the bicycle effect and finding flow

Jay Clouse inspiration, learning, motivation, stories

After moving into the Short North area of Columbus about a year ago, my buddy Zach started pitching me on the bike share program, CoGo.

Zach had been biking (either his own or a bike share) around Columbus for years and insisted it was one of the best ways to travel around the city.

When I was starting high school, I suffered a bad bicycle accident and wasn’t a big fan of bikes after that. But after a few pitches, I decided to give CoGo a shot.

I had an absolute blast, and soon purchased an annual membership to grab a bike whenever I wanted. (Seriously, for $75/year, it’s phenomenal).

Now, for many trips that I would’ve walked, driven, or taken the bus, I CoGo.

I’ve noticed an interesting mental phenomenon with these trips: riding the bike doesn’t feel like a logistical task going from Point A to Point B. I enjoy the ride, and most of the time I forget it’s actually work and exercise. It’s only when I get off the bike, that I sometimes feel gassed and realize that I was really pushing myself.

But it’s so easy to put in that work when I’m having fun. The ride itself is part of the enjoyment, not just an ellipsis between two other points of focus.

We experience the same feeling when we find enjoyment in our work. When you enjoy the journey, you don’t notice the time or work you’re putting in. You may reflect back and realize the work that went into it, but you don’t think about it in the moment.

We should pursue this state of flow all the time. Finding the type of work that makes you experience the bicycle effect is paramount to creating something powerful and unique.

It’s difficult to find success in anything, and if you don’t enjoy the journey, you will never make it.


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