Flow Makes Life Better—So Go with It (Here’s How)

What exactly is that focused, productive, highly satisfying state called “flow”?

Patty Onderko November 12, 2014 to read the article in detail go to Success.Com

Basically flow is the scientifically researched theory behind the lay expressions “in the zone” or “getting in the groove.” During flow, your attention is focused and held without effort. And it’s found in “those moments of total absorption, when we’re so sucked in by the task at hand that time seems to either slow down or speed up,”

explains Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance and co-founder of the Flow Genome Project, a for-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, that aims to help organizations and individuals achieve flow more often. (He calls it “flow hacking.”)

Coined in 1975 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  Ph.D., the term and concept of flow have become a core element of Positive Psychology; Csikszentmihalyi believes that flow is a key component of a satisfying, happy life. His book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience has become a seminal work in the new science of happiness. “Flow makes life much better,” the author told SUCCESS.

“You don’t feel like you’re working against the current, but with it. Work doesn’t seem like an obligation, and you get better at what you’re doing.”

 “Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best,” he says. In this way, we can think of flow as an evolutionary encouragement—and reward—for getting stuff done.

“Flow is playful work or serious play.”

Helping people understand, find and engage longer in playful work or serious play is one of the tools positive psychologists use to help their patients focus on their strengths rather than their perceived negatives. According to Csikszentmihalyi, a lucky 12 percent of people say they experience flow several times a day. At least an equal number of people say they never get in the flow. But the overwhelming majority report “flow”-ing a few times a month. If you’ve never felt flow, or would like to more often, below is how you can get ahead!

Engage in autotelic activities.

Get your challenge/skill ratio right. 

Don’t get down when you’re not in flow. 

Create a feedback system.

Make to-do lists with small goals.

Impose deadlines on yourself.

Work with a partner.

Try a (somewhat) extreme sport.

Have a clear goal.

Fight your prejudice against work.

 

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