What do hula-hoopers, big-wave surfers and composers have in common? A state of “flow”

The main point is that the motivation to do these activities must come from within yourself. But in order to enter this mental state of flow there are several components that must be met:

1. The activity must have clear goals and objectives.
2. The task must have clear and immediate feedback.
3. One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task and their perceived skills. A task too difficult may cause frustration.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi credited more satisfactory lives to those who regularly entered the state of flow.

Csikszentmihalyi was chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Chicago in 1990 when Flow was published. As a Chicagoan, I read it then and was excited by the concepts he integrated at that time. If you haven’t read it, check it out at Amazon. I recommend it. Tony

Layman's Terms Media

270333_4710143305586_564870044_nFor those of you who do follow my blog, you may have realized I’m a pretty big hoop enthusiast, who also enjoys an everyday runner’s high.

 Although the physical benefits of running and spinning a circle on various parts of my body may seem obvious, it’s the mental state I’m in when I go on a 5-mile run, or do a freestyle hoop-dance to a 10-track playlist that brings me back after a long workday.

The constant to-do list engrained in my brain melts away, and in that moment, I am only thinking of the task at hand.

This mental state, coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is called “flow.” In short, flow means being completely engaged in a present moment, enjoying that action and letting all other stressors stay in the back of your mind. This state can be achieved by countless activities: playing chess, writing music, skateboarding, painting, and…

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