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Imagine a perfect day of sailing in calm, blue waters, powered by the wind or a well-tuned engine. You know your craft, when to stay the course, and when to make course corrections. Your trip is smooth and just as you imagined it would be.

What if more of your experiences could be like that? Actually, creating smooth tasks – or flow — is precisely what the IN-Powered© mind does. It’s a matter of knowing how to pilot your mind, and it’s much easier than you might think.

Getting into Flow

To start, don’t think about the work you need to do. That just sounds wrong, doesn’t it? But truthfully, thinking about work sends signals that it’s time for effort, a job, labor – all potential downers. Instead, think about the journey. Here’s how:

1. State your goal.

  • It’s your destination and sets the course you’ll take.

2. Rate your motivation.

  • How much do you want to go on this journey? What do you feel?
  • That’s your fuel. Rate it high or low.

3. Rate your know-how ability.

  • Do you have the best tools, methods, & knowledge for the job?
  • That’s the vehicle that will carry you along. Rate it high or low.

4. Combine your ratings and preview where they’ll take you:

  • High-High (HH) High on both motivation and know-how.
    This will be a successful trip!
  • High-Low (HL) High motivation; low know-how.
    Good trip, but it will need extra time and effort.
  • Low-High (LH) Low motivation; high know-how.
    Fuel warning! This trip won’t be done well or may not be completed.
  • Low-Low (LL) Low motivation; low know-how.
    Fuel and vehicle alert! This trip probably won’t be started or completed.

Getting Better Results

The four ratings predict the likely results if nothing changes. But this is a very fluid system, and you can improve the outcomes at any time. Here’s how to turn less than perfect trips into ones with better results. Check out these scenarios.


Example: You’re in a training course for your job, which you love, or a degree you really want. The course material is very valuable to you. And, with your strong foundation, you are confident that you can handle the new information.

You’re in Striver flow! You’ll do your personal best and succeed!

If you want to ensure or up your achievement, take care of yourself to avoid stress and motivation loss. Or find out what higher achievers do and use their methods to up your abilities.


Example: You’re eager to join your friends and run your first half-marathon, but you’ve never run more than five miles or trained for a race.

You’re in the Seeker lane! Motivation will keep you in training, but progress will be slow and you could get discouraged.

To gain more, get more know-how ability. Seek out the knowledge and methods of experts. You’ll soon move up to HH!


Example: You plan to clean out the garage. You have a good start system in mind – sort everything into piles for trash, charity, and items to keep.

You’re in the Staller zone! Low motivation will keep you from using your know-how, and you’re likely to procrastinate.

To move up to HH, fuel up on motivation. Think of valuable task benefits and create task enjoyment. It might be worthwhile to have more space or donate to others. And as you work, put on your favorite rock-it-out tunes, work with others, or cut the task down to very small, easy jobs spread out over time.


Example: You dislike writing, find it difficult, and have always struggled to communicate your thoughts. Your boss needs a written progress report in a week.

You’re in the totally Stopped spot. You need your own goal, motivation, and some know-how to get going. Without them, this task may not get done or it’ll be thrown together at the last minute. But you can change that!

To set a goal, get into “I want, I can, I will” thinking. Then, up either your motivation or your know-how ability. For motivation, act like your own best coach, recall past success in any life area, and encourage yourself. For know-how, start small. List topics or data to use in the report, interview others about what to include, or google ways to start and what a good report looks like. Then, praise every little step you take!

Predicting the Outcomes of Others

Here’s a bonus! You can use the IN-Powered© Mind rating system to predict likely results for others, including children, employees, and significant others.

Try this. Note the category (HH, HL, LH, LL) and needs for each of these people:

  1. The child who doesn’t want to clean his room, although he knows how is ____ and needs ____.
  2. The friend who wants to save money, but doesn’t know anything about budgeting is ___ and needs ___.
  3. The employee who has no desire to change to a new software system and lacks computer skills is ___ and needs ___.
  4. The person who has a high desire to plan an event and great research skills is ____ and needs ___.

(The answer key is in the next section.)

In the End…

No one needs to be stalled on a journey that falls short of what s/he desires. The IN-Powered© Mind is a previewer and course corrector. It’s all about:

Getting into Flow

  1. State your goal.
  2. Rate your motivation high or low.
  3. Rate your know-how ability high or low.
  4. Combine your ratings and preview where they’ll take you.

Getting Better Results

  • HH – You’re in Striver flow!
  • HL – You’re in the Seeker lane! Get more know-how ability.
  • LH – You’re in the Staller zone! Fuel up on motivation.
  • LL – You’re in the Stopped spot. Go for a goal, more motivation, and/or greater know-how ability.

Predicting the Outcomes of Others

Here’s the Answer Key:

  1. LH, motivation
  2. HL, know-how ability
  3. LL, motivation & know-how ability
  4. HH, to stay the course

How’d you do? By the way, it’s always a good idea to ask others to rate their own motivation and know-how ability, because our assumptions can be off. And, just asking them to think about these things gets them results focused! It also helps you help others to achieve more, inspire them, or guide them to upskill.

For yourself or others, its’ all about being IN-Powered© to get the results you want! Small shifts in attitude or technique can make big differences! Great results are yours to create!

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With our 5-lesson SMART Start Tutor-Coaching program.

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About the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

The USDLA, a 501(c) 3 non-profit association formed in 1987, reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion. U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking, and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-K-12 education, home schooling, higher education, and continuing education, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets.