Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness
Flow, as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is a core characteristic of the research on Positive Leadership. His TED talk is therefore something like a must-see.
Firstly, fascinated by the wish to understand the roots of happiness and inspired by a presentation of Carl Jung, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is now an advocate for Positive Psychology.
Since happiness seems to be independent from an increase of material well-being – as long as the basic needs are fulfilled – he started studying creative people, such as artists and scientists to find out: What contributes to a life worth living and creates a feeling of happiness?
CEOs with a sense of social responsibility describe success as something that benefits others and simultaneously makes oneself happy.
Again and again, they described a process of “effortless and spontaneous flow”. Today, Csikszentmihalyi is an important contributor to the definition of the state of flow.
In the state of flow the entire capacity of the nervous system is used. The entire attention literally flows into the process of creating something new. The awareness of body, space and time dissolves.
He found this phenomena also in business. CEOs with a sense of social responsibility describe success as something that benefits others and at the same time makes you feel happy.
These are the characteristics of the state of “FLOW”:
- Being completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated
- Having a sense of ecstasy – being outside of everyday’s reality
- Having great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing
- Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate for the task
- Having a sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego
- Feeling timelessness and being thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by in minutes.
- Having intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward
The state of Flow leads to a level of high performance and inner satisfaction.
Research on the parameters of “challenge” and “ability” is supposed to give us more insights on how we can put more of everyday life into a state of flow.
Isn’t it that every one of us would appreciate some more flow in daily life?
Share this Post