In this interview Adam talks about a particular activity he does, that helps him to manage his wellbeing and harness a state of flow. This has a positive impact on facing challenges at work and making decisions!
Watch our video interview right here or scroll down to read his story.
Adam talks about an activity he does, that helps him harness #StateOfFlow which leads to better decision making and benefits his wellbeing in general. Here’s the full interview.
Hi, I’m with Adam, who is sitting under a lovely blue sky in the South of France. We just had a brief conversation around the reality that health is your greatest asset, not wealth. We were talking about one particular activity that Adam does to manage wellbeing and maintain a state of flow.
I’m the Operations Director of Martin’s Rubber Company in Southampton. It’s a 150-year-old manufacturing company in the rubber industry. We make high-value specialist parts for aerospace, defense, Formula 1, those kinds of markets. And we’ve been running it for 70 years now. As a result its owned unique pressures, and anybody who is involved in family business will appreciate that, as well as anybody who’s involved in manufacturing in the current climate will also know how tough that can be.
So what sort of gets me away from those kinds of pressures is motorcycle-riding and specifically off-road motorcycling. I’ve ridden motocross for many years and I’ve got a very sort of junior club level, but nonetheless it’s always kept me physically fit or given me a good reason to be fitter than I otherwise would be.
We’ve talked about the state of flow. And for me, being on a motorcycle, on and off road track, is how I do that. I have to concentrate on one thing and one thing only. Otherwise, I’m going to get physically hurt if I’m not looking at what I’m doing.
And it’s funny how, having got your brain away from the daily and hourly pressure of being in a work situation, you can come off the bike physically exhausted, mentally very tired. But as you recover, suddenly that thing that you’ve been grappling with in a work environment, you suddenly think, “Ah, I know how to do that now.”
Your brain has kind of taken that time away from the main problem within your mind, when you somehow process something, and the flow that you’ve had while you were on the bike has helped you just get away from one thing and suddenly everything else seems to kind of reboot and drop into place. It’s strange how it works, but I’ve had that experience on many occasions.
Well, the neuroscience explains how that works and perhaps I’ll share a link with this video around some of the work that Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal are doing around flow states. And there was one more thing that you mentioned around how you use motorcycling and flow to help you on certain days if you have a difficult meeting coming up.
Yes, absolutely. Obviously, I can’t get out and ride my off road bikes as much as I would like. But I have also found that if you’re on the roads you have to feel slightly paranoid when you’re riding a bike and really concentrate on road traffic and road conditions, all the other little things.
That also gets my brain away from the day-to-day concerns. And what I’ve found often is that if I’ve got a difficult day ahead of me at work, I’ve got a meeting or a presentation or maybe a disciplinary or something like that, I’ll prefer to ride my bike to work because I know that I’ll arrive at work in a more energized state, with a clearer set of feelings.
If I take the car, it’s warm, it’s comfortable, you can have the radio on, whatever. But if you take the bike to work, you have to be in place in order to arrive to work safely. And then the thing that’s on my mind that I need to deal with during the first part of the working day seems to go better and I seem to be more geared up to cope with it properly. And it’s not such an intense experience as riding in a competitive event, but it has a similar kind of effect.
I think it’s wonderful that you have that awareness, because awareness is what helps us make different choices and that you’re using that to manage your state. And I don’t have a motorbike, I’m probably not going to motorcycle, but I know that you responded to my ski experience, which definitely was a deeply profound embodied experience.
But I use things like music, dancing. I mean, I love to salsa dance and it’s when I allow myself to fully surrender in the activity, I can tap into beautiful states of flow. And like you, I solve issues, I have creative thoughts. So I think the more we find things we’re passionate about and bring them into our daily routines, the more we can benefit from that. So thank you for sharing that and reminding us just how valuable flow can be.
Playing a musical instrument. I was with a client yesterday who has committed to playing the guitar for 10 minutes a day and that could take him into a state of flow as well. So thank you for that reminder. Thank you, Adam. Enjoy your time off.
Thank you very much. Cheers.