Flow

Mihali Csikszentmihalyi’s (tip you pronounce his surname as chicks-send-me-high) 1975 diagram (below) provides a neat picture of how we get into Flow, that state where everything seems to click and time passes faster than we expect. 

Sportsmen call it being in the zone – that state when nothing can go wrong. Tennis balls look bigger and golf balls magically get pulled towards holes. 

Other ways of knowing when we are or have been in flow are when:

  • People ask us how we do something and we cannot explain it to them.
  • We have more energy at the end of the task than when we started.
  • We feel exhilarated.
  • Time flies past.
  • We see connections easily and effortlessly to keep us moving forward
His diagram is also useful for identifying the causes of worry and anxiety, when we have a challenge that is beyond our skill level;
Or boredom and apathy when we are over qualified for the challenge with more skills than are needed. 
 
Optimally we move towards the yellow zones of Arousal, Control and Flow.

Mihali Csikszentmihalyi's diagram showing the optimal balance between skill and challenge and how that leads to flow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image soure: http://bit.ly/humanflow

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Author: Dale Williams

Dale is based in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa from where he maintains connections with people all over the world through his portfolio life.