After years of hearing about Csikszentmihalyi’s “Flow”, I finally brought a copy and read it during the flights of a recent trip. The framework work that Csikszentmihalyi laid for enhancing a person’s experience in daily life is comprehensive, concise and brilliantly straight forward — flow, or a state of enjoyment, is attained when a person is deeply focused on an activity in such a way that his sense of time and self(-inferiority) is lost. Csikszentmihalyi also observed that the type of activity that fosters flow usually have a well-defined goal and provides immediate feedback. People who frequently experience flow are those invest their attention (or psychic energy) to such an activity over an extend period of time, over which the enjoyment from the activity and the commitment of the participant form a virtuous cycle, resulting in a continuously deeper and rewarding experience.
How rare are those who can find flow in their daily work? Too many of us wander into our careers after series of random choices. When we do feel motivated, it is because of money, prestige, peer-recognition and other equally frivolous matters. How often can we stand in front of a mirror can tell ourselves that we drive to excel in our careers out of pure sense of enjoyment?
Flow serves as a wake-up call to us. Every moment not seeking enjoyment out our daily lives is a moment that we willfully discard.
Review cross-posted here.