Flow

Today I watched some videos of people who are splendid in their respective crafts.  I love watching mastery at work.  I enjoy the Olympics so much, I think, for that reason.  I find it mesmerizing to watch people, adroit in skill in nuance, do what they do, whatever that is.  The best moments come when I forget the people are doing anything at all, when they have become music or sport or teaching or whatever their craft is.  From my perspective, they have become art.  From theirs, perhaps, they have entered flow.

According to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi flow happens when the following conditions are present.  It’s important to note that practice and facility are precursors of flow.

Screen shot from 2004 Ted Talk by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi about flow ( https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow)
Screen shot from 2004 Ted Talk by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi about how it feels to be in flow ( https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow)

When do I enter flow? I wonder.

Screen shot from 2004 Ted Talk by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi depicting the challenge-skill chart of flow ( https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow)
Screen shot from 2004 Ted Talk by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi depicting the challenge-skill chart of flow ( https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow)

I can think of times I’ve experienced flow, but it’s been a long time.  I’m dreadfully out of practice in one area and simply not engaging in the other.  According to Csíkszentmihályi, I’m spending too much of my time in the relaxation and boredom sectors of his challenges-skills chart.  I agree.

What about you?  When do you experience flow?  How can we experience flow more frequently?  What changes must we make?

 

 

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