Home > Solution Focussed Management > Need motivation?…Experience the flow!

Need motivation?…Experience the flow!

Ever had someone calling you up and asking: “Are you still at work, do you know what time it is?”. And you found that you lost track of the time, and were fully consumed by your work. Now then, you might have experienced ‘Flow’.

Flow is concept advocated by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and it lets itself be summarized as:

Flow is a subjective state that people report when they are completely involved in something to the point of forgetting time, fatigue, and everything else but the activity itself.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was doing research into the fact that some people do time-consuming, extremely complex and even dangerous tasks without receiving an external reward (ex. Mountain climbing). The reward might therefore come from within the person. His studies showed that people had a very similar experience that they enjoyed so much the were compelled to experience it again. This is the experience we now call the flow.

So how do I get into that state, what trigger me to do so, well the three ingredients are:

  1. A clear set of goals, to channel your attention.
  2. A balance between perceived challenges and perceived skills
  3. Clear and immediate feedback, this removes doubt on what to do next.

The balance is particularly of  importance, since it can give you handles on how flow could be obstructed by your goals.  The following figure show the balance between skill level and challenge level and which states it holds:

The balance between skills and challengesFor me the best places to be is either arousal or flow. So how will I get into those states? I plan to do that by choosing my goals Aspirational! Won’t you end up in Anxiety then? No, I’m convinced I won’t, to convince you readers I finally have to go into one of the subject of my essay ‘Solution Focussed Management’. This will be the subject of my next couple of posts, so stay tuned.

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(Please tell me, How do you keep motivated? )

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  1. You Know Me
    February 26, 2011 at 08:31

    Vincent,

    The main point of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi theory is that every one should have its own persuite to happyness. And that one of the way’s of arriving at that stage is by comming in a state of flow. What I miss in your explanation is the connection between happyness and flow

    • February 27, 2011 at 02:05

      Good point! I tried to put in the connection between happyness and flow.

  1. May 10, 2011 at 19:03
  2. February 24, 2015 at 02:57

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