Find your flow

Have you ever seen a musician so engrossed in his set that he completely loses all sense of self?

Recently I watched a performance by London artist Sampha. From one song to the next, Sampha is completely immersed in his music. Eyes closed, his fingers dance across the piano keys while his voice adds raw emotion and story to create beautiful melodies. Even though the performance is being recorded and the artist is sitting inches away from a live audience, one would never know it because it appears as though Sampha is playing for nobody but himself.

Sampha’s performance is the epitome of what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines as “flow.” According to Csikszentmihalyi, one experiences the state of flow when she feels, “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.”

Flow, however, is not limited to the arts. In fact, all of us can experience flow in almost any activity. Therefore, we must ask ourselves what are the activities in our lives that allow us to lose ourselves? To lose all sense of time or space?

Hopefully all of use can identify at least one or two activities. If not, then it’s time to reevaluate how we’re spending our lives because everyone needs activities that give us joy and fulfillment. We all need to find our “flow.”

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