Happiness = In the Flow


I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler titled “The Decision Book“.

It contains 50 models for strategic thinking to help in making decisions.

One of the strategies is understanding how to identify being happy. They quote a study  conducted by US psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (yep, go on – say it out loud).

Mihaly interviewed over a thousand people about what made them happy and used their responses to determine the 5 most common indicators, which were:

  1. They were intensely focussed on an activity
  2. It was of their own choosing
  3. It was not under-challenging (boring) or over-challenging (overwhelming)
  4. It had a clear objective
  5. Which received immediate feedback

He coined the phrase ‘in the flow‘ to describe that mental state.

The participants that experienced this ‘flow‘ were said to have a profound sense of satisfaction and they lost track of time because they were totally absorbed.

Easy to imagine athletes, musicians, artists etc. reaching this place often but ask yourself when was the last time you experienced all 5 of the above?

If you want to be happier look for projects that will enable this state of mind – and if you employ people or manage people, figure out ways to engage them in tasks that create that outcome. They will be a lot happier and you will undoubtedly create a more productive, creative and content workplace.




PS: If you enjoyed this please share it on your Facebook page and help someone else find their happiness. 🙂



Filed under Change Job, Goals, Life changing, Self help, Success

8 responses to “Happiness = In the Flow

  1. Stu, my friend, I’ve printed out the 5 points and will try to follow/apply them in class with my students, I’d love happy, creative and productive teenagers instead of the ones I’ve got, who are mostly just THERE… big hug, Alexandra

  2. Stu great piece and excellent advice. So often we choose things and projects that we think we should do and not really look at the fact that will not enjoy doing them. I love the state of being happy”

  3. Oh I so identify with this flow – every time I give a NO HANDS® massage! The time flies, I’m intensely focussed just on the client and the strokes, every massage is different because every client is different and even repeat clients are different every time they walk into my room from the last time they walked and then, they want a different treatment every time so there’s never room for feeling bored or overwhelmed. My objective? To give space and time for the client to achieve their outcomes, as established in a contract at the start of the treatment. And feedback is instant. During the treatment, ongoing. And afterwards. And surprising sometimes, to the client more than to me. And it’s 100% positive so far, for both of us. Wow, what a fab job I have! :-)))))

    sorry, just had to share my joy 🙂

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