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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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  • Christian INTJ
    • Christian INTJ
    • November 11, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    As a INTJ, I’m sitting here thinking about my flow state, but it seems hard to pin down exactly. After some thought just now, I feel like autonomy is a huge part of it. As in, having a full day of no hard expectations – just doing what I want, when I want. I’ll still do what I need to do, BUT the important part is I’ll do it on my own terms (when I want to in the day, not locked in to a specific timeframe). Another element that I feel needs to be there is minimal distractions to let my mind wander during and in between the things I’m freely doing during the day- so typically a completely silent home does the trick- or low volume instrumental music. Equally as great is going to parks to take a walk with all the sounds birds and nature and just letting my mind and thoughts wander. I’m even do okay at social functions, as long as my mindset going in is having no expectations – doing what I want when I want (e.g., talking to people IF I want, when I want, not forced). I think it all boils down to autonomy without pressure given any situation.

    With that said, an interesting question to ask alongside the flow question would be “Regardless of your current life circumstances right now, what does an ideal perfect day look like to you?”

  • Bryan-ENFP
    • Bryan-ENFP
    • March 11, 2023 at 8:47 am

    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
    • robin
    • March 2, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    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.

  • Sheila
    • Sheila
    • February 24, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    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.

  • Erik
    • Erik
    • February 18, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    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?


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