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The Bohemian Rhapsody Tale to Success. Chapter III: Time to Flow

July 13 1985, Live Aid a show created and promoted worldwide, by Bob Geldof, in order to raise funds for the ongoing Ethiopian famine. An appeal for help from all first world countries, seeking collaboration and unity for a single cause.

Queen who joined the show at the last-minute, gave the most outstanding performance of their lives. Everyone agreed that Freddie was absolutely mesmerizing, a passion that made him the legend he is and has given him the highest recognition of Best Artist of All Times in the last century.

During his performance, Taylor described Freddie, by saying:

“He became a different person when he went on stage, and all of sudden he was magnetic, and the crowd loved it. He really was spectacular on that day.”

But Live Aid was not the only witness to his Jeckyl & Hyde transformation. His long-time friend Lesley Ann clearly recalls the exact moment when Freddie would transform into a legendary breath-taking star:

“When he was offstage, he was a very low-key bloke. He didn’t ever draw attention to himself, he had a quiet voice. He wasn’t a mincing queen or flamboyant. The minute he went out on stage he seemed to double in size, and he suddenly became a gigantic rock star.”

How can a person transform drastically for 90 minutes? What is really happening in his mind during these performances? Where does he find the energy and motivation to excel in such a creative and demanding task?

Well there seems to be a logical explanation and it´s called the flow time.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Hungarian-American psychologist well known for his work in the study of happiness creativity and for introducing the notion of flow, defined as:

“A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so pleasant that people do it, although it has a great cost for the pure reason of doing it.”

When in flow, the individual operates at full capacity (cf. de Charms, 1968; Deci, 1975; White, 1959). The state is one of dynamic equilibrium. Entering flow depends on establishing a balance between perceived action capacities and perceived action opportunities (cf. optimal arousal, Berlyne, 1960; Hunt, 1965).


Image extracted from Wikipedia “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi”

I would say Freddie Mercury was in this complete state of flow during his performances, where both challenge and skills are met in perfect synchrony and balance.

It is also said that the barriers for a complete flow experience are conditioned by internal and external factors.

External factors can include fierce competitiveness, interruptions, time pressure, lack of clarity and wrong assignment. And regarding internal factors, it is acknowledged that rush, criticism, lack of confidence and demand for results are the top reasons for a flow blocking experience.

Looking back to the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, we note various moments when Freddie is completely absorbed in flow moments, for example during song writing sessions as well as playing songs on his piano or putting together a new hit in the studio.

During this trance time nor pressure, lack of clarity, lack of confidence, or demand of result do not exist: just pure music and creativity with no end.

“On stage I am very powerful, I´m the bad guy…yeah.” From Freddie Mercury Interview in 1985.

When we reach this peak, this moment of pleasure in life, then we can definitely state that we are living a HAPPY MOMENT, genuine HAPPINESS by the second.

I would like to believe that beneath Freddie´s ups and downs in life, the pain, the sickness, the drugs, the alcohol, the sadness, the lack of self-esteem or confidence, he also experienced real and genuine happiness. He had his flow moments that made him feel invincible, powerful, understood, special and loved by everyone who came to see him and that surrounded him.

So now I ask you… Can you say the same?

Now, let´s take a couple of minutes to reflect on the following:

  • Have you got moments of flow in your life?

  • What do you call them?

  • How often do you practice your flow moment?

  • Where do feel at your highest self?

  • In which activities do time fly?

  • Where don´t you feel pressured?

  • How does it feel to lose yourself in you, in your feelings in your thoughts?

Answering these questions have made you more aware of the true gems in life, and don´t be afraid to be honest with yourself and keep asking the right questions because after all it´s just your TRUE HAPPINESS at stake, right?

Being able to identify your flow moments is not always easy, which is why we highly recommend to inquiring for more information from one of our specialists to help you with this task. Request your first consultation for free without obligation and share your case with us REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

We hope this article has been useful and makes you put it into action.

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Thank you very much for reading!

If you liked Bohemian Rhapsody, road to success Chapter III Time to flow. You cannot miss chapters I (Values, the cornerstone) and II (Strengths the engine of change). All chapters are necessary to understand Freddie's mind and soul, and how it got him to be the most successful artist of all time.

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