Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is Your Sweat Point?

Okay, I'll admit it. I sweat when I write. Well, maybe not all the time, but most of the time. Why? No, my room is not a sauna. Usually it's on the cool side. Actually it's because when I have a good idea and get lost in my writing my energy level rises in the excitement. I call it my "sweat point."

What do you do that gets you excited during the day? It might be cooking, painting, creating a new website. But think about it? When does your entire being respond to what you are doing? You can feel the energy rise. Your breathing changes. Your heart responds.

I'm not talking about anxiety. We all know what that feels like. That is when the body overreacts to whatever we are doing or more realistically we overreact to what we are thinking. Yep, we really sweat then, but we also hyperventilate, and our bodies react in their fight or flight mode. Usually it happens when we are in over our head on something we are doing.

What I'm writing about are those moments when you are doing something you love and you lose yourself in it. It has been defined as "flow;" when your capability measures up to the challenge of the task. But flow is an amorphous concept. I've often wondered how I know I'm getting into flow. What are the ways I can tell?

For me, as I enter a moment of flow, my body responds to the excitement. I'm focused on the task at hand and I'm lost in it. The world fades. Of course there is the additional energy that I want to do the task well, so my energy level gets even higher. That's when I hit my sweat point. And I know I'm doing something that challenges my capabilities and pushes me farther than before.

What excites you? (wow, that doesn't sound right) What gets your energy going during the day? I've found that for many of us it's initially difficult to define those moments. But today, be aware of your body. Watch for those moments when the energy rises and you believe your abilities are up to the challenge. You will hit your sweat point. Why is this so important?

We all want to be engaged and energize in what we do, but most of us aren't aware what triggers that. Watch for your sweat point because you will start finding those things that engage and captivate you. Once you know what activities create flow you can steer your day toward those moments more and more.

As for me, I'm sweating now. Every morning I get to start my day with something that triggers my sweat point. I can't think of a better way to start my day.

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