Flow

What do you mean by "flow"?

Have you ever had an experience where you were completely immersed in the task at hand? Maybe you're a writer who can spend hours at a time working on a poetry or a novel...or maybe you're an artist or musician who loves to spend time developing your talents and abilities...or perhaps you find yourself "in the zone" while playing your favorite sports, exercising, running, or dancing...do you love spending hours on end solving complex problems or puzzles?

No matter what your chosen activity may be, a common trait among creative people is their ability to experience "flow," a mental state in which an individual experiences increased concentration and seemingly effortless success in a given activity, a perfect balance between ability level and the difficulty of the task, and a reduced awareness of sensations such as fatigue, hunger, and time. A primary focus of the CLEOS project is to help young people develop their ability to experience flow through group discussions and individual mentoring sessions.

What are the characteristics of "flow"?

Imagine our surprise when we learned that our chosen acronym for this program had an ancient Greek meaning:

~ Completely involved, focused, concentrating, due to innate curiosity or as the result of training

~ Sense of ecstasy, of being outside everyday reality

~ Great inner clarity - knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going

~ Knowing the activity is doable, that the skills are adequate - anxiety and boredom are not present

~ Sense of serenity - no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego

~ Timeliness - thoroughly focused on the present, not aware of time passing

~ Intrinsic motivation - whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward


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