I was reading my marathon book the other day and came across the idea of ‘flow’, as defined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  The idea of immersing yourself so fully in an activity that you get lost, you lose track of time, as well as anything else going on around you.  This idea hit very close to home for me.  Although I do not get this experience while running (as my book says I should…!), I do get this exact feeling while creating.  I once almost got into an argument about this with an art history teacher.  Of course, she was right :)  but this is exactly what I was getting at.  I don’t believe that artists enter a state of subconsciousness, nor do I believe that art just flows out, nor is it solely ‘inspiration’ that results in art, but, I do believe in the concept of flow.  I read that the name came about because people described being in this state of absolute concentration as being carried along in a current of water.  Has anyone else experienced this while doing one thing or another?  It really does feel like you lose some control over what you are doing and just ‘flow’.  I don’t buy into the idea that there’s no decision making or thinking behind this all, but there absolutely is a feeling of getting lost in your work.  Concentration so deep that works better than caffeine, that can keep me up all night.  That can keep me going for hours and hours without losing that high, that feeling of contentment.  It’s a wonderful feeling,  completely effortless and one that I couldn’t force if I tried.  Anyway, I’m always excited to find that concepts I’ve thought about or experienced have a name and even more excited to learn about concepts that help me understand how humans work :)

(I also love Ted talks… are you tying your shoes the right way?)

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One Response to Flow

  1. Pingback: A documentary about being Happy :) - Angelika Piwowarczyk

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