Have you ever been watching a basketball game and heard the announcer comment that a particular player is "in the zone"? Or, perhaps you play a competitive sport yourself, in which case you are familiar with this unique feeling of heightened focus and concentration.
What is "the zone"? Why are athletes able to enter this mindset to achieve awe inspiring performances worthy of fans, shoe deals, and seven figure salaries? What the zone is might be described by a person with yoga or meditation experience as "the stillness of mind". Yet, unlike yoga or meditation which often takes place in an intimate or personal setting, athletes are able to harness the power of the zone publicly while actively engaging in their surroundings.
But, how do we apply "the zone" outside of sports? Is it possible to bring increased focus and heightened performance to our work? I believe we're all capable of utilizing this mindset in daily life, but like any skill, perfecting the technique requires many hours of practice. It is the repetition of motions that allows the mind to concentrate only on the end result, and not on the extraneous movements. Thus, when players appear to be "in the zone" they are almost in a trance, fixed upon their desired goal of victory.
So, practice working toward your desired results daily, so much so that it becomes so familiar that you no longer have to "think" about what you are trying to accomplish. Combine this with a positive attitude and the willingness to fail and you will be well on your way to applying the phenomenon that is "the zone" to your daily life. Michael Jordan once said, "I've missed over 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over in my life. And that is why I succeed." Continue to practice, and do not lose sight of the desired results of your labor. Only then will you be able to experience "the stillness of mind" that is "the zone".