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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:

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

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