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The Importance of Flow

To reach flow, one must be willing to take risks. The lover must lay bare his soul and risk rejection and humiliation to enter this state. The athlete must be willing to risk physical harm, even loss of life, to enter this state. The artist must be willing to be scorned and despised by critics and the public and still push on. And the average person—you and I—must be willing to fail, look foolish, and fall flat on our faces should we wish to enter this state.

—NED HALLOWELL,

HARVARD PSYCHIATRIST

As we discussed in the previous chapter, flow is the third stage in the process of reaching optimal performance. While each stage ...

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