108 Days of Flow (PROTIPS)

I got a request for tips about doing 108 Days of Flow.

PROTIP #1: There’s no wrong way to do it

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This is a part of an ever-evolving open source personal development system. The simplest version of the system is two steps.

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Go get it.

A simple version would be figuring out “The ONE Thing” to focus on for 108 days and then make sure you spend some time each day focusing on it. This could be weight loss, finding a job, creating a habit, doing some art, mastering the splits, etc.

It doesn’t have to be 108 days either! I’ll explain why I’m using 108 days next, but it’s really about experimentation. Try 36 days, 12 days, 3 days, ONE day.

So, to fill in the two-step system above.

  1. Find one thing to focus one
  2. Focus on it for 108 days

Why 108 Days?

  1. I’m a numerologist and 108 is significant for a number of reasons, probably 108 reasons. 😉
  2. You now get 3 New Year’s Eves a year instead of just one (January 1st, May 1st and September 1st)
  3. You also get about 2 weeks to plan and reflect in between each cycle
  4. I’m a marketer/branding guy and plan on OWNING 108. Like… I want to be the 108 guy. Maybe I’ll change my name to One O. Eight! Lol
  5. You can break 108 up into a lot of sub numbers if you want to do shorter cycles (three 30 day flows with 6-day reflections, two 50s with 4s, etc.)

PROTIP #2: It’s All About the Iterations Baby

What’s an iteration? From Wikipedia:

Iteration is the act of repeating a process, to generate a (possibly unbounded) sequence of outcomes, with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration”, and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

I was first exposed to the idea of iterations in the book “The Lean Startup”. The focus in “The Lean Startup” is on building products or services and is shown below. You have an idea, you build the idea, you test the idea and you take what you learn and start with new ideas.

So how does that work with 108 days of flow?

Before you start you come up with some ideas of how you’d like to use the 108 days, then you test your idea for 108 (or 36 or 6 or…) days. At the end of the 108 days, you reflect on what you learned and plan the next 108 days.

My Example:

I’m currently making the focus of my 108 days process (flow) and only process. I’m actually doing daily iterations. At the end of each day I’m asking myself “What’s one thing I would have liked to do differently?” then, in the morning, I reflect on that one thing and update some systems/guidelines documents I have. Then I try to make that new thing a part of my daily “flow”. I’m not necessarily adding a BRAND NEW THING each day. I might change the order of something, or tweak the language of a guide/system or remove something. You can read what I set out to do in my “Day 1” post. Along with my daily reflections, I’m going to have slightly more robust 9-day reflections.

PROTIP #3: Fail Early, Fail Often

This is something I thought I knew before my last 108 days. When the 108 days was over, I failed but… it was like… the mother of failures because it wasn’t early and it wasn’t often! I failed at failing!

It’s going to take experimentation to figure out what early and often mean during your experiment. Sometimes, like for me right now, I can fail on a daily basis but other tests might take longer. The goal is to make the failing and learning happen as quickly as possible (as long as it’s healthy and fun! 😉 )

PROTIP #4: The Dream Powers the Flow, Make the Flow Fun

Let me change up the two steps again:

  1. Have a dream
  2. Flow to it

Life can SUCK sometimes. For everyone. There’s no getting around that. If, for example, you need to lose 400 pounds you’re probably going to have to do it over the course of several 108s. Here’s the deal… the life you experience day to day for the next 3+ years isn’t going to be the “dream” 400 pound lighter you. It’s going to be the grind, the process, the systems. The goal with every 108 days of flow is to make the grind, the process, the systems, the routines, the rituals and habits that you’ll need to get to that dream go as smoothly as possible. So smoothly that they flow like water.

No one enjoys their dream unless they make the flow the dream. Once you get to 400 pounds lighter, you’re already thinking about finding the girl, once you have the girl you’re already thinking about finding the dream job, once you have the dream job you’re already thinking about getting the dream house…

The theory is that by mastering the “flow” you start “living the dream”.

The Flow to Your Dream System™

Once the dust settles at the end of this, the next or the next-next cycle, I’d like to have a complete system that holds a person’s hand through the “foundations of flow” (I just made that up… lol)

It would be a process of discovering what a person’s “foundations of flow” are (they’ll vary from person to person) and then systematically building that foundation.

What I’m currently doing now is a lot more than just “deciding what to do for 108 days”. There’s a lot of little systems and foundations in place from running this experiment on myself for the last 10 years. >.< What I’m trying to design is a manual that I could give to my ten years ago self and be like “Bruh. This is what you’re looking for.” 😀

Anyhow… if you have any comments or questions I’m easy to get ahold of!

Some haikus…
I’m one with the waves
Storms or calm, it’s all the same
Surfing through my life

We’re mostly water
We’re all creatures from oceans
Flowing is easy

One hundred and eight
Numbers are the key to life
They power our world

I was so close to 1080 words that I thought I would make it exactly that! That is all folks!

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