Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How often are you in a state of flow? Do you inhibit others' flow?

The state of flow experience is defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi as "situations in which attention can be freely invested to achieve a person's goals, because there is no disorder to straighten out, no threat to the self to defend against."

Have you ever noticed how easy other peoples' problems are to solve? They're easy for us because nothing is in our way. We have no idea what goes on for people that is unseen and that prevents them from following our easy advice.

further states that those who attain flow "develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals they themselves had chosen to pursue."

Are you pursuing goals that fit with who you are, or are you chasing after someone else's idea of what you should work toward? What does it cost you to neglect to generate your own goals?

Are you expecting others to live up to your goals, or are you facilitating them in discovering and pursuing goals that fit who they are? If the former, what does it cost you and them when others in your life are not in a state of flow? What would you and others gain by supporting each other in discovering and pursuing self-concordant goals (goals that are aligned with our needs, personality, and values)?

From Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience by
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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