Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sweet Baby James and Experiencing Flow

Journal Entry: Weight = 176.4; Coinage = $.22, 2 pennies, 2 dimes. Significant find, eleven cents in the very back of the shuttle bus that transported the MoneyWalkers and our good friends to the New Orleans JazzFest.

Feature Entry: We just returned from the New Orleans JazzFest and the Saturday close-out concert by James Taylor. Sweet Baby seems to never change and is as good as ever. He has recorded hundreds of songs including ‘Walking Man,’ lyrics follow

“Walking man walk on by my door
Well, any other man stops and talks
But not the walking man
He's the walking man
Born to walk
Walk on walking man."

The MoneyWalker is like that, when money is being found, he is too focused to notice anyone or anything, except money. To be successful for both calorie consumption and finding money, the walker must get into a zone where all but the essentials are blocked out. Zone walking results in high money finding performance. Coins are more easily spotted because they seem so much larger as visual acuity and intuition are inexorably linked.

In the sport psych literature, being in the zone is more commonly called being in flow, a term proposed by Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi. “Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and success in the process of the activity.” Flow does not occur automatically but it is the result of practice, experience, and a desire to achieve excellence.

People that experience flow have high degrees of concentration and experience a loss of self consciousness as action and awareness merge. They have a distorted sense of time and one’s subjective experience of time is altered. In flow, participants report an ability to utilize feedback in powerful and unexpected ways and to immediately respond to successes and failures to make accurate and rapid adjustments in performance. They find that the activity is intrinsically rewarding and that the action is essentially effortless. Time seems suspended.

Can money walkers experience flow? I think so. It takes practice, motive, experience, and a willingness to develop the physical skills at our disposal. James Taylor’s lyrics apply, the focused money walker passes by the distractions, he is born to walk and to find.

Ahh, the magic of Sweet Baby;--“Look down upon me Jesus; you’ve got to help me make a stand…My body's achin',And my time is at hand..Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain... ”



  1. Ah, James Taylor. Takes me back to the early 70's, "my years".

    I'm headed to Berkeley, CA (and Carmel) this morning where I will rekindle some of my inner-hippie vibes for a few days. Maybe I'll pull out a Carly Simon CD to get in the mood on my way to the airport.

  2. Have a great time. Will you have time for "wogging" (sorry if that is not your word) and finding money? Been to Berkeley twice but never to Carmel. Carly Simon...where does time go?

  3. JazzFest in the Big Easy---NO is the center of the universe---at least in late April and early May!

    In addition to the nostalgic sounds of JT---Dave Matthews vibrant soul-inspiring driving music was incredible!

    Little Easy

  4. Mark, nice to have you in the big easy. Come back again and again.