Finding joy in effort (DW#890)

Yesterday we talked about how work can make us happy.

Of course it is not all work. Busy work which has no meaning or purpose will not create a state of "flow" or satisfaction.

And neither will "shallow" work – that is activities which are done half-heartedly or in a state of distraction.

Before we go any further, let us define "flow" or finding joy in effort.

Flow, according to Wikipedia, is the "mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi by the way, calls flow the "secret to happiness."

In order to be in a state of flow and find joy in effort, we need to be

  • Fully immersed (distraction free) and
  • Enjoy the process (which by the way can only happen if we are fully immersed and focused on what we are doing)

Daniel Goleman also affirms (in his book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence) that full focus gives us a potential doorway into flow".

Although flow is such an important aspect of enjoying work, it is becoming increasingly rare in today’s world which is full of distraction.

"Only about 20 percent of people have flow moments at least once a day. Around 15 percent of people never enter a flow state during a typical day, " says Daniel Goleman.

Sad, right? That the vast majority of people never get to enjoy what they are doing for most of the day?

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