Understanding "FLOW" Happiness is DOING not "Vegging"
Hack Life! Discover "Strategic Intuition" (William Duggan)
Flow is the experience of complete happiness, involvement, and transcendence in a highly skilled activity with optimal challenge for your skill level.
This totally absorbs the self-conscious ego and ultimately makes living satisfying and worthwhile.
Why do some people love their work, have a great time with their family, and relish the hours spent thinking in solitude
while others hate their jobs,are bored at home and dread being alone? How can the routines of everyday life be transformed [99U]
so that they feel as exciting, meaningful, fulfilling (and intrinsically rewarding) as taking part in a sacred ritual?
Contrary to expectations, "flow" usually happens not during relaxing moments of leisure and entertainment,
but rather when actively involved in a difficult enterprise when challenges are high and personal skills are used to their utmost. [U Penn Archive] [Seligman]
"Happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy...the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times--although such experiences can be enjoyable...The best moments usually occur when a persons body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we can make happen." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi FLOW [YouTube] Matthieu Ricard [Happiness] [not happy?]
Self-efficacy is a related skill. Each individual is posited as a reflective, self-conscious agent. Self-efficacy is the belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations" Albert Bandura, a Stanford Psychologist was a pioneer in this theory. William James might be the original father of all these ideas..you can spend a lifetime researching this [here]
Srikumar Rao reveals that enduring change in your life can not come from an act of will…it must flow from within: creative personal mastery Life is short! (Progress in the new field of nero-plasticity is encouraging though)
Forces which counter "flow" and the conscious direction of our future "evolution"
We are subject to the determination of our genetic instructions shaped by the biological necessity of survival; millennia of Darwinian struggle!
We share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, a precious 6% (seldom used fully, if at all) distinguishes our species!
We are subject to the determination of our dominant culture and socialization
We are subject to the illusion and continuation of the "self" and all it's "needs and wants"
The creative, divine human element is very difficult to find in everyday life and evanescent
But whoever said the essential part of being "human" lies between action and re-action was not too far off.
So much of our lives involves actions pre-determined by the inertia of the everyday, quotidian experience
A creative approach to life is essential...this should be art! Have we evolved past simian?
So I spend my days in "transformational coping" turning lemons into lemonade...Sisyphus is happy today! [GRIT]
FLOW, however, is much more than surviving, it is the optimal experience in life: totally aware and absorbed..."one" with the action
Preconditions require some specific skill or aptitude, discipline and familiarity. Also clear goals and feedback from some level of challenge.
"In the Zone" is a close cousin, as with an athlete at peak performance (it's more than everyday happiness)
But flow can happen in an instant in everyday life if we are receptive: A true gypsy can get drunk on a glass of water!
Live--Love--Laugh, and Rage against the darkness! Good article in Psychology Today, mentions "FLOW" Here is Psychology Today's "Happiness Vault"
Here is a springtime video from the homefront! Here is Time Magazine article on Happiness (01-17-05) Here is happiness from wikipedia Elizabeth Stanley (Warrior/Monk) [pubs] and Building a Better Brain
authentichappiness.org is a good resource. What is "eudaimonia"? Hedonic pleasure is not the answer! [Lyubomirsky's happiness school] [Happify Yourself] [Best of "Inquiring Mind"]
Perfectionism is certainly a path contrary to happiness (or real success)! Another article on overcoming perfectionism.
Lastly, if you want to get over obsessing on your own problems, watch "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. Live your life like Liviu Librescu or Rick Rascorla