Aristotle once said that more than anything in life we humans seek happiness.
The Dalai Lama also writes about happiness, referring to it as an art.
One thing for sure, there is a certain flow to life that simply moves us along in a way that provides each of us with maximum enjoyment, and specific to our individual needs. Once we begin to pay attention to what it is that we truly value, we naturally progress towards more and more happiness and peace.
Yet, as we move happily forward in the direction of our dreams, it’s a given that we will continue to desire material things–(we sometimes even say we would “die for” these things)–beauty, fancy cars, nice clothes, a loving family, a meaningful career, power–the list never ends!
Yet what we are searching for in the center of this race toward being, doing and having more and more of these ‘shiny objects’ is something we believe is at their root–yes, you guessed it…We are seeking happiness in everything we do, in every activity of our lives.
And how are we to find this happiness when life brings us all kinds of suffering, angst, sadness and loss?
A colleague once shared some words of wisdom with me a few years ago when I was faced with a difficult decision at work. She said I would be fine if I would just “trust life’s processes and surrender to its flow.” I have never forgotten her words (or her)!
The originator of this idea of “flow” is a Hungarian professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, (pronounced chick-sent-me-high-ee). In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, published in 1990, he describes flow as a state of concentration or complete absorption in what we are doing.
The flow state is one in which we get so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.
You will know when you are in your flow because you lose track of time–which I am doing as I am writing this article–it’s way past my bedtime! I share my process with you with an awareness that you have also experienced times when creative energy is flowing freely. During these times we can produce great things for our businesses–ebooks, reports, articles, sales pages, emails to subscribers, new ideas for future projects and lots more!
However, more often than not, (truth be told!) I struggle to write original content, procrastinate, and search for just the right subject to share with you. Yet, once I get focused and set an intention to begin the project, it all seems to come together nicely. The post gets written as I’ve connected the writing to the thought that you will find these topics useful!
When our entire being is involved in the process we find the flow. Then we can create products and services which others find unique, useful and meaningful to their lives.
Csikszentmihalyi says that the reason we get so caught up and blissed out during flow states is that we have achieved the perfect balance between the high level of challenge of the task and our own skill levels. But, if what we are doing is either too easy or too difficult, the flow is not going to happen and we become apathetic and bored.
Both our own skill level and the level of the challenge before us must match AND they both must be high in order to achieve ‘flow’ and optimal experience. When we are in the flow we are using our skills to the utmost!
So, Happy Flow-Finding, Fellow Entrepreneurs!