FLOW

This is difficult to describe. The term ‘flow’ was coined by the American Psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. I believe the easiest way to describe is: Have you ever done an activity and you were so engrossed in it that you kind of forgot all sense of time. That’s the one. Other people tried to describe it as ‘in the zone’ or ‘in the groove’. Sometimes it is used as equivalent to happiness. That is not correct. During the activity (give it a go and go back to a time when you experienced it yourself) there is no emotion at all. When you are finished, yes, then there may be an euphoric emotion. For example: the concert pianist, during the concert there is no emotion. Afterwards when the applause starts he may have quite an assortment of positive emotions. Another example: the surgeon remarked to rubble around him. What happened here? And he did realise – during the operation – that half the ceiling collapsed, rubble around him. He was ‘busy’ (so engrossed) with his operation. The theory goes like this: the more flow moments one has, the happier this person is. Yes, there is a connection to happiness, however they are not the same. Now comes an even trickier part: How to create those flow moments. The following chart may help:


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