Go with the flow

More and more of us yearn to do work that is meaningful and fulfilling. Rare is the job candidate who only wants to know about salary and compensation. Most people are concerned with finding work that satisfies needs beyond paying the light bill.

When I consider how to help people “work happy,” I am drawn to the teachings of Mihaly Csickszentmihalyi.  He has authored hundreds of articles as well as the seminal book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” He is an expert on achieving happiness in our work and in our lives.

According to Csickszentmihalyi, we are in the flow when:

  • Time flies. 
  • We become completely absorbed in what we are doing.
  • Our ego falls away and we are invested in the activity at hand for its own sake not for the money or the glory.
  • There is balance between our skill level and the task that lies before us.
  • Like a jazz musician, we find a natural progression from one step to the next as we move through our tasks.

When does this happen for you? Figure out what you are doing and then go do more of that. Being in the flow is not all that mysterious. It is a very practical magic.

I often believe that world peace and all other ills of the world will be solved if each person finds a way to put their divine gifts and talents to work. Step into the deep water and go with the flow. Approach your work as if there is no such thing as “Plan B.” In order to go with the flow, there can only plan “Be.”

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