Have you ever paused to reflect on where happiness comes from? What causes it? You may be surprised to hear the answer: “flow”.
As defined by Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, flow is: “A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” Csikszentmihalyi has observed the psychological concept of “flow” in studies and has seen its positive impact on participants.
Flow is a mental state that you can achieve. Happiness isn’t fixed; rather, it a combination of a baseline level, where basic needs are met, and a broader area, influenced by the individual.
So, what does that mean?
Studies and research indicate that once a person goes a little beyond the average poverty level, their material resources don’t affect how happy they are. To think that you would be happier if you just had a nicer house or a higher salary is wrong. In most senses, personal happiness comes from within.
What contributes to the feeling of a life worth living?
There’s no straight-forward, one-size-fits-all approach, but if you have something that you love doing, keep challenging yourself with it. Apply this mentality to be happier in other aspects of your life as well; approach everything with more curiosity and positivity. By telling yourself you want to do something instead of dreading it, you will delve into it with more ease and interest — even if feigned at first.
We’ve all experienced flow at some point. So, shed that cloak of pessimism and bring some positivity into your daily life. Learn to embrace and enjoy everything that comes to you, and you will achieve a state of happiness in your life that is worth more than just your salary or car.