"A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening 'outside,' just by changing the contents of consciousness." — Mihaly Csikszentmihalvi
The quote above often hits home for most of us. At some point in our lives, we often question and ask what is this all about? What's the meaning of life?
This leads us to this mistaken notion that more means happiness.
Have you ever found yourself asking:
"If I was just a millionaire all my problems would be gone and I would finally be happy."
"If I just had that new Lamborghini I would be happy."
"If I just had that huge house I would finally be happy."
But as you might already know, happiness doesn't necessarily work like that. Happiness stems from changing the contents of our consciousness.
And that is where we become so enthralled in an activity in which nothing else matters, FLOW. When you're in this state you lose yourself in time and there is no attention for any other problems that may exist. 14hrs may have passed and you realize you haven't checked your phone, email or even eaten. That is Flow.
What's interesting when it comes to Flow is that there's a fine line between something challenging or easy. If it's easy you will get bored. If it's challenging, you create anxiety. Whether something is challenging or easy is dependent on your skill. The balance though, is where Flow exist.
If something is a bit challenging, you need to gain the necessary skills. Once you gain the necessary skills, you move on to a greater challenge. And this process repeats and repeats thus created a sort of ecstasy experience.
It's one of the reasons why all of our energy should be wrapped around finding that one thing we absolutely enjoy and are curious about.
Contrary to the social norm, what I said above totally goes against what we were told growing up. In essence, we were practically told to find comfort. We practically live in a world chasing convenience and comfort. But comfort ( no challenge) bring us to an experience of apathy. This means spending hours watching TV or laying in bed for hours running through our FB feed.
Often your mind might be left to wander thus creating tug and pull between boredom and worrying about every single problem you have.
The key to an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Finding meaningful goals allows us to take ownership of our decisions. We aren't left to react helplessly to stimuli, but our actions and decisions are motivated within. To experience Flow at home, at work, or even with our friends on a regular basis is something we all should aim for.