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“The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Flow is important both because it makes the present instant more enjoyable, and because it builds the self-confidence that allows us to develop skills and make significant contributions to humankind.
The term “flow” was coined by Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1960s. In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he describes it as a highly focused mental state which facilitates productivity. In his research, Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that there was no correlation between money and happiness. Instead, the human brain is at its happiest when engaged in the meaningful pursuit of a goal.
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Have you ever felt like you were in a zen-like meditative state while working, mentally free to execute and apply your skills with no distracting thought whatsoever inside your mind? Feeling entirely absorbed in an activity? This is called being in the zone or getting in the flow.Those expressions are often used about athletes performing at their peak, with all their attention focused on the task at hand. No concern, no conscience of time—just pure, invigorating work driven by heightened awareness.
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The process of flow was discovered and coined by the Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In the 1960s, Csikszentmihalyi studied the creative process and found that, when an artist was in the course of flow, they would persist at their task relentlessly, regardless of hunger or fatigue. He also found that the artist would lose interest after the project was completed, highlighting the importance of the process and not the end result.