How Paying Attention Opens The Door To Happiness And High Performance

The Power of Focus and Flow –  “If you’re like most of us, you probably take pride in your ability to multitask, to be incredibly efficient by simultaneously listening to a conference call, writing a few e-mails, and eating your salad at your desk,”

writes Janice Marturano in her new book, Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership.  Sound familiar? Maybe you’re trying to multitask as you read this blog post! To read the full article go to Shawn Ellis

Focus, Flow and Happiness
Daniel Goleman writes in his latest book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, that “full focus gives us a potential doorway into flow” — which Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi calls the “secret to happiness.”

“Only about 20 percent of people have flow moments at least once a day. Around 15 percent of people never enter a flow state during a typical day.” – Daniel Goleman

Now it’s true that flow is often associated with doing something you enjoy. But that’s not what it’s all about.

Just think:

Have you ever done something that you really love, but you weren’t in flow while doing it? Maybe your mind was actually occupied with thoughts of something else the entire time, so you “missed” a moment that should have brought you great joy? Of course.

On the other hand, have you ever been able to just “lose yourself” while doing something that you really don’t love to do? For me, I think about anything related to accounting — something that’s fresh on my mind as tax season approaches!

I really don’t like “running numbers” and reviewing reports and such, but I’ve found that when I just “settle in” and do what needs to be done, I can actually enjoy it. No, I don’t have the feeling that “I wish I could do this every day!” but I can feel that “energized focus” and “enjoy the process.”

So you see, it’s not all about doing what you love. The constant is paying attention.

By choosing to focus — to “do what you’re doing” — we can experience happiness right now, right where we are.