Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a researcher on creativity and potential, identified a phenomenon he called flow, when he observed people becoming totally observed in an activity. We have all experienced that sense of having achieved ‘ flow’, whether it may be to do with some work we are doing or even just when we are cooking the dinner and its going right. In that moment when we are undertaking that task, time, place and even one’s sense of self are all suspended. Our alertness and concentration become more enhanced and we achieve a sense of accomplishment and reward.
‘We live in a society that tends to “push the river” rather than flow with the current. Why do we think that paddling upstream makes any sense? It’s frustrating, exhausting and contributes to stress. Going with the flow is about allowing the current to carry your boat downstream effortlessly, which is a better feeling alternative’. Marcia explains.
One of the essential points to the inner workings of flow is a balance between our skill level and the challenges, which we encounter. If the challenge becomes too large, we become frustrated, but if it isn’t enough, we become bored.
Research has suggested that achieving flow brings pleasure and vitality; it is helpful to take notice of the activities in which you achieve a flow and to do them often. It is difficult to always achieve a flow, but we can encourage it by promoting opportunities and conditions in which it might flourish, so, once you have found it…go with it.
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