Last night’s fascinating documentary on the making of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (BBC4) illustrated again what it means to be “in the zone” in order to be creative and to be focused on the task in hand. When a group of our most talented and most creative artists can’t get started on the task of recording a new album from which they will undoubtedly earn an enormous sum of money – simply because they’re not switched on to what they’re meant to be doing – then what hope have any of us of doing anything creative or important without that feeling of “flow”?
We’ve commented on the business of maximising performance and the importance of being “in the zone” in previous blog posts, including the following quotes –
“This is the game that takes place in the mind of the player, and it is played against such obstacles as lapses in concentration, nervousness, self doubt and self-condemnation. In short, it is played to overcome all habits of mind which inhibit excellence in performance.”
“All teachers will be aware of the highly negative effects on children when they experience lapses in concentration, nervousness, self doubt and self-condemnation. The question for teachers of all subjects is, how do they help children overcome these obstacles, and have they received any training in how to do so?”
“The player of the inner game comes to value the art of relaxed concentration above all other skills; he discovers a true basis for self-confidence; and he learns that the secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard. He aims at the kind of spontaneous performance which occurs only when the mind is calm and seems at one with the body . . .”
“Good teachers know that more than anything else they need their students to be relaxed, calm, receptive and concentrating hard on whatever they are doing. It’s also extremely beneficial if they find themselves doing things that are intrinsically satisfying and stimulating. All subjects and all areas of learning can be satisfying and stimulating when approached in ways that engage the creativity and the imagination of learners.”
“When people are not in tune with one another, they add to the disharmony of the world.”
“When you feel the moment of transcendence, where your spirit is uplifted – that’s what we’re going for.”
– Philip Toshio Sudo – “Zen Guitar”
Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
David Gilmour – acoustic version – Royal Festival Hall – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPL3O7NmgpI