A moment in your life when time stands still, oblivious to the world around you, so fully focused on what you’re doing, concentrating so hard, time disappears completely.
Psychologists call these fully absorbent times, flow states or a ‘heightened state of consciousness’. Perhaps you find flow doing a crossword, playing a competitive sport or writing and giving a powerful speech (like the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr – featured above).
There are many activities in which flow can be found, but it can only happen under very strict conditions – at times when our skills are tested, but our ability is just about sufficient to meet the challenge. Stretching us to our maximum limit.
If the challenge is too easy, we become bored and lose interest, too hard and we become anxious and want to give up. So flow cannot be achieved.
Achieving flow is incredibly important to achieving inner happiness, it leaves us feeling worthy, satisfied and encourages personal growth. Testing our limits and fulfilling our potential.
Unfortunately, the amount of time we spend surfing the internet, checking social media sites and watching catch-up TV dramatically diminishes the time we spend on rewarding, flow finding interests. and unsurprisingly, this is affecting our happiness levels.
Where do you find flow?
Why not give up the 30 minutes you spend surfing Facebook every day, or catching up on the latest episode of The Apprentice and dedicate it to finding your flow?
Start with just 30 minutes each day for a week and see how much more satisfied and accomplished you feel.
Additional reading –
Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.