Flow is a state of consciousness which can be achieved on an individual path. People who are in a state of “flow” or “in the element” describe this state as effortless action when they are in harmony with their surroundings and feelings. They do not make distinctions between work and play. People in “flow” create an inner state of being that brings them peace and fulfillment that is separate from their external environment.
FLOW is associated with enjoyment and satisfaction with one’s quality of life.The basis for the “flow” experience is to create meaning and to control of consciousness where a state of unity exists and is consistent with a person’s life themes. Some people experience it for minutes, some for hours, some for days on end. Evidently it can be sustained for long periods of time by some people.Flow are those inexplicable moments of indescribable happiness that we experience at rare intervals, when we are “surprised by joy.” These precious moments seem to be gifts, almost accidental peak experiences in which life seems rich with meaning, joy and wonder. When and why do these magic episodes come into our humdrum existence?
Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, the pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, and the researcher of HAPPINESS answer may surprise you:
“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments of our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times … The best moments of our lives usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to the limits in a voluntary moment to achieve something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen … For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.”
This philosopher-psychologist points out the Aristotelian concept that all other things we seek, riches, fame, and power are valued only because we believe they will make us happy. Based upon decades of research on the mystery of happiness, Csikszentmihalyi defines it as moments of self-forgetfulness when we are totally absorbed in the process of life … intervals of peak creativity and self-expression. He expands upon the research of Abraham Maslow and agrees that peak experiences are within the reach of us all and there are techniques to make this to make this
feeling occur more often. Each of us is creating a path that no one else has traveled. The guidelines and the principles are possible to learn, but the journey into the uncertainty of our destiny is individual and precious.