Buddhists advise us to “act always as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Finding Flow”)
The psychologytoday.com article particularly resonated with me. I have gone through a bad depression a few years ago and the way I found to pull myself out of it included most if not all of the concepts discussed in the article. I found that reorganizing the physical space I lived in helped. I also found ‘flow’ and relief from stress and anxiety in physical exercise. I re-discovered martial arts and yoga. I developed ‘mindfulness’ and really started listening to my senses of taste, touch, hearing and vision. I learned how to recognize flow and I started to look for it. I have quit ‘dry’ jobs at huge economic risk to myself to fill my life with the activities that gave me ‘flow’. I’ve left behind management (more than once) to find my way into teaching, learning, and creative pursuits.
I currently ‘flow’ every day at work coding for web design. Every single day. Music helps me find the flow and stay on it (I like French oldies, chillout lounge, and acoustic lounge right now – subject to change without notice). When I’m not on a contract or working a full time job, I juggle two sources of flow: Strenuous physical exercise and Design (freelance, personal, a gift for a friend or a family member, whatever. As long as it keeps me busy). As I mentioned earlier, teaching and/or learning also provide immense satisfaction.
However, I do experience moments where I feel ‘empty’ after periods of excessive productivity, which leads me to believe that there is such a thing as excessive work and to have balance in life, one needs those periods of ‘sitting in the sun and doing nothing’ away from work – even work that ‘flows’.
Thanks for reading.