    1.  synonyms; movement, motion, current, flux, circulation


There are lots of ways we could go from here, however, for the remainder of this article we will be talking about “flow states” or how to experience flow


To discover what does flow mean, let’s take a look at what flow is…in other words, what is a “flow state?”

What is the Flow State?

“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.”

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi

To live a life that provides a sense of purpose and achievement it is essential to know how to create it. You can create the life you desire by harnessing the power of your mind and taking action. Research by positive psychologist, Mihály Csí­kszentmihályi, has shown that achieving and using a state known as the ‘flow’ or ‘zone’ increases achievement, creativity and happiness.


The flow state is similar to hyper focus but it has none of the negative impact or emotions. While in the flow state you are totally absorbed by a task that is meaningful and challenging. You have an end goal and know what actions you need to take to achieve it. You are so focused and immersed that there is no room for self-analysis or doubts. Time seems to fly past without you noticing as you are totally absorbed by what you are doing. Being in the flow means that you are taking action constantly instead of stopping and thinking. By taking action and not stopping to think you prevent any negative emotions such as worry or self-doubt from blocking your progress.


When you are in the ‘zone’ you are totally immersed in the activity in hand, losing all sense of time and self-consciousness. Engagement and enjoyment are crucial. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’ This is what it is like when you’re in the zone. You are focused and your productivity levels increase. Your total immersion in what you are doing means that you are not clock watching. You’re so engrossed in taking action that you don’t have time for anything else.


You will feel energized, challenged, totally aligned with the task and positive. The flow state is a positive state of mind and being. The activity is one that is well matched to your skills but contains a level of challenge that will help you grow. This matching of challenge and skills will ensure that you feel positive about the task and while completing it you are not suffering from any doubts or fears.


Without goals or dreams life will seem boring and without purpose. Being in a state of flow is engaging and allows you to achieve peak performance. You are so immersed in what you are doing that you don’t register anything else. Creativity and problem solving are enhanced while in the zone. Identifying your goals will help you create a plan to achieve the life you desire. Taking action using the flow state can help you to make them a reality.

Learn more about the FLOW audio/video program: Get in the FLOW

If you would like to experience flow for yourself, click here.