JOSH SMITH, PHD
Welcome to High Flow Lifestyle. I’m Josh Smith and I’m a peak performance and flow state coach, entrepreneur, researcher, creative, and husband and father, and I love guiding people toward their most fulfilling, happy and High Flow Lifestyle.
Consider this community and podcast to be mindset training and motivation for making an important lifestyle and business transformation. This podcast aims to bring a High Flow Lifestyle to anyone who wants to think differently, find their true purpose and focus, and lead a more interesting life to their highest potential.
A high flow lifestyle is something we are all capable of developing if we create the right environment and build the right support group around. (Don’t worry, the Community is filled with so many like-minded people who are there to help you on your journey as well)
I refer to it as a lifestyle because contrary to common belief, flow and being in the zone is not an On or Off switch, it’s more like a volume knob. And being in a flow state, has lasting affects for days after the experience as well as heightens your overall creativity. Bringing flow into your lifestyle on a regular basis can have a huge effect on your wellbeing as well as your optimum peak performance.
Living in Japan for 13 years has given me a balanced perspective in regards to Eastern thought and Western science. I have a number of Japanese cultural experiences with becoming fluent in the Japanese language, the martial arts and Japanese spirituality.
I blend some of those experiences and practices with science-backed approaches rooted in positive psychology, neuroscience, and sociology. My initial studies at The International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State College introduced me to Creative Problem Solving, where I further followed my passion in Japanese culture and Sociology at Osaka University, trying to understand how people form their identities and find their purpose in life, as well as develop individual and group flow within cultural traditions.
I have undergone coaching training at the Flow Research Collective with Steven Kotler and other experts which has really helped me solidify my path in guiding others to reaching their peak performance, finding their Why, and harnessing flow in their daily life.
Japan has taught me many things about flow through various cultural terms like Ikigai (your reason for living, purpose, WHY), Zanshin (calm awareness), Shoshin (Beginner’s Mind) etc., that anyone can benefit from so I include some of those concepts in your flow training as well.
My creative journey and encounters with flow were fostered at a young age by my parents who encouraged artistic expression. After graduating from the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and first earning a certificate in creative studies at the International Center for Studies in Creativity in Buffalo, NY. I didn’t even realize that creativity was a subject that could be studied, we were doing creative problem solving (CPS) techniques and facilitating brainstorming sessions, but ultimately at that point in my life Japan had a grip on my interests and I did a study abroad to Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, Japan. There I took classes in sumi-e black ink painting and creativity as well.
After graduating from Buffalo State College, I returned to Japan on the JET program teaching English and then entered Osaka University for their Master’s and Doctoral Program. In the Cultural Sociology department, I was researching identity, creativity, and how modern individuals and groups developed flow in traditional cultural settings. At that time, I was also a professional shakuhachi, Japanese bamboo flute, teacher and performer. I was lecturing and performing all throughout Japan and on national TV shows and also releasing CDs.
I have also undergone various ascetic mountain trainings and was ordained as a Shingon Buddhist monk in Nara. I have walked the 88 Temples Pilgrimage in Shikoku with my backpack and tent for over a month and a half on the 1,000 mile trek in the summer and returned again for the experience in winter. Nowadays I do not consider myself an active monk, but our whole family practices mindfulness and enjoys our house nestled in the forest where we get to appreciate our connection with nature.
Flow Hacks for Optimal Human Performance and Happiness
Regularly get new strategies on how to access flow, be more creative and productive, reach your peak performance, and most of all live a happier and healthier life.
My family is a big part of my High Flow Lifestyle, and along for the ride is my wife Satomi, our daughter Miana and son Hawk. We are drawing from our international experiences of living, studying, and working in Japan, Satomi working for international companies and then becoming an executive chef, and together starting a number of small businesses and online businesses along the way. We expanded our Japanese Restaurant Group (www.SatoRestaurantGroup.com) to 3 restaurants and a craft beer brewery in Buffalo, NY.
Miana and Hawk are a constant inspiration to me as I see them explore the world and engage with many flow activities such as Karate, skateboarding, skimboarding, art, and studying language among many other things. As a family we are balancing our individual flow experiences with family group flow, and we are currently homeschooling so this has been an exciting new chapter of our lives together.
We have learned the value in authenticity, owning your niche, and staying small but growing strategically. By staying small we are in control and have built a lifestyle business that allows us the freedom to explore our creativity and lead a high flow lifestyle.
Having lived in Japan for over 13 years I can easily say that Japan and our international and intercultural experiences have affected my thoughts on creativity and flow science and how we cultivate it both in life and business. I saw first-hand lifestyle businesses that were 100’s of years old and still thriving with entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, as well as lifestyles and businesses built around the ideas of essentialism, quality over quantity, and building something unique for the long-term.