What this headline question means is …it’s very important to understand, if you are trying to achieve anything in business you need to have a clear focus. Period. This isn’t a pep-talk, it’s a statement of fact. Because all of us have the capability within us for achieving “a state of flow” at work.
So what is “flow”?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the co-founders of the “Positive Psychology” movement concludes in his study of happiness published in his well-received best selling book: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience …that happiness is an internal state of being, not an external one. This theory proposes that happiness can be evoked by introducing a sense of “flow”.
You may not at first comprehend this concept of flow, but at some point in your life, you will have entered into a mental and emotional state where everything just becomes easy and peaceful, like you’re going into a trance or altered state of mind.
Sports people regularly describe this state as if everything just came together, whether they’re in athletics, gymnastics or football where for instance top penalty achievers tell of their mental state being completely focused and blocking out the noise from the crowd and just seeing a small goalkeeper and a really big goal to shoot into. This is something that just happens in their head, but at the time, it actually seems real to them
Well, when you achieve a state of flow, you work in a way where things become quick, easy and effortless. Time seems to lapse or go quickly, and everything just falls into place. It seems things just happen.
So, wouldn’t it be brilliant if you were able to produce the mental state when you want?
Well, the fact is, successful people, whether through sport or in business and at work, understand this state of mind and habitually trigger “flow” when they want to. That’s why they are able to achieve what they are able to do and they’re happy in their work. And they don’t struggle with motivation. In fact, the opposite is true. They’re very motivated.
And unfortunately, lots of people are unaware of the power of this mental and emotional state to bring about a focus of attention and a resulting happiness in what they’re doing.
And yet, we all have it in us to be able to trigger this state of motivation when we want to, including at work and this state of mind can prevent unhappiness, frustration and failure. It gives up an uplift and a state of momentum which you can maintain over a pro-longed period of time.
The big problem is this… Most people allow the small stuff into their work life, such as worrying over deadlines, having too many responsibilities and tasks that are seemingly endless, and extra obligations that seem to creep up behind them when they’re not looking. Which mean all these thoughts actually kill their focus of attention. And if you don’t have focus, it also kills your motivation. That’s because you’re going around putting plasters on everything and moving from one crisis to another.
And when you’re doing that, you’re not looking at your big “why” and focusing on the big purpose about what you’re doing. Instead, you’re just trying to do all the small things and becoming preoccupied with the things right in front of you. So you lose focus!
And so you feel that you’ve put a lot of time and energy and yet have very little to show for it. You’re just working, doing, doing, on a day to day basis.
So get to understand the state of flow. Get your mindset focused on work goals and the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing and get your motivation switched onto your happiness purpose at work. Research Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work and read his book. You won’t regret it because you’ll be able to focus better, and trigger your state of flow and be motivated at work.