A life worth living- Find your flow
"Flow state is losing yourself in the moment; when you find your abilities are well matched to an activity, the world around you quietens and you may find yourself achieving things you only dreamt to be possible."
Hi, my friend, today's the first of April.
It looks like we're in another month of quiet, home life ahead of us.
But it doesn't have to be boring or depressing!
I think it's the perfect opportunity to re/try new things that will increase your well-being, creativity, and productivity...
Let's collect good memories out of this unusual season.
Let's go with, and trust- the flow of life...
Happiness is an internal state of being, not an external one
The experience of flow in everyday life is an important component of creativity and well-being. Indeed, it can be described as a key aspect of eudaimonia, or self-actualization, in an individual. Since it is intrinsically rewarding, the more you practice it, the more you seek to replicate these experiences, which help lead to a fully engaged and happy life.
Flow-the secret of happiness
The defining feature of the flow state is the intense experiential involvement in moment-to-moment activity; it can only be achieved on the basis of an individuals’ personal effort and creativity (Csikszentmihalyi)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, considered one of the co-founders of positive psychology, was the first to identify and research flow.
Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."
Listen to his TED talk about the connection between the completely engaging process of doing something, and life satisfaction:
Focusing on the process, not the outcome
Autotelic experiences (endeavors carried out for their own sake, with no expectation of a future benefit, from the ancient Greek ‘autós’ meaning ‘self’ and ‘télos’ meaning ‘result/outcome/end’) are some of the most rewarding.
Csikszentmihalyi & Robinson (1990) examined receptive aesthetic experiences within museums; their findings suggested the consequences of deep and autotelic involvement are characterized by feelings of personal wholeness, a sense of discovery, and a sense of human connectedness. Within this setting, the intense involvement of attention in response to a visual stimulus was for no other reason than to sustain the experience.
This dimension is described by Csikszentmihalyi (1990) as the end result of being in a flow state, with potentially entropic experiences being transposed into the flow.
Creativity & the Flow state
Creativity can trigger flow and in turn, flow increases creativity in a positive feedback loop. We are hardwired to recognize patterns and are attracted to taking risks – combining the skill of linking new ideas with the confidence to present these ideas to others is liberating and a great way to trigger a flow state.
Try taking a different approach when tackling a new challenge, really stretch your imagination, think outside the box and look at problems from a different angle than you would normally. Raise the bar for yourself – allow yourself to believe you can do better. When you achieve your latest goal, set another!
Take a risk and trust that you will succeed – when you take a chance and it pays off, you encourage more of the same. Successfully tackling a problem nurtures your confidence, allowing you to believe in your abilities.
Immerse yourself in situations that would ordinarily be outside of your comfort zone, the unfamiliar encourages us to see things from a different perspective and come up with solutions we may not have previously considered.
Activities that induce flow
Singing, dancing, making art, hiking, mountaineering, table tennis, Tai-Chi, meditation, cooking, and baking... these are just some of the activities you can get involved in that can help to induce a flow state; the important thing is to participate in an activity that suits your needs. In reality, almost any activity you find intrinsically rewarding and that requires full engagement can guide you on the path to your flow state.
Given the myriad benefits of achieving flow state across a broad range of contexts, including music, sport, art, and work, developing techniques to achieve flow affords us an exciting opportunity to work towards reaching our full potential and optimal levels of well-being.
Something to look forward to/ A 30 Day Challenge
So what do you say...
Will you join me for 30 days of Flow/ Bite-sized doses of inspiration?
This is a curated collection of daily prompts for inner exploration, creative activities, inspirational articles, full project tutorials, instructional videos, virtual art walks, and much more?
This is the opportunity you've been dreaming of to rekindle your curiosity and joie-de-vivre.
I'll take you on a journey to seek & find magical moments of everyday life, to break the dreadful, boring, soul-killing routine.
We'll challenge ourselves.
Maybe make ourselves a little uncomfortable.
Unapologetically seek & enjoy pleasure and connection, see meaning, and tune into life's many facets.
Let's allow this change to change us, allow ourselves to adapt, find flexibility, space...
You may find your hidden talent.
You may encounter feelings of personal wholeness, a sense of discovery, and a sense of human connectedness.
And no, you don't have to do the prompts if you can't/ don't want to. I understand, not all are for everyone. You can do them at your own pace; no need to stress if you can't follow a prompt one particular day.
But I do believe that you'll find something in there that you can resonate with...and at the end of the month, let's all share what we've created; from our unique perspective, flavor, and energy.
We'll certainly make some new memories and learn new things.
"I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Every day, once a day, give yourself a present.
Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it happen. " Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks
Be an explorer. So come...It'll be fun!
Trust the Flow.