How does it feel to be in flow?

Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

Mihaly CsikszentmihalyMihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in creativity, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” – the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Increase in material well being does not seem to affect how happy people are and the lack of basic resources, material resources, contributes to unhappiness, but the increase in material resources do not increase happiness. He looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.

When children play they are in “the flow” – totally immersed, passionate and timeless. We are all born with the ability to achieve the flow by turning off our internal self critic.

Flow is all about allowing yourself to get lost in the doing of an action, instead of allowing your mind to wander away from what is occurring, but how does it feel?

 

Here is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s list:

1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.

2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.

3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.

4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate to the task.

5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.

6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by in minutes.

7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.

 

Watch the full TED talk here:

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Rose petals

Rose petalsThe practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

 

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet it’s full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

 

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

 

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

 

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful rose petals, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, summer breeze, tomatoes, the ability to read, flowers, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?


Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

 

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at play.

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Claire Communications

Play Better

Lovetree

LovetreeDo you have the courage to play big and with a purpose in real life?

It Starts With a Vision:
Everyone, Everywhere with the courage to play BIG in the world has a REAL coach.

Playing BIG is when you bust loose from self- imposed limitations to courageously express your talents and gifts in a way that adds value to the lives of others AND brings joy AND true wealth to yourself.  True wealth is based on what YOU VALUE. It includes financial freedom and also includes knowledge, talent, experience, character, community, spiritual connection, health and of course… LOVE!

Read the full article on CoachVille.

Shiny eyes

Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions:Benjamin Zander classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

In his TED talk on music and passion he gives a new definition to success; it’s not about wealth, fame or power, it’s about how many shiny eyes I have around me.
What we say really matters and his last words are a very powerful and inspiring example of that.

Watch the full TED talk here:

Be creative and Play BIG

Stickgirl

Need a break during a busy day?Stickgirl Feel like you lost all your creativity for the moment? Want some new inspiration? Looking for a quick way to release a little bit of stress? As kids we drew simple stickmen, why not try it out today too and get a good laugh at the same time? Visit this webpage for a very playful and funny experience. I just did and I am still laughing 🙂

The paradox

Jumping girls

What does the paradox:Jumping girls If you can’t lose, the game is not worth playing; when you really play, you always win, mean to you?

For me it is about that every game we play makes us a better player, we practice to pursue mastery and we always win in the sense that we learn something new while engaging in the game.

While playing games, we don’t take failure personally since failure is expected and we can play games over and over again until we reach our desired results.

Do you want to play the game of your life better? Please contact me for more information or to schedule a FREE exploratory session.

Gamification and the PlayTwoWin method

Winning hand

The word “gamification,” Winning handmuch like the phrase “social media” a few years back, is being lobbed around in technology circles as the next frontier in web and mobile. Just as nearly every application, website, brand and marketer now employs social media in some capacity, so too will these entities gravitate toward game mechanics in the years ahead.

According to the Gartner report; “By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.”

If you want to read more about gamification a great place to start is here; Gamification: How Competition Is Reinventing Business, Marketing & Everyday Life

The PlayTwoWin method is just one of all the fruits of gamification. It is an excellent method of coaching you to play the game of your life BETTER and winning BIGGER. If you want to know more about this method, please contact me for more information or to schedule a FREE exploratory session.

 

Play improves work!

Kids playing in he wind

We have this concept that the opposite Kids playing in he windof play is work.
Our thinking is backwards…
The opposite of play is NOT work. The opposite of play is depression!

Some of the benefits of play:

  • Stimulates creativity
  • Increases our openness to change
  • Improves our ability to to learn new information
  • Provides a sense of purpose and mastery, two key motivational things that increases productivity.

Watch Steve Keil’s somewhat provoking TED talk for the full inspirational experience:

Play improves work and this goes hand in hand with my new coaching method; PlayTwoWin. If you want to know more about this concept of bringing play back into your life, workplace, relationships etc. Please contact me today for a FREE exploratory  session. This is a highly transformational development in one affordable and extraordinarily effective program!

Play Time Isn’t Just For Kids…

Carousel

It’s important to your stress level and youCarouselr happiness quotient that you have at least one activity that you do regularly just for fun. Hobbies and other fun activities provide a fun way to sharpen skills, express your creativity, or just blow off steam. Also, when you get really engrossed in an activity you enjoy, you can experience a state of being known as flow, in which your brain is in a near-meditative state, which has benefits for your body, mind and soul.

Click here to read more about how to discover new potential stress relieving hobbies and find other resources for happiness and much more.

My favorite stress reliever is playing games. Games have a way of keeping us in the present moment, with a light-hearted focus, and laughter that comes easily. I recommend creating a game night with friends you enjoy, and letting your inner child come out to play on a regular basis. If you are a parent, really enjoy your time with your children. Whatever you do throughout the day, it can become more fun with a playful attitude, and this can melt away stress.

What are you doing for fun this weekend?

Play + Science = Transformation

Girl free field

A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown saysGirl free field humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age. Stuart Brown’s research shows play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.

Dr. Stuart Brown came to research play through research on murderers — unlikely as that seems — after he found a stunning common thread in killers’ stories: lack of play in childhood. Since then, he’s interviewed thousands of people to catalog their relationships with play, noting a strong correlation between success and playful activity.

I believe that play is pretty important for our survival and wonder, when was the last time you really played?

Engage in transformational kinds of play and you will have a better and more empowered life 🙂