Daily Leadership Thought #126 – Tap Into Your Flow

April 26, 2011

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the concept of “Flow” which is defined as the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. We all experience this state of being to varying degrees and frequency.  It can be at work or in our personal life, but it is hard to miss it when it happens. It almost feels as if we are operating in a different dimension of life where things are aligning as they should and the uniqueness of our being allowed to flourish.

I have always felt that “flow” should be the goal not the exception in life. Far too many people work at jobs they don’t like, engaging in activities that provide no sense of meaning to them, and that rarely tap into their true talents and passions.  In their home life, they similarly fall into routines that become “ruts” if they are not careful and are overwhelmed by their daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities. There is a sense of slowly losing yourself to the busyness of life. You get further away from your true self and what makes you happy.

We all have natural talents, abilities, interests, and character traits that make us unique individuals.  Flow is achieved when we tap into those aspects of ourselves that make us special.  Self-awareness and honest reflection can make a substantial difference to our state of being.  If you can build the wisdom and courage not to conform to societal pressures, but instead choose to chart a course based on your own uniqueness and what makes you feel purposeful, energized, and happy, the river of life will “flow” more easily.