Flow put simply!

How to Achieve a Flow State (Taken directly from Daniel Goleman’s blog on Linked in November 18, 2013 )

This is a really simple lens through which to view what you are currently doing and what you might do in the future if you want to wallow in the flow!! Reminds me of my favourite old concept of ‘thrival’. The best feelings we get in our personal and professional lives is when your passion and energy for what you are doing are at their peak.

Here’s what Daniel had to say!!

“Flow”, the state where we feel in command of what we do, do it effortlessly, and perform at our best, was discovered by researchers at the University of Chicago. They asked a wide range of people, “Tell us about a time you outdid yourself – you performed at your peak.” No matter who answered – ballerinas, chess champs, surgeons – they all described the flow state. One of flow’s best features: it feels great.

The first matches a person’s tasks to his or her skill set. In the Chicago study, this was put in terms of the ratio of a person’s abilities to the demand of the task. The more a challenge requires us to deploy our best skills, the more likely we will become absorbed in flow.

Another path to flow lies in finding work we love. Doing what we’re passionate about is one sign of “good work,” the topic of research by Howard Gardner at Harvard, Bill Damon at Stanford, and Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi, the discoverer of flow. In good work we align what we’re best at doing with what engages us and also what fits our sense of meaning and purpose. Good work puts us in a frame of mind where, again, flow can arise spontaneously.

The final common pathway of any approach to flow is fully absorbed focus. The stronger the concentration we bring to a task, the more likely we are to drop into flow while doing it. While the other paths to flow depend on getting the externals right – the challenge/demand ratio, or finding work that aligns ethics, excellence and engagement – full focus is an inner dimension. The better our ability to pay attention to what we choose and ignore distractions, the stronger our concentration.”

We all need some ‘flow’ in our lives!!!

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