In this state, the body is relaxed, the mind is relatively quiet and your 5 sense awareness is heightened. It is the state where you perform at your peak without any pressure or stress.
Let me illustrate
Think back to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and bring yourself to the Swimming pool where the high dive event is taking place. The Chinese diver had just performed his final dive and unfortunately had made a mistake. This opened a tiny window of opportunity for someone else to win Gold, but only if he did a perfect dive.
Now, imagine you were Matthew Mitcham, the Australian diver, standing on the high board ready to dive your final dive. You are in Silver position with this amazing opportunity to take home gold – but only if you perform a perfect dive.
What are you thinking as you are standing there on the diving platform, waiting to do your final dive?
If you are thinking “1 billion people are watching me and I don’t want to let my country down”, “I must perform the perfect dive.” “I’ve prepared for this opportunity all of my life, I better not bungle it!”
What would happen to your body, if you are thinking those thoughts?
It would be tense wouldn’t it?
And how would you dive if your body was tense?
Not very well! May be even a belly flop?
After the dive, a reporter asked Matthew what he was thinking before he dived. Matthew said that he had done all he could to prepare for the Olympics and decided that as there was no more he could do once he had arrived in Beijing, he would just enjoy himself. So, he told himself to enjoy the dive and just dived.
The outcome was that Matthew received the highest score ever given in this event in the history of the Olympics! Matthew brought home Gold to Australia!
He was in the Zone!
Impact on success
All the competitors who had qualified to compete in the Olympics had prepared just as hard and many had the skills and talent to win. So the differentiating factor is how they were in the moment of the event.
Sports psychologists tell us that strategy – knowing what to do and how to do it is accountable for only 20% of the equation. Our state of being – being relaxed, aware and enjoying the moment while we are doing what we know to do, accounts for 80% of the success.
It is ALL about THIS moment
What I discovered is that you can only ever be in the Zone or out of the Zone in THIS moment.
You see, life happens in this moment. When is it ever NOT this moment?
Even if you wanted to experience the past, you’d need to pull up a memory and think about it… and when is this thinking taking place?
So even the past is only ever experienced NOW.
If you were fantasising about the future – for example spending time at the beach next weekend, when is this fantasy happening?
So you see, you can only experience the memory of the past, the fantasy of the future and the present, in this moment – NOW.
And how you are being in this moment, your state of being, will determine the success of your outcome in every area of your life.
How do you know you are IN the Zone?
You know you are in the Zone, because you FEEL GOOD. When you are feeling good, the world will reflect a good response.
How do you know you are OUT of the Zone?
When you are NOT feeling good in this moment, your body tenses, your mind gets busy with thoughts of past and future and you drop OUT of the Zone. Then the world reflects a not so good response.
The “In the Zone” / “Out of the Zone” poster is in the left sleeve of this folder. I recommend you put this poster up in your office or behind toilet door at home or at work to remind you to live and work in the Zone!
Happiness is usually postponed
Self-Management is the ability to manage how you FEEL in THIS MOMENT! It is your ability to be happy and remain the Zone throughout the day.
But in our modern society we have been conditioned to believe that success and life works differently!
Let me illustrate
We’ve been conditioned to believe that happiness is a by-product of achievement. Therefore, happiness is always postponed. We say “I’ll be happy when… I have finished this task, when I get that promotion, when I find my ideal partner, when I pay off my mortgage? I’ll be happy when my husband takes the garbage out!”
So, what about right now? How do you feel now? Obviously, not happy! Not happy until sometime later, after a goal has been achieved.
When we are working towards a goal, we frequently feel anxious and stressed. But most of us believe that we must sacrifice how we feel now, in order to be happy later, once the goal has been achieved. This makes achieving goals a hard slog.
And can you see how ridiculous it is to try and achieve goals by being OUT of the Zone, feeling anxious and stressed? All for the hope of happiness sometime in the future, after the goal has been achieved.
Many of us have also discovered that achieving goals does not necessarily bring us any closer to happiness, beyond a fleeting moment or two. Then another goal is set and off you go again! This stressful way of life has been promoted by most of the personal development gurus since the beginning of the last century.
What has NOT been taught is how to feel good once you have set your goals and when you are working towards achieving them.
As Albert Schweitzer said
“Success is NOT the way to happiness.
Happiness is the way to Success”
and he was right – it’s called being in the Zone.
In the Zone, the body is relaxed, the mind relatively quiet & your 5 sense awareness heightened; and you perform at your peak without any pressure or stress, and feel happy.
For you to experience “A Day in the Zone” and FEEL GOOD every day, I have created these 5 Zone tools.