Finding Your Flow


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It is well-known and widely accepted that forcing yourself to perform a task you do not like or that does not interest you much (i.e. work), creates decision fatigue. Decision fatigue occurs when your willpower reserves become depleted.

According to a famous Parol Board study by Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and Shai Danzinger of Ben-Gurian University, decision fatigue begins to set in after 90-120 minutes of “work”. After this time period, the body experiences a shortage of glucose, the fuel that powers just about every cell in you body.

But individuals who experience “flow” do not suffer from decision fatigue. When you are in a state of “flow” you can focus for hours at a time on a task, without any noticeable fatigue.

Why is this?

“Work” causes decision fatigue because “work” typically involves performing mundane tasks. Mundane tasks are tasks you must perform and this forced labor requires the use of willpower, or more specifically, requires that you use your newer, upper brain, the neocortex.

The neocortex is the most recent edition to our triune brain system. Some neuroscientists peg the existence of our new brain at just 75,000 years.

The problem is that the neocortex is an energy hog; an energy hog that eventually tires.

When you are in the flow, however, you are typically performing a task that interests you. When you perform such tasks, you are tapping into another area of the brain; the emotional center of brain known as the limbic system.

The limbic system is one of the oldest, most evolved parts of the brain. This evolution has given the limbic system unusual powers. One of those powers is the ability to engage in emotion-based activities for long periods of time. The key here is emotion-based activities.

Emotion-based activities bypass the neocortex and marshall the more evolved and more powerful limbic area of the brain. This part of the brain does not fatigue. It is literally a limitless supplier of emotion-based mental energy.

When you engage in activities you enjoy, you are able to enter the flow – a state of mental activity that taps into the oldest, most evolved parts of the brain. This is why those who pursue activities they enjoy, as a means of earning an income, are far more successful – they are using the more evolved parts of their brain.

And what an advantage that is!

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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