Flow in 3Stream Flow is based on the concept of flow as written about by psychologist Dr. Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi.
High skill and high challenge
Flow is the positive experience of losing oneself in a focused activity that matches high skill with high challenge. It’s being in the groove and finding the zone.
In his research, Csikszentimihalyi finds over and over that those people who experience flow go out to meet that experience. They seek challenges. They take charge. They have enough self-awareness that they know what they do well, and they enjoy a challenge.
[I]f we don’t take charge of its direction, our life will be controlled by the outside to serve the purpose of some other agency (Finding Flow 1).
Flow in business
At best, the experience of being in business for oneself should give opportunity for flow. Better yet, anyone in business should step forward and arrange the circumstances that encourage flow experience. We are more likely to find our own success and attract those seeking similar success if we are in the groove, challenging ourselves.
Going about your business of business without much awareness of what you personally find most challenging or what you personally do best may leave you without opportunity for flow experience. Create the opportunity. Dig in deep and figure out what you do best. Build your plans and your strategies around the skills and the challenges that make doing business a pleasure.
When we work with clients to write business plans or create website content, we need to know about them. We need to know what they do well, what they enjoy, where they find success. No successful business plan can be generic. When you work with us to develop your business strategy or to optimize your website, we put you at the center of your success.
Most of Csikszentmialyi’s works on flow are academic, but in Finding Flow (1998) he writes for a popular audience encouraging them to live life consciously. Csikszentmialyi’s most recent publications include two books on business and leadership with Dr. Howard Gardner (who also writes about multiple intelligences).
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi, eds. (1988). Optimal Experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1996). Creativity : Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Perennial.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1998). Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life. Basic Books.
- Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon (2002). Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet. New York, Basic Books.
- Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon (2002). Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning. Basic Books.