Writing has always been one of the few things that genuinely make me happy. For some, this activity may sound boring and dull but in my case, it is entirely a different story. Every time I lay my hands on the keyboard and start writing; I enter an entirely different world where I find happiness and personal safety. Perhaps, you already had felt this kind of experience—those moments where you sense the natural course of your ideas take over and you felt like you are out of control.
This is what positive psychology termed as the flow state—the optimal human experience. In the 1970s, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi began to conduct a study that explains the flow state phenomenon. The objective of this study was to assess human reality and identify practices that can be utilized in answering life’s greatest questions: what is life like? And how to create an excellent life? The idea of Csikszentmihalyi was to develop a feedback system that can monitor the daily activities and inner experiences of the participants, it was observed through an electronic device that was distributed to the participating individuals all throughout the course of the study.
When the study was finally accomplished and the data were collected and analyzed, Csikszentmihalyi discovered that:
Contrary to what we usually believe, . . . the best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limit in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen.Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi
This revolutionary information directs us to the answer on how we can create an excellent life and discover the optimal human experience: we need to constantly engage ourselves in the things that we are truly passionate about. It is the reason why the flow state is deemed as the highest level of human happiness. Therefore, success is a product of continuous fascination and enthusiasm for a cause of great purpose. You experience flow when you put your passion into action.
Eudemonia—a state of being that is solely produced by the virtuous activity of the soul.Aristotle
Now, the concept of flow state has been widely recognized all over the globe. Highly influential people from different fields of expertise already proclaimed its significance. And as I ponder upon this breakthrough, I came to the conclusion that this is fundamental for self-development and growth. However, the real problem does not lay on what we know, but on the issue of whether we pursue our passion even if it costs rejection or settle for something less and remain in a place of trivial comfort.