Is Flow Really Makes Life Better ?

Is Flow Really Makes Life Better

The first time I experienced the flow was in my high school geometry final exam. I was never a mathematician, but something about shapes, lines, and angles made sense to me. I remember writing formulas over and over, finishing the problem after the problem, flipping through the page to start the next set, and repeating. The test was challenging, but I felt confident. Despite being on a boneless student desk surrounded by dozens of nervous teenagers, I still remember a strong sense of physical comfort. I did not look so much at the classroom clock in the cage. When I finished the test, I took it with satisfaction, something I, as an avid writer, never imagined I would do.

Recently, I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea for an essay. Instead of waiting for daylight, I sat in my dark living room for two hours and tapped it on my laptop. I did not feel tired and did not worry about how I could cope with my kids’ morning insanity with so little sleep.

Participating in that test and writing that essay felt good, and that is called a good sense of flow. If you’ve ever been so engrossed in an activity that you’ve lost all sense of time, you’ve probably experienced the flow as well. If you’ve ever gotten up from your chair after working on something (whether a painting, a pay report, a sales report, or a math test) and suddenly realized you hadn’t eaten for hours, you probably know. And if, after a project or activity, you felt a satisfying physical satisfaction, yes, you did.

Flow is essentially a theory that has been scientifically researched behind the indirect terms “in the region” or “in the groove.” During the flow, your attention is focused and maintained without effort. Steven Cutler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of, explains: Can be found. Ultimate Human Performance and co-founder of the Flow Genome Project, an Austin, Texas-based for-profit organization that aims to help organizations and individuals achieve greater flow. (He calls it “stream hacking.”)

The term and concept of flow, coined in 1975 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronunciation: Species sent me up), has become the main element of positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi believes that flow is a key component of a satisfying and happy life. Flow Book: The Psychology of His Optimal Experience has become a major work in the new science of happiness. “It makes life a lot better,” the author told SUCCESS. “You do not feel that you are working against the flow, but you are working with it.”Work does not seem like a task, and you get better at what you do.”

Management Consulting Company McKinsey & Co. Over the course of 10 years, he interviewed more than 5,000 CEOs about their moments in office. Managers’ report that they feel five times more productive when they are up to date. Cutler is not surprised. “Flow is the optimal state of consciousness in which we feel and perform at our best,” he says. In this way, we can see the flow as an evolutionary incentive – and a reward – for getting things done.

This possibility for optimal productivity is one of the ways in which the flow differs from other states of well-being, such as meditation and daydreaming, which are often confused. While meditation seeks to drain the mind, it focuses its flow on the work in hand. And while fantasy can be thought of as “zoning”, it is the flow of zoning or zeroing. We like the way Dr. David Shernoff puts it (he is a psychologist who studies flow in education and the author of Optimal Learning Environments for Enhancing Student Involvement): “Flow is a playful task or a serious game.”

Helping people to understand, find, and engage longer in playful work or serious play is one of the tools that positive psychologists use to help their patients focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. According to Csikszentmihalyi, 12% of lucky people say they experience the flow several times a day. At least an equal number of people say they will never enter the stream. But the vast majority of “flow” reports – several times a month. If you have never felt the flow, or want to feel more often, keep reading.

Participate in auto activities

The adjective autotelic is used to describe any creative activity or work that has a purpose or goal in itself. That is, you do the activity for the experience of doing it, not because you are trying to achieve a separate goal. Whether you like it or not. “Dancing, singing, tennis … these are all kinds of activities that are easy to do,” says Csikszentmihalyi. Why? Because they allow you to be fully present (you have to listen to the music and follow the beat; you react to the opponent’s service) while you are completely immersed. You seldom think about what you make for dinner when you are in a hurry. And unless you’re a professional dancer, you’re not counting how much you earn when you tear up your living room rug for “blisters in the sun.” The more you are aware of and aware of how you feel, the easier it is to get involved when you are involved in more purposeful activities. “When you’re aware, you realize and you can work on deepening the situation,” says Cutler.

Get your challenge / skill ratio right

Imagine a graph with a challenge level on the left and your perceived skill level at the bottom. In the lower left corner, the challenge is low, but so are your skills, a combination that, according to Csikszentmihalyi, creates indifference (think of clearing your floor). When the challenge is small, but your skill set is large, you feel relaxed (maybe cooking your favorite food?). Conversely, if your challenges are high and your skills are low, you will probably become anxious (you are a shy person who has to sell). But if the challenge is high and your skills are high, oh, this is the sweet spot – in the upper right corner of the chart – where the flow takes place. But this is a moving goal: as your skills increase, the challenge must increase in time, so that you do not become indifferent or bored. And as the challenge increases, your skills must increase. What was allowed two years ago – for example, to compile a budget report – will not necessarily work today, because your experience has grown?

