Thursday, August 25, 2005

Are you in the "Flow?"

No siree, these are not the lyrics to Ja Rule's new song. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (trying saying that ten times fast), the state of "flow" is when you are so focused, so determined, so happy and exhilarated with what you're doing, that you barely notice anything or anyone else around you. "It is what the sailor holding a tight course feels when the wind whips through her hair....It is what a painter feels when the colors on the canvas begin to set up a magnetic tension with each other, and a new thing, a living form, takes shape...."

Fast Company has a great article on the concept of "flow" and Csikzentmihalyi's book: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Major companies are picking up on the "flow" concept and trying to figure out how the hell to get their employees "flowin" all day long. I'd like to figure it out myself. With work and with life, there have been several time periods for me (some lasting weeks or motnhs) where I have been so focused and driven, it never even occurred to me that I might not reach my goal (like when I decided I wanted to run a marathon when I had never run a millimeter in my life. Six months later I came across the finish line at the Chicago Marathon). Why are we so insanely motivated and focused at certain times, and at others I can barely pay attention to an episode of the Jetsons. I guess I need to read this book, huh?


Anonymous said...

This is a great book that is a little too technical in the writting style for me, but has some great tips. The key takeaway is that if someone is given authority to make decisions, is given immediate unfiltered feedback, and is part of the fruits of success there is a higher chance they will achieve flow.

It seems like your on your way to finding your flow.

Good luck and keep up the fab blog.

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