Unlocking Your Personality Flow State | Podcast 0473

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In this episode of the Personality Hacker podcast, Joel and Antonia talk about what it means to use your personality type to find flow in your life.



In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What is a flow state – and how does this apply to personality types?
  • The important conditions required to enter a flow state.
  • How do our flow states change over time?
  • What is “the flow question” Joel and Antonia teach in Profiler Training?
  • What can we gain from understanding the flow state of our preferred cognitive functions?
    • Check out our article on the Car Model to discover your cognitive functions.
    • What do our Driver (dominant) and Copilot (auxiliary) functions need to achieve flow?
    • How our 10 Year Old (tertiary) and 3 Year Old (inferior) functions affect flow.
  • How to use this episode to move forward and develop your relationship with flow.



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Showing 10 comments
  • Bryan-ENFP

    My second podcast. I heard a “sample” interview by Antonia. Vividly remember her asking “what activity would you do, and stop only when you were completely exhausted”, lose track of time, etc. For me it’s playing piano. Yesterday I spent two-three hours learning “synchronicity II” Difficult, all four quadrants were lit up from NC, to CA. Yup.
    Learned what “Flow state” was 1 hr ago. I get there whenever I get immersed learning a difficult piano Piece, yet didn’t know it. Like a massage for my brain. Driver manages the keyboard, coordinates intense desperate sounding falsetto vocals with the F# sus 4 chord; co-pilot takes care of the musical nuances, dynamics, prepares the listener tor the transition to verse chords; A; C#; G, sus 4, repeat, melodic, yet dissonant. 10 yo looks out for and corrects technical errors using mild discipline; 3 YO keeps the melody in mind throughout so that it’s correct for this complicated song.
    FLOW state at the piano…..

  • robin

    As a best-fit ENTP, I agree with the posters above that it would be very cool to hear individual examples of how people use the various functions in various car model positions to get silo flow- especially that 3 year old function, because it’s so difficult to be conscious of. My example is Si 3yo- from listening to your podcasts I realized that when I need a bit of pressure-release, that listening to favorite novels from my teens and 20s can be very soothing. I don’t usually see myself as someone who gets much out of re-reading, as my NP driver likes novelty first and foremost, but this time around I was much more conscious about the soothing aspect of knowing how the story is going to turn out and picking up the subtle foreshadowing. I also enjoyed some Ne, because occasionally I would hear a character voice an idea that eventually became crucial in my life, but hadn’t unfolded yet when I first listened. I wondered if meeting that idea had sown seeds for who I would become 10 or 20 years later. I think my 10yo Fe liked it also because in novels there are emotions, but it is so much more superficial than in real life.

  • Lana Wilkens

    I think I get into flow when in nature taking a walk, sketching, writing, researching, brainstorming with friends over what to do next. I’m not sure what that means but I tend to test as an ENTP or an ENTJ, sometimes an INTP or INTJ (but I think I’m an E). I just have my moments cause I’m around six children all day (love it but yeah, it can make me want to be alone for a couple hours on occasion).

    • Lana Wilkens

      Oh, and I absolutely LOVE being in a small group and facilitating discussion. Any idea if I’m a P or J based on what I said there?

  • Heather ENTJ

    I think the most amazing thing about this, and about the cognitive functions in general, is that Carl Jung seems to have hit on a set of “first principles” with his work on personality. You guys are making these principles accessible. When I read books I consider “guiding star resources” about finding your passion, designing your life, the best habits to have, living essentially etc. I can see cognitive functions at the bottom of many of these great ideas. Mostly, the authors of these books do not seem to realize that they are essentially all talking about the same things (with many awesome nuances and wisdom added besides). The same principles just seem to keep emerging for me and folding themselves in on each other like a puff pastry, reinforcing learning and broadening application. Understanding your type and, better yet, applying it to flow seems an indispensable part of building an enjoyable experience of a life. I have a lot of work to do, but I am getting unstuck with your help and others. I would love to hear episodes more directly linked to flow and the individual personality types (or groups of types).

  • Marsha Petty

    Joel and Antonia…
    I have been listening to and looking forward to your Personality Hacker podcasts for 8 years now. In that amount of time, I believe I have missed very few of them.
    Your recent podcast on Flow State and how to access it is especially helpful for me, as I am retired and wondering how to invigorate my daily life.
    Thanks for the actionable steps along with great advice.
    Marsha Petty

  • Brendi

    I’m an INTJ and my best friend is an INTJ.
    We get into flow listening to your podcast (or other informational content) at the same time and shooting texts back and forth about how to apply it.
    I feel like I get a new piece of information and add it to my database. Having a conversation with her about how it’s applicable engages Te and validating or coaching each other regarding the topic allows us to use our Fi. I do this while I’m working, cleaning houses, and use my Se to physically engage my body in an activity I am confident in doing, in a place where I feel safe and secure. I feel that my first 4 functions are all engaged when I do this.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      What a unique experience Brendi. Having a best friend with the same type preferences sounds really fun. I bet you both really get each other. Thank you for sharing.

    • Erik

      I am also an INTJ and can also achieve flow when listening to and ruminating on podcasts, especially podcasts aimed at foundational principles of how we think about our lives and existence, like Personality Hacker.

      But it took me a little while after listening to this episode to realize this, and that made me aware that, while I use my Ni often, I don’t often experience flow with it. Outside of listening to ideas (i.e. through podcasts), I’m not sure how to achieve flow with Ni. Usually if I experience flow, it is through Te (mostly problem-solving) or Se (specific physical activities, typically martial arts in my case). And I have no idea how to experience flow with Fi.

      Given that, I would be really interested to hear what types of activities people use to achieve flow in different functions. Would there be value in another podcast on this topic perhaps listing some examples of activities people may try to experience flow in each function (and perhaps combining all 4 functions of each Type)? I imagine through their own personal experience and coaching, Antonia and Joel may have found many different ways that different types achieve flow. Would anyone other than me find value in such a discussion?


      • Sheila

        Yes, I feel the same Erik, I’d love to hear podcasts about flow state examples for each function and type. Flow states play a central role in purposeful Doing, and also in finding balance for over stressful lives, as unfortunately too many of us have…

        I am an INFJ and was asking myself too while I was listening to this episode what my Ni flow states are and had some difficulty pinpointing them. Sitting down to reply to you a couple of ideas came up:

        One Ni flow state of mine would be doing high level killer sudoku games, which activates my Ni in a couple of ways: I often just “see” the numbers instantly without thinking them consciously, so I suppose that my mind seeks and solves the patterns unconsciously (that’s pure fun). And when they don’t just come to me, I like to consciously create a larger image of potential possibilities for multiple areas (that’s the challenge that keeps it going), engaging Ti on the way as well.

        Another Ni flow state is when I try to understand something, going around it from every direction and perspective, observing it, getting impressions of it, trying to create an always fuller, larger and deeper image of it for myself. This understanding can be in way of analysis or images or feelings that arise. It’s about getting the feeling of a deep understanding. I often do that in writing – but interestingly, I think that activates my Ti too much and then I slide into more one-dimensional analyses and find myself exhausted.

        It becomes all the more fulfilling when it also involves Fe, in developing ideas and thoughts around a certain topic in conversation with another person. The most energizing ones are when we go about it freely and playfully, but at the same time analytically. It’s very different from brainstorming (which I’m really bad at), because at the core of this there is a drive to go into the depth of something, trying to figure more and more about it, rather than to generate free associations on the spur of the moment. And it could be on nearly any topic in the world because it’s more about the activity and less about the meaning of the content. Naturally, the more the content is personally relevant, the more significant the conversation becomes.

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