What is the Zone?
Stop for a moment and think about those days when everything just ‘clicks’ for you. Days when you find yourself at the right place at the right time, doing just the right thing. When people you encounter say ‘yes’ to you, when you find yourself finishing jobs you’ve been avoiding and when you are so consumed with energy, the day just zooms by.
The way you feel on those days is how highly successful leaders achieve extraordinary success in all areas of life.
This way of living is called ‘Being in the Zone’
When you are in the Zone your world looks good and feels harmonious.
When you are in the Zoo (out of the Zone), your world looks bad and disharmonious.
There are three keys to extraordinary success
Most companies know about clarifying their purpose and installing best practice when designing their processes.
Unfortunately, many companies ignore the third and most powerful key required for extraordinary success, the human state of being – how everyone in your company feels throughout the day while they do what they know to do.
The state in the above diagram can be expanded into different levels of States of Being shown in the following diagram.
Levels of the Zone
There are three levels of the Zone state.
Level 1 Zone and Level 2 Zone are powerful states of being and it is possible to stay in these states most of the time, as you gain mastery.
The most powerful of these states is Level 3 Zone, commonly known as the flow state.
This state is an intermittent state. It is possible to experience longer periods in Level 3 Zone (flow) in your life both at work and at home, but you will drop out of flow from time-to-time.
In order to execute universal values the key is to live and work in higher levels of the Zone, and stay out of the Zoo.
Level 1 Zone
The emotions that you feel at this level are typically optimism, neutrality and courage. This state is characterised by being productive, happy and harmonious.
Zone Culture provides the following Level 1 Zone tools to get you out of the Zoo and into Level 1 Zone:
- Zone tools such as ‘Get in the Zone’, ‘Re-Energise’ and ‘Sleep Well’ guided processes, which are available as mp3 for streaming
- Training on how to question your erroneous thoughts for truth so that you can debunk those thoughts that are not useful to you and throw you into the Zoo.
Level 2 Zone
The emotions that you feel at this level are typically gratitude, understanding and forgiveness. This state is characterised by high performance without stress, and you are open, agile and collaborative.
In contrast to Level 1 Zone, for Level 2 Zone, Zone Culture has identified 3 core limiting beliefs that are responsible for all limiting beliefs that throw you into the Zoo. Zone Culture has developed a process to debunk these 3 core limiting beliefs to you to get into a higher level of Zone and sustain being in this state.
Level 3 Zone
Leve 3 Zone is the flow state. This is highest level of the Zone state and is also known by other terms:
- ‘Being in flow’
- Marathon runners call it the ‘runner’s high’
- Jazz musicians call it ‘being in the pocket’ (eg. John Coltrane)
- Stand-up comedians call it ‘on the forever box’ (eg. Robin Williams)
- Basketballers call it ‘being unconscious’
Being in the highest level of the Zone (flow) silences the inner critic, the self vanishes, creativity goes up, risk taking goes up, innovation goes up, and performance goes up. We are much more open to experience.
Characteristics of flow
“Flow is an optimal state of consciousness, where we feel our best and perform at our best. Moments of rapt attention and total absorption, so focused on the task at hand, everything else just disappears. Action and awareness start to merge.
Your sense of self will vanish, and time will dilate (passes strangely – sometimes slow down like in a car crash or speeds and 5 hours go by in 5 minutes). All aspects of performance go through the roof, both mental and physical.
Our senses take in more information per second – increased info processing, pattern recognition, future prediction. All the neuronal processes in the brain are amplified by flow. It almost sounds like nonsense, but 50 years of research says otherwise.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Hungarian-American Psychologist – commonly known as the godfather of flow psychology, discovered that flow is definable.
Core characteristics of being in flow:
- A clear purpose
- Uninterrupted focus on the present moment
- Vanishing of sense of self
- Altered perception of time – time seems to expand or contract
(Time can either feel condensed – two hours feel like ten minutes, or expanded seconds feel like minutes. That is why the highest level of Zone is also called a ‘timeless’ state of being.)
- Feeling of certainty
- Spontaneous action
- Oneness – Feeling of unity with everyone and everything
(In Level 3 Zone there is no room for worry, fear, distraction or self-conscious rumination. You do not feel separated from your actions; you are one with your activity and the people you are working with.)
Being in flow is fundamental to well-being, peak performance, teamwork and overall life satisfaction.
In the Olympics, arts, technology, science and business, significant progress and major paradigm shifts take place in flow.
McKinsey (Global Consultancy) did a 10-year study and discovered that top executives are 500% more productive when they are in flow (the Zone) than when they are out of flow. Two days a week in flow, you were 1,000% more productive than your competition.
Imagine how well your company will perform in all areas when your employees are in flow, compared to other companies whose employees are not in flow.
We have found that Level 3 Zone skills can only be taught one-on-one and requires methodology that is out-of-the box. It may go against your conventional understanding of how life works, but the skills you need to learn are easy to use and quick to give a result.
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