Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Findings On Finding Flow

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life

When high skill and ability meet challenge it creates space for mental growth. Csikszentmihalyi writes that this is exactly where “flow” experiences happen. Autotelic is another way of describing these experiences, which means self-satisfying, something you engage in for its own sake. Key to this is focus and motivation, namely doing tasks that are consuming and progress your ability. This places us in “flow” and pushes along a progressive learning path where we increase complexity and order.

Csikszentmihalyi also states, “Persons whose lives are autotelic help to reduce entropy in the consciousness of those who come in contact with them.” Interactions with others become more simple, less congested, when you’re in a flow-state. It becomes a matter of developing a playful seriousness about your goals and life. He states, "Thus each of us is responsible for one particular point in space and time in which our body and mind forms a link within the total network of existence."

One of the big ideas that I particularly enjoyed from the book that the author shares comes from Buddhist philosophy - “Act always as if the future of the Universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.”

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