10 Things that get me into a flow-state
Created after a morning reading a few chapters of Dr. Rangan Chatterjee's book Happy Mind Happy Life, specifically the chapter about flow state.
1. Playing catch (baseball-related), learning a new pitch, simulated game, etc
This is the classic, "bottom of the 9th, two-outs, full count, need to strike this guy out or hit a home run" narrative that every kid who has ever played baseball has thought about while throwing a tennis ball against the garage door or swinging a bat in the backyard.
Even though I don't play anymore, baseball was a huge part of my life for 20+ years (through college) and was top of mind when thinking about what brings me into a flow-state. I used to spend hours outside, alone, looking at my swing in the window's reflection or practicing ground balls/footwork drills. Today, that skillset has loosely transferred into playing golf, but I still keep a baseball on my desk and often find myself cycling through how I used to grip different pitches (fastball, curve-ball, splitter, etc).
2. Glove /leather oiling
Similar to above, the process of glove maintenance and keeping the leather in good shape is a form of meditation.
3. Cast Iron Reseasoning
Again, the PROCESS of bringing a pan back to life and making an egg that doesn't stick is rewarding because you can see tangible results.
4. Building a fire
The first steps are the hardest, but the process gets easier as the fire builds.
5. Photography, specifically surf photography
Nailing the shot, especially when your subject is moving/ever-changing like the ocean
6. Photo Editing
The second half to #5 where you process the photos off your camera and eventually yield a finished product.
7. Walking/running on the beach
I realize "long walks on the beach" is a popular cliche of an activity that people like to do, but there is something about the vastness of the ocean that allows your mind to wander further than another setting.
8. Difficult workout + recovery
Just like our ancestors hunted for meals, I think humans are supposed to do physically difficult things and then relax. For me, it's the sauna after a tough workout. When Covid first hit, I canceled my gym membership for 1yr and didn't realize the mental toll NOT going in the sauna would have.
9. Simplifying a process / Continuous Improvement
This is my interpretation of Industrial Engineering / lean manufacturing, but it is rewarding to help simplify & standardize a process that helps people do their jobs (or sometimes day-day life) with less waste
10. Travel / Spontaneous plans that come together
This usually happens when traveling, but I'm talking about the serendipitous and spontaneous moments where you can truly "go with the flow" and not need to know what's going to happen next