I was coaching a group last week and wrote the word “CONSCIOUSNESS” on the white board as a pre workout reflection. This is the definition provided by Wikipedia:
Consciousness is the quality or state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experienceor to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.
The purpose was to get a group of busy adults, students and professionals to actually stop, for mere seconds, and FOCUS deliberately on what they are doing right at that moment. Some just stared at me, maybe deeply thinking. Maybe thinking they want me to skip this boring stuff and get to the workout. That moment was indeed the best exercise in the whole hour.
When we go to work, play or workout most of us remember vividly moments of FLOW ( full immersion in what we are doing resulting in great performance and emotional pleasure). However, we rarely get to experience this exhilaration. Daniel Goleman points to why:
People are in flow relatively rarely in daily life. Sampling people’s moods at random reveals that most of the time people are either stressed or bored, with only occasional periods of flow; only about 20 percent of people have flow moments at least once per day. Around 15 percent of people never enter a flow state during a typical day. (Daniel Goleman. Focus. 2013)
There are two common alternatives to flow that you may experience:
1. Disconnected/Bored: daydreaming, wasting hours on the Internet, scattered attention, indifference, little purpose.
2. “Frazzle”: constant stress overloads their nervous system with floods of cortisol and adrenaline. Their attention fixates on their worries, not their job. This emotional exhaustion can lead to burnout. (Daniel Goleman. Focus. 2013)
I write this to you because I have great confidence that what we do causes each athlete to focus, fully focus, on the task at hand in our box. You are being directed consistently about what to do, how to do it and at what intensity level you should be efforting. Daniel Goleman stated in the same book, “Apart from a career change, there are several doorways to flow. One may open when we tackle a task that challenges our abilities to the maximum–a “just manageable” demand on our skills.” What do you pay for when you enter into relationship with The Arsenal? At least one hour of deliberate FOCUS and CONSCIOUSNESS. Exercises in taking serious and lasting control over your habits, behaviors and decision making one session at a time.
So, think about what I’ve shared above relative to your whole life, especially your job. Ask yourself, am I disconnected/board, frazzled or consistently achieving flow in my daily work life? If the answer is no, or you want more, come visit me, I believe I can help.
(All quotes above taken from Focus by Daniel Goleman, published 2013.)