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Being In The Zone vs. Thinking About Being In The Zone

I recently had an interesting discussion with my kid about the importance of being in the zone and not thinking about being in the zone. We discussed how it's important to know the difference between being in the zone and getting into a 'meta' state, which can derail your groove and prevent you from doing something well.

Realizing the Difference Between Being in the Zone and Thinking About Being in the Zone

By Michael Levin

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Tooling tweaks can go on forever. Tooling can’t be for its own sake, but every once in awhile it does have to be the focus. It’s like beds, chairs, cars, etc. You spend so much of your life in your tools that when they need to be maintained or adjusted, it’s worth it. But you can’t be constantly sharpening your knives. It’s about the cooking. I had an interesting discussion with my kid where they told me about “the game”. If you think about it, you lost. I mentioned to them that’s a fundamental thing about life.

You’re either in “the zone / flow” and doing life well not thinking about it, or you think about thinking and get into a “meta” state, which throws off your groove. They thought it was a nerd thing, but I think the parallel between what they were saying and what I was saying got through. It’s important to know that the state of meta-awareness, thinking about thinking, while useful and appropriate at times tends to muck up the works when you’re just trying to live life and do something well.