Friday, March 5, 2010

Get In The Flow

I certainly don't care what you do and it doesn't really matter what you do.  Here's the thing.  You want happiness?  Then find something and immerse yourself in its flow.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi knows a thing or two about happiness.  He's studied it.  He's written a couple of books about it.  And he teaches courses related to his studies and his writings.
Here's what he's discovered.
People who lose themselves at least for awhile each day into something outside of themselves categorize that lost time as 'happiness'.
Wow!  That's it?
Wow!  That's it.
When we focus our attention on something else besides ourselves we recall that time of attention as a time when we felt happy.  When we are in the 'flow' we feel happy.
According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation.  The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.
 Here's the thing.  The 'flow' doesn't seek us out.  Our job is to find it.  And the 'it' is not the same for everyone.  We claim 'it' or we declare 'it' and the 'it' becomes our entrance into the flow and into happiness.  What the 'it' is doesn't matter at all.
So seek out your 'it', declare 'it' and lose yourself into 'it' for awhile each day.
Collect stamps.  Track the normal rainfall vs. the current rainfall.  Monitor the downward descent of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Try to figure out how to correctly pronounce Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  I don't give a rat's ass what you do and neither does anyone else as long as what you do does not cause harm.
Track the corny dialogue found in each episode of Grey's Anatomy.  Seriously.
It doesn't matter.
The important thing is to lose yourself in whatever it is you choose and lose yourself for awhile each day.
At the end of the day you will realize that for at least awhile you were happy.
Give it a try.


Tom Walker said...

This is great! I feel better already. Well, not really, but I'm in the flow of feeling better.

Linda Shirley said...

Mary, I am enjoying my new discovery - your blogs. Now I know where my daughter gets her jounalistic skills - the Walker side of the family. Of course, Dad was a great poet!