January 21, 2022•315 words
There's something about competence that's so appealing to me. I'm regularly enthralled by people that are highly skilled in some sort of dextrous action. Whether it's mundane like counting money quickly or impressive like perfectly executing a sequence of body movements to climb a rock wall, nothing in life really commands my attention like this.
When people talk about flow, it could mean thinking rapidly through a problem and making correct assumptions about it's scope and solution. Alternatively, it could mean breaking and running every ball on a pool table without a sweat. Regardless, I think I resonate more with flow in activities. I love a good think, but very little is more rewarding to me than feeling like I'm on my way to mastering a skill.
Almost everything I've been interested in has revolved around some sort of competency involving physical movements or coordination. In no specific order: archery, competitive FPS video games, ultimate frisbee, billiards, rock climbing, and Rubik's cubes (but quickly). I'm a terribly competitive person, to my demise sometimes, and I always drift towards wanting to be proficient at nearly everything I do (whether I realize it or not). It really gets to me sometimes if I feel like I'm truly lacking in proficiency. This is probably why I've leaned more towards things I can do as an individual over the years. The pressure to compare yourself to or compete against others can be unbearable, and frankly unhealthy.
When we flow, those pressures disappear and we can just focus on succeeding at a task, whether it's something we enjoy or not. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think there's some respite to be found, via flow, from the terrible, painful struggle that this world can be.
Find something you love and get really good at it. It may help talk you off the ledge someday.