You know that blissful state where time seems to stop, nothing else seems to matter, and your talents and skills are put to their optimal use? It’s called flow, and up to 15 percent of Americans say they never achieve it. Why is that?
Positive psychology expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has done extensive research on the topic and explains it this way.
You get into flow:
• when your skills are fully involved in meeting a challenge that is just about manageable. (If your skills don’t meet the challenge, you’ll be in a place of arousal that won’t allow you to get into flow—instead, that sparks a signal that there’s more to learn.)
You can’t get into flow:
• when a task isn’t challenging enough. When you’re in a comfortable place of control, boredom sets in, and you fall short of finding flow. For example, if you are a skilled cook with a passion for healthy eating but preparing dinner feels like drudgery, raise the bar on your menus and watch your kitchen become a place where you make magic.
Use this “Flow Formula” to tap into your sweet spot and you’ll ultimately add more creativity—and joy—to your life!