Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: Creativity, Fulfillment and Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "chick-sent-me-high-ee") is the founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center, a non-profit research institute that studies positive psychology.  He wrote the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.  

 In his TED talk, Csikszentmihalyi describes the flow state, or the effortless, spontaneous feeling that you get when you enter into an ecstatic space.

How Does it Feel to be in Flow?  

Csikszentmihalyi says there are seven conditions that exist when we are in flow:
  1. Completely involved, focused, concentrating - with this either due to innate curiosity or as the result of training
  2. Sense of ecstasy - of being outside everyday reality
  3. Great inner clarity - knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going
  4. Knowing the activity is doable - that the skills are adequate, and neither anxious or bored
  5. Sense of serenity - no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego - afterwards feeling of transcending ego in ways not thought possible
  6. Timeliness - thoroughly focused on present, don't notice time passing
  7. Intrinsic motivation - whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward

When Are We in Flow?

Csikszentmihalyi says flow happens when we your challenges are higher than average, and your skills are higher than average.

One of the most important components to flow is that it happens when we are doing what we really like to do.

When was the last time you were in flow?

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