Vitality – 11/77 – Ready, steady, flow!

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Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

The 10 hour job day I had two days ago was too much, it was stressful. And a whole day yesterday without anything on the schedule drifted easily from an intention to relax into a state of boredom. “Too much… Too little…” was what I picked up from my own world of thought right after I woke up this morning. After those two days which stand in complete contrast to each other, a third day seemed to be the day for coming up with a synthesis after Thursday’s thesis (strezzzzzed), and Friday’s antithesis (booooooring).
Of course, the word balance silently sneaked into my thinking right away, and so I started scribbling on a blank A4 sheet, witnessed by a confused cup of tea on the table which I had invited to join because my usual companion coffee had nothing left to give (ouch.)

‘BORED’ 
I wrote on the left side.

‘STRESSED’
I wrote on the right side.

‘FLOW’
‘Balanced’
was suddenly noted in the middle.

And even though I realized that being bored can be stressful as hell, and doing something stressful can go along with a feeling of great boredom, it felt completely right to write it down like this. (A 3-dimensional modell on this would probably be even more suitable). And as my curiosity on this was growing as I had written down the synthesis in the middle, I just typed the 3 words into google’s search box. What came up as search result was pure confirmation in form of some proper concepts by flow expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and I learned that flow is about the relation of the challenge you face and the skills you own:

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Flow = Vitality

To me, flow is one of the best synonyms for vitality, and I’ll definitely dive deeper into Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow (though I’m absolutely not willing to learn how to type his complete name without using copy and paste, hehe.)

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4 Replies to “Vitality – 11/77 – Ready, steady, flow!”

  1. When programming one needs to get into “the flow” (or “the zone” as we call it) as well. It’s the ultimate level of mental focus. It’s where the most complex of problems are resolved, and in the shortest amount of time.

    Of course the task on hand should neither be too easy nor to hard. It has to be just above one’s level of control.

    Most important for getting into the zone is to get rid of all distractions and interruptions. Usually difficult to achieve at your company workplace 😉

    1. This is great. I love the fact that you read this, and thanks for your comment, highly appreciated, bro! 😉
      Is it JUST above one’s level of control?
      Kind of interesting and weird that it’s not yet common sense for companies to create optimal conditions for their employees in order to get into the zone, and deliver high performance. (Google obviously knows and does it way better).

      1. Well, I guess it should be in the “zone of proximal development” (Lev Vygotsky).

        In my opinion companies do change (or die, if they don’t). It’s just a very slow process.

        “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” (Charles Bukowski)

        So maybe we just have the wrong people leading the companies. Self confidence is essential in order to get to the top.

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