Flow is discovered

Want to increase your well-being, creativity, and productivity? If so, you might want to cultivate flow, a concept describingthose moments when you’re completely absorbed in a challenging but doable task.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, considered one of the co-founders of positive psychology, was the first to identify and research flow. (If you’re not sure how to pronounce his name, here’s a phonetic guide: “Me high? Cheeks send me high!”)

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990).

The experience of flow is universal and has been reported to occur across all classes, genders, ages, and cultures, and it can be experienced during many types of activities.

If you’ve ever heard someone describe a time when their performance excelled and they were “in the zone,” they were likely describing an experience of flow. Flow occurs when your skill level and the challenge at hand are equal.