FOLLOW YOUR FLOW: A Counterintuitive Approach To Happiness

“Follow your passion”

“Shoot for the moon”

“Go for your dreams”

All of these have one thing in common…they are guaranteed to make you unhappy (most of the time) because you are almost always going to fail.

Unless you’re Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos — in other words, an extreme outlier — then wanting to ride a jet around the world and post your pretentious lifestyle on Instagram is a meaningless goal.

Now, I know what you’re already thinking: “Wow, Josh is one negative dude. I thought this blog was all about creating your optimal life through lifestyle design. LIVING BY DESIGN, NOT BY DEFAULT. How is being negative supposed to get me to where I want to be? This is pure horsesh*t..”

Before you leave, here me out. I believe in practicality and tranquility. Often, tranquility is a side-effect of practicality.

The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. Its anti-entiltement
— One of my favourite paragraphs from Mark Masons book, The Subtle Are of Not Giving A F*ck

Following your flow is crucial for happiness I recently listened to one of Tim Ferriss’ most downloaded podcast episodes with David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson. The title for the podcast, The Power of Being Outspoken, says it all.

Tim and David spoke about many things from coding to 24hour car races, but the message is clear, David followed his Flow state. Your Flow state is when you literally lose track of time and the distractions around you.

There are many activities and stimuli that induce a flow state. For some it may be drawing an insanely vivid portrait on Adobe Illustrator for hours or listening to euphoric music while you clean the house. Whatever your flow state is, I believe it's crucial to follow it.

I achieve flow in a number of ways:

  1. writing shitty blog posts
  2. reading non-fiction
  3. editing/making videos
  4. running f*cking far
  5. lifting weights
  6. gaming (predominantly Fortnite at the moment although I'm still questioning whether this is FLOW or simply pure DISTRACTION) 

Whats the number one thing that prevents me from achieving flow? My iPhone. How do I solve this problem (most of the time)? Airplane mode.

Regularly turning my iPhone to Airplane mode has been a habit which has 10x my productivity in the last year. I put it on at night before bed or when I need to complete a task. It’s almost as if when I put it on Airplane mode my brain knows it’s time to fuck shit up (not literally but productivity wise).

Even though it seems I'm on Instagram 24/7, generally I am not. I "batch" my posts into scheduled blocks of time and also schedule posts.


Scheduling large uninterrupted blocks of time for self-improvement and flow states is crucial for happiness. Happiness doesn’t mean running around smiling like a twat at everyone and always laughing, cheering and bouncing like a yoga ball — chances are, if you’re doing this you’re either on crystal meth or super annoying.

No one who is truly happy or content is always happy. Happiness to me, means being content and present with whatever decisions you make or obstacles you face. When the inevitably frustrating shit we call daily life hits us, instead of reacting, think of the lesson learnt and continue forward.

Do I always practice what I preach? Hell no. I’m still working to become increasingly proficient and consistent each day at presence and FLOW. The screwing up, however, is a chance to step back and learn. A chance to grow.

I’m going to leave you with a quote that I’ve been pondering from Tim Ferriss’ latest book, Tribe of Mentors -- it is originally from Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl:

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued…Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscious commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run — in the long-run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it

The part that really hits home here is:

"I want you to listen to what your conscious commands you to do."

Your conscious knows that FLOW is where it belongs. Don't fight it.

Side note: I just want to express my gratitude for everyone in my life at the moment. The awesome souls I'm surrounded by is what gives me happiness. Life doesn't have to be so binary. This year I am focusing on following my flow which is leading to a more content Josh. Anyone who I find toxic I simply do not have time for anymore. Life is too short. My Thumbnail for this post was from Love Project 2018, an awesome trance festival I attended about a month ago. Being a novice video editor I sincerely appreciated the awesome skills to make the after movies so I wanted to share it. I will post it below, enjoy: