During a peak experience, Maslow explained, the individual experiences an expansion of self, a sense of unity, and meaningfulness in life. The experience lingers in one’s consciousness and gives a sense of purpose, integration, self-determination and empathy.
Imagine you are in a kayak going with the flow on a fast-running river. Everything is perfect, you are one with the river, and nothing can interrupt this magical experience.
When you are in the flow, you do not even feel or think that you are until you, for a millisecond, stop and think you are in a flow. At which moment, the feeling of flow disappears. You can get back to that flow fast sometimes and not so fast in others.
Wikipedia says that in positive psychology, the state of flow, A.K.A. being in the zone, is the mental state in which you feel fully immersed in the activity you perform with an energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment.
And according to Flow Expert Susan Jackson, flow lifts experience from the ordinary to the optimal, and it is in those moments that we feel truly alive and in tune with what we are doing.
Is being in flow at work a privilege?
Being able to intercept that kind of flow while working feels like magic to most people. Because happiness at work or enjoying what we do for a living is a luxury, something only a few mere mortals deserve. It is a privilege having a workplace we go to feeling like we are going for an entertaining activity.
But why does it have to be that way?
Why can’t we turn our workplaces into magical flow centers? If we genuinely want to do that, we certainly can. When human beings have enough motivation and desire, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.
Five points of focus to create flow at work
If you are a team leader, manager, or executive who wants to see their people in a state of flow, there are some things you could try, such as;
- Creating an environment where sharing new ideas is supported and encouraged.
- Listening to everyone like they are the only person in the world at that specific moment.
- Removing all distractions and focusing on one thing at a time.
- Acknowledging and celebrating even small successes.
- Providing continuous learning opportunities.
These are all helpful steps to take not only for work environments but also for family settings. We can implement them all when working with children, teenagers, young adults, or anyone for that matter.
When we are in flow, we are happy, feel joy, we feel alive.
And in life, we should recognize anything that makes us feel that way and focus on those activities. Even look for the opportunities to make more of it, whatever that is, a more significant part of our lives.
I invite you to watch for the moments of flow in your life. And let me know.
What is it that makes you jump on the bandwagon of flow?