The book Flow by Mihaly Csikzsentmihalyi is about the psychology of how the pursuit of optimal experience illuminates the way to happiness. I just finished this book and let me tell you, it’s a must-read recommendation.
“This is the real secret of life– to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” — Alan Wilson Watts
The autotelic personality is an individual who generally does things for their own sake,in the “here and now”,rather than for some later goal. The autotelic personality has several very specific personality traits which are better able to achieve the “flow experience” than the average person. These personality traits include curiosity, persistence, low self-centeredness, and a desire of performing activities for intrinsic reasons only. Source: Wikipedia
1. Setting goals – Tackling attainable challenges
2. Becoming immersed in the activity – Time seems to be frozen or moves very fast
3. Paying attention to what is happening – Attention to details
4. Learning to enjoy immediate experience – Work becomes play
How does someone stay relaxed under extreme pressure?
“There is nothing to it. We don’t get upset because we believe that our life is in God’s hands, and whatever He decides will be fine with us.”
Significant childhood pain can lead to a well-adjusted adult’s lifelong theme of service to correct the injustice.
Transformational (not regressive) coping – If one operates with confident assurance and remains open to and involved in the environment, a solution is likely to emerge from the extreme pressure.
How can some people losing limbs or even sight enjoy life with something as seemingly simple as a mastering of a musical instrument where some other people get manic depressed and even commit suicide for some trivial event such as being un-friended on Facebook?
8 elements of enjoyment: I covered this on my Part I of the report: Click here and read it
Furthermore, I learned:
Raising a successful family with the 5 elements of happy teenagers:
1. Clarity – The teenager feels that they know what their parents expect from them. Goals and feedback in family interaction are unambiguous
2. Centering – parents take interest in the child in that moment rather than being preoccupied with whether they are getting into a good college or obtaining a well-paying job
3. Choice – Children feel that they have a variety of possibilities from which to choose – including that of breaking parental rules – as long as they are prepared to face the consequences
4. Commitment – The trust that allows the child to feel comfortable enough to set aside the shield of his/her defenses, and become confidently involved in whatever he/she is interested in
5. Challenge – Parents provide their children with appropriate challenges and increasingly complex opportunities for action as they progress
Quadrants of flow:
Goal: High challenge, high skill
Low challenge, high skill = boredom
High challenge, low skill = anxiety
Memorize facts not to memorize, but to gain understanding and contextualized knowledge. Natural curiosity = natural learning
Question: The Bible states that work is a punishment for sin. Is our current ability to specialize jobs a gift of systemic cooperation?
Flow is all about being curious, setting goals, seeking immediate feedback, enjoying the now, and making work into play – and this is what life should be all about. -SjC