|Feeling the Flow.|
I know I've been like a broken record this week, each day rehashing the three critical components that produce flow. But I'm going to do it one last time. The requirements for a flow-experience are: a well-defined goal, feedback, skill-appropriate challenge. I also know that I've been a broken record this week for another reason, pushing the notion that any activity can be a flow activity. We've progressed from squeezing flow from a chore, to wringing flow from our to-do list, to crafting an entire day as one, long flow-experience. Let's push this point even more, shall we?
I'm not trying to be clever here, I really believe that any task can be thought of as a "game" and, in this way, can be magically transformed into a flow experience. All we need to do is be creative about setting some clear, skill-appropriate goals and paying attention to our progress. We can do it with chores, we can do it with work, and...
...We can do it with our own thinking. You read me right: the act of metacognition itself can be a flow experience. If you can convince yourself of this, and actually apply the principles of flow to your thinking, you will never be bored again! Really, this is what meditation is all about - looking at the act of sitting and thinking as a new challenge. But, it doesn't stop with meditation. We can set metacognitive goals for ourselves each day (which is what The Happy Homunculus is all about *wink) and we can self-monitor to get a sense of our progress. Instant flow!
That is your challenge for today. Craft a "thinking goal" for yourself today and get after it!
Stream of Consciousness
Task: Decide on a metacognitive goal for today.
Info: Don't forget the critical requirements for flow! The most important thing to do is pick an appropriate goal. If you are a chronic worrier, then it probably isn't a reasonable goal to not worry at all for the entire day. Instead, make your goal something you can achieve: "Monitor my own thinking and recognize times when I am worrying automatically." You have the best sense of what an appropriate thinking goal is for yourself. Be honest with yourself about the state of your thinking-patterns and pick something fun but challenging to change about your thinking today.
Goal: Feel the flow during thought.
Good luck - post your reaction in the comments!