17.6 Thinking about flow and the need for fixed points of attention.
Did you ever try learning something new, which the people around you don´t really believe or support? Flow may be a way of strengthening your resolve to keep at it....
Since finding flow experience is dependent on our awareness of clear goals, like climbing to the top of a mountain, or completing the composition of a poem, or creating a great business presentation... whatever it is we want to achieve, we can work out our own rhythm between the big goal and the smaller steps which will get us there. I was just riding a bicycle in the countryside today - and enjoyed the opportunity to practice seeing without glasses. Sunny day, low traffic, so a chance to try out some short distance/long distance-vision swinging. This is about micro-goals, like focusing on the handle bars of the bike, blinking, focussing on the horizon and seeing a tree (blurry), letting go, appreciating the surroundings "moving" while focusing on something fixed. All of these mini-moments of perception, if coupled with awareness, eg. are my eyes relaxing/straining/dynamically concentrating? - then lead to moments of improved vision, sometimes a few seconds of a whole landscape, sometimes a few seconds clear focus of a street sign. Whatever... and the seeing flow which enables my weak eyes to see more clearly comes from a swinging rhythm between long distance challenge, short distance challenge, failure, relaxation, concentration, new fixed point, letting go, concentrating, letting go. I guess this is true for many flow experiences. If we have a high ability to do something, it becomes possible to have stretches of high performance within our comfort zone, and then stretches of higher performance, and higher flow in phases where we are stretched slightly beyond our know limits. But these reflections give me the idea of applying flow principles to topics where we sense a deficit, and apply the principles to get back into a normal state.
After some exciting, challenging events in the last few weeks - like giving and receiving online training sessions on topics like "Presentation Skills" or "Train the Live Online Trainer", I felt like this pressure to put topics online increased my inner motivation to work out what all these soft skills topics mean to me. After a fascinating personal coaching session and a bit of relatively random online research I suddenly stumbled open Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi. His book "Flow" has been in the back of my mind for at least the last twenty years - although I had never read much of it. All those years ago it seemed to be too theoretical. This time I quickly got hold of the audio edition and was delighted to see that the expert himself was reading out the whole book! And almost everything he says seems simple, straightforward and, I guess easily understandable for most people. The whole thing is about how to increase our absorption in whatever activities we have in life, and thereby improve the quality of our experience. It became clear to me that there is an element of flow in all the main work topics and hobbies in my life. But since Csikzentmihalyi´s idea is that flow can arise in almost any activity, this is no big surprise. Anyway, I´m going to start incorporating flow principles more consciously in all of my projects and activities and this will give me a big kick of motivation to start producing more material, whether blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations or training materials. I´m looking forward to sharing and testing these ideas with the people around me. Maybe my little paradigm shift will produce some interesting ripples in my personal network and beyond. On the 7th July I´ll be testing the topic at my meet-up "Agile Communicator" with Jacob Methner Online for an hour or so. The next meetup is on 4.8.2020:
Since the Meetup for 7.7.2020 is not yet online, leave me a message here, and I´ll send you a link when we´ve got the invitation online.
Live Online Training: Moderationskompetenz mit Flowimpro erhöhen with Jacob Methner, 23.7.2020, 18:00 - 21:00Uhr:(Send me a message: Anzeige folgt zeitnah)
Hope to see you soon!
John Paul Atkinson