This is Moe Abdou. I am delighted today to have Srini Pillay join me to discuss a fascinating topic — this whole notion of fear and unlocking the fear that is prevalent in each one us.
Srini, I really appreciate you joining us this morning.
Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it.
I want to start by asking you a personal question. You responded to my first email at 4 a.m. and when I asked you about it, you said something to the effect that I am in a state of flow right now, and I just keep going.
I’m really curious, tell me about that feeling? I read a lot about it. Tell me about that feeling and maybe we can get into that in a little bit because if a small percentage of the world can get into that state, I think we can be at just an amazing place to live.
The flow state for me has been essential because of the number of things that I do. What I try to do is anchor my day and behavior to a number of different things. I would say that when I’m in the flow state, I feel like I’m in a state of creative flow. I feel like I have a certain amount of flexibility in my thinking like I can switch tasks fairly easily. But I do try to make sure that I get at least five hours of sleep which is usually what I need per day.
I also try to make sure that if I’m working in a particular area, that I anchor myself to particular objects of productivity. For example, if I’m working at an issue around fear, rather than simply being in a flow state, I will try to create some kind of goal point at which I either want to produce a talk, a seminar or a book.
I think when I keep myself anchored to the goals and, at the same time, sort of try to do some of the basic things like eat well, sleep well, play well; I feel like I can move into the flow state with greater ease.
Is that something that you consciously try to do regularly?
Yes. In some ways I fell into it partly just because of the diversity of my interest which range all the way from science to music. And partly because of the number of things that I was doing, I felt like I needed to accelerate a lot of what I was doing.
Through my understanding of how the brain works and human psychology, and understanding that a lot of the fast processing is actually done unconsciously, I recognize that in the initial stages of what I was doing, if I was new to it, I would be pretty deliberate and slow and try to internalize the information.
And then when I got to the more creative phases, I would allow myself to move into the flow state. Again, having check in points so that there wasn’t simply in a flow and not achieving what I wanted to achieve.