Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Flow Experience

I've mentioned this before but it is worth repeating (for my sake if not for anyone else). Csikszentmihaly (it took me four years in college to learn how to pronounce his name) developed this cute little theory that makes so much sense. It says that at whatever level our ability (I add interest) is at, if it is matched with the same level of challenge; then we can be in what is called the "Flow Experience." This experience is defined as when we are so engaged in a project that we loose all sense of time and space (video games for guys, shopping for girls). If our ability is greater than the challenge then we are prone to boredom, and when the challenge is greater than our ability then we can become stressed (kind of like shopping for jeans that don't make my butt look fat).

I like to make connections between what I learn in school and to the gospel. For me the flow experience is really when I am feeling peace and joy. Boredom means I need to find new challenges, and too much stress means I am trying to do too much or trying to deal with the challenges without God's help. I guess this can relate to what I said about relaxing. Getting in the flow experience is really a form of relaxation because I am matching my ability/interest with the challenge and it feels like I am floating.

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