Do not go down when you are not aware

Many times, instead of feeling like you are in a fast flow, you feel like you are stuck in the sad mud of a swamp. Instead of dwelling on your work, focus on obsessive Facebook and Words with Friends. “No problem,” Cutler says. You want to be as current as possible, but it is not realistic to always be there. Most streaming sessions do not last more than an hour and a half. “Chemicals involved in the process, especially dopamine, have a short lifespan,” he says. And then, “Your body and mind need that time to heal.” In addition, if you never feel anxious or bored, you will have no motivation to challenge yourself. That’s why Cutler favors procrastination. “There is a lot of cultural implication about procrastination, but it is actually an important part of the process, at least in terms of work. You are procrastinating until there is enough pressure to put it into your project. ( Oh ! An excuse for my ridiculous procrastination ! )


Create a feedback system

Csikszentmihalyi says that immediate and continuous feedback is an important component of the flow. Some jobs and activities have feedback. Think of a surgeon, for example. A wrong cut has immediate consequences. Teachers can see if their students are raising their hands or falling asleep. And accountants know that if their numbers do not add up, they can recalculate. But for other activities – especially mental ones like advertising, writing and art – the feedback is not clear. “In these cases, you have to create a really good bull detector,” says Csikszentmihalyi. “This is the easiest way I can express it. If you are writing, the lines should click in your mind. If you are making music, the notes should be true for you.” However, there are a few other tangible feedback solutions you can try:

  • Make a list of small things you need to do.

Include things like “write an introduction” or “start page 2” or “complete three paragraphs” instead of “do the report.” Cross the lines of your list as you offer inherently satisfactory feedback to the stream.

  • Impose deadlines on yourself

Similar to the to-do list, setting deadlines (“come up with three marketing ideas by 1pm”) is your feedback system.

  • Working with a partner

Establish regular checks with a friend or co-worker to review each other’s work and provide feedback.

Try an intense (somewhat) extreme sport

Flow has traditionally been studied among elite athletes who participate in action-adventure sports such as rock climbing, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, mountain biking and trapeze. First, they all conform to the definition of autoclave activities. There is no reason to do them, except that you may find them enjoyable. Second, they all have a strong internal feedback system. If the arm you put on it cannot support your weight, immediately notice it and look for another footprint on the rock. If you ignore the swelling for half a second and do not catch the wave, you will learn to start paddling earlier in the next round. Minimize a mogul on the slopes, and the result can be dangerous. Etc. Constant feedback does / does not work – and the potentially dangerous consequences of not doing so – will catch your attention. “It’s almost impossible not to be completely absorbed. Cutler, who rides, skis or bikes in the mountains at least once a week, says there is a deep sense of visualization. However, you do not need a BASE-jump to find this stream for yourself. Go to a mountaineering club where you can safely fall behind, or if you have never skied, try Rabbit Hill. (Endurance exercises such as running and swimming, while great for your overall health, stimulate less current because their regular rhythm allows you to get out of the area instead of zeroing in.)

Have a specific goal

Yes, some activities are fun in themselves and have no end in sight. But even everyday activities can sometimes become a clear and motivating goal in your mind. The goal of “saving the world” does not have to be great. A simple phrase “reach your deadline” or “identify and contact five potential investors” is enough. Without purpose, say goodbye to focus. And say hello to Pinterest or Instagram or your distraction.

Tap your character’s strengths

It flows easily when we work on our innate talents and values. Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the Positive Psychology movement, identified 24 “strengths” that include curiosity, fairness, critical thinking, social intelligence, perseverance, humor, and courage. If you are a person for whom “teamwork” is a strength, you will have difficulty finding work flow alone or in individual activities. If “love of learning” is not on your list of strengths, research is probably not the best place to find you’re current.

Fight your prejudice against work

When we think of getting lost in an activity, we often think of leisure activities first: gardening, spending time with our children, watching movies, or cycling. But Shernoff says research shows that the flow actually happens more in the workplace, where we are exposed to challenges and pressures. But the more we think of work as a tedious commitment, the harder it is to get in and enjoy the flow. “If you do not pay attention, you can miss opportunities,” says Csikszentmihalyi. He tells the story of a fishmonger he once met in New York City: “His goal was to provide his customers with the best, freshest and most delicious fish. He talked about how he could find the best way to separate the bones and fillet each salmon. How he tried to cut the slices as thin as possible. How each fish was a new puzzle that he had to decipher? He took his job seriously and had hundreds of customers who please come to the opening time. “He got into a job that many found disgusting.

Csikszentmihalyi says, and this is the real challenge: to find the flow in every aspect of our lives, whether running an office or ironing shirts.

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