Challenge + Novelty = Flow (and happiness)

Researchers randomly beeped subjects and asked them two questions:

1. What are you doing right now?

2. How happy are you?

Wouldn’t you expect the the folks lying on a beach somewhere gave the highest scores? Nope! It was the people who where doing something challenging and novel.

Researchers call this idea of being lost in a challenging project, “flow.” A few months ago I was at a speaker training and I heard comedian Bob Stromberg say he often sits in his sauna with music, thinking of creative idea. Without realizing it, a whole hour has gone by.

When do you feel you are doing what you were born to do? My friend Danica found that she experiences much pleasure knitting. For Michele, it’s running a quiet trail, and for Becky it’s cooking a gourmet dinner. All of these activities involve a challenge.

If you want to be happy, do what you’re good at and do what you love, but find something that challenges you. And try something new! Not sure what your strengths or interests are? This book will help you determine what your strengths are.

When do you lose track of time because you are doing something so enjoyable that you are caught in a sense of timelessness?


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