The Secret of a Former Baseball Player - Flow With Adam Reifer
My name's Adam Reifer, today I'm taking over IMWARHOL and sharing one of my most valuable secrets on this week's Good Vibes Sunday. The secret I'm about to reveal is something that I figured out during my baseball career, it's the very thing that worked every time I was on the brink of failing and everyone thought I wouldn't come back. The problem back in my baseball days was I didn't realize this "secret" was my ticket to making it big! But I got it now,I apply it to my new career today and I'm excited to share it with all of you.
What is it? Flow........ that's it! Look, I can explain flow but there's no one like Steve Kotler to do that, so watch these two quick videos and I'll meet you below.
Alright so now that you know more about Flow, or maybe this is a concept that you've already heard of, let's talk baseball. Back when I was first drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals I didn't know the first thing about flow. All I knew back then was what I had been told my whole life; which was that I threw hard, I was built like a pitcher, and I should play professionally... all that made me feel special. Not here to say I wasn't special, but what I later learned is that being special wasn't enough, and it certainly didn't mean I was entitled to anything. In fact no one owed me crap, it's easy to get cocky when you're that young and playing a game for a living...but that changed real quick for me when I first got hurt and then later got got hurt again. I'm the kind of guy who works really hard, if you were to ask anyone I ever played with or worked with, they would be the first to tell you that I was that guy. The last guy at the field working out hard everyday and doing everything and anything to be on my game. Little did I know that I was doing way too much of all the wrong stuff. Astrid always told me, to let go, to be loose and trust my mind and the process will follow. Of course back then, I thought " what does she know about baseball"... Truth be told she didn't know much about baseball at all, poor girl didn't know the difference between home base to second... alright I'm probably exaggerating and I'm asking for it when she reads this, but she didn't know much about baseball because she chose not to know. You see she didn't have to know, because baseball is no different than life its self... But even then, I chose not to listen...The good thing is I know now exactly what I was missing all those years of bad games. So state of flow; I can't say I wasn't ever in this state. Man when I was throwing 98-100 mph and striking guys out game after game... this meant I was one with the mound, the stitching on my ball, the catcher's glove; during this state I'm telling you all FEAR vanished... the crowed dissolved it was almost as though there were no eyes on me... Just me, myself, and the zone.... that's it... that's flow! So why am I saying I didn't know then what I know now? Because even though I knew the feeling of flow, even though I craved it, I didn't know what IT was therefore I didn't know I had the power to activate it... I remember thinking everyday, I just have to feel good, how's my arm today? Do I feel good today??? I have to work out harder, be stronger, and don't get me wrong all that is necessary... But my mind wasn't right all the time! See if I had spent even just half of the time that I spent over-working my muscles, on getting my mind right; my chances of achieving the results I wanted every single time would have drastically increased. Let's face it, in any sport, repetition is everything. This is why habit becomes so reliable as an athlete, but I confused habit with the action of doing something over and over again, I didn't recognize that "habit" actually grows as a result of doing something over and over again during a state of flow. The best way to describe this is if you're outside, there's no one around at all, just you shooting some hoops... After shooting the ball so many times, you zone out, you go mindless, and your body is just doing it without you even thinking about, your mind is quiet, no pressure....you're in flow. Do that enough and you'll create lasting habit.
So when I had bad games, those are what Astrid called the " Forced Games" ... meaning I used to TRY to make my body strike guys out. I forced myself to throw hard; which by the way is a great way to get injured because forcing means your body is tight, it's flexed and tense. I recall getting caught up in my own thoughts which of course distracted me and didn't allow me to enter any state of flow. If I only stoped resisting and just trusted myself, trusted my mind and my body, trusted that all that work I always put in would take over me on that mound, that I didn't have to do anything extra to make it happen because it was already in me. People sometimes say " Wait, so you're saying it's inside of us and we don't have to work for it?" No, that's not what I'm saying... I'm saying work hard, reeeeal hard, and then let go.... surrender and trust the process. And when you put in the work, understand that half the battle is only physical and the other half is mental so put that work in too. Oh and don't forget to rest, rest is what repairs you, the healthier you are physically, mentally and emotionally the easier you fall into flow. If 21 year old Adam knew all of this, man my career wouldn't have taken the turn it did. But that's alright because I know the power of this now which I apply to my new passion, also if you're a guy who's not an athlete this is gold for you too. This "flow" thing is for EVERYONE... You getting in flow will deliver your best self to whatever it is you're trying to achieve. If you're giving a speech, get in flow, if you're a fire fighter saving lives, get in flow, if you're a lawyer, a professor defending a subject or educating someone about it, get in flow. You get the idea. Astrid talks a lot about meditation on the blog, flow is essentially meditation at it's best. Watch this last video below to learn exactly how to trigger your state of flow.
Singing out, it's been fun being able to write about my experiences and revealing this "secret" or more like secret weapon of mine. I hope some young athletes are reading this and you have early access to something I wish I had back then. Really, I hope anyone who is reading this can relate and can gain something powerful from this. Thank You for tuning in to my thoughts this week and we'll see you next week Good Vibers!