Ego and Learning

When we disable ego, we enable learning. 

Learning is an innate capacity but judgment, fear, and ego get in the way. 

Pace and quality of learning accelerate with relaxed concentration – flow.

There are three requirements for flow
1. clear goals
2. immediate feedback
3. challenging, but manageable activity

When we enter a flow state, the rational mind goes dim. Awareness and uninhibited perception take over. 

Full immersion is the essence of flow states: energized focus, full involvement, deep enjoyment. Presence. 

Tiago Forte calls flow the holy grail of productivity. The pre-frontal cortex shuts down and self-criticism disappears. The science proves this. 

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Flow states are fun. They improve pattern recognition and lateral thinking, a non-ordinary state of consciousness. 

Flow is a state of inner tranquility — more focus and less stress. The science proves this. 

In a flow state, you feel free and relaxed, not tense and overly controlled. 

Josh Waitzkin, a chess and tai chi world champion, calls flow the secret to optimal performance. 

In his book, The Art of Learning, Waitzkin writes: 

“In performance training, first we learn to flow with whatever comes. Then we learn to use whatever comes to our advantage. Finally, we learn to be completely self-sufficient and create our own earthquakes, so our mental process feeds itself explosive inspirations without the need for outside stimulus.”

There’s a Japanese word I like: Mushin (無心). The English translation is “the state of no-mindedness.” 

Advanced martial artists enter a Mushin state during combat. The mind is free from ego, anger and fear. No internal chatter — present, aware, and free.

Guided by the subconscious, the sword and the warrior become one in the same. 

The mind is guided by instinct and intuition. It works deftly, but with no intention, plan or direction.

Flow with whatever comes. Move with – not against – randomness and unexpectedness. 

Flow itself can become more rewarding than what we achieve with it. 

1. The Inner Game of Tennis
2. Tiago Forte
3. The Art of Learning

Full blog post here