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Is flow the secret to happiness?

  • 3 min read

Find your flow, make sure you discover it. You probably know it, that wonderful feeling that everything you have in your head seems to work, inspiration, forgetting time, not having to do anything, just having a good time. That is 'flow', after which you often feel completely satisfied and bursting with energy.

Hungarian-American researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi investigated flow and discovered when it arises. The flow feeling arises when you:

  • have a clear goal
  • in that moment know if you are making progress
  • fully utilize your skills
  • you feel challenged
  • are concentrated
  • have control over the situation

Of these, using your skills and taking on a challenge are the most important. There appears to be a close relationship between the two. When they are both maximal, that ultimate feeling of flow is created.

💡 TIP : You can also read more about flow in the bestseller Sell your stuff online workbook .

Why is flow so important?

The feeling of flow gives you energy. You become inspired and charged and chances are that if you experience flow, you will also get new ideas. This energetic feeling contributes a lot to our feeling of happiness, according to the research by Csikszentmihalyi. Now most people do not immediately become very happy when they think about their (current) work.
That's why it's so incredibly important to find your own flow, and that's exactly why I wrote this chapter. Who you are, where your heart lies and what your environment consists of, is the basis of your webshop and ultimately also of your happiness.

Is flow the secret to happiness?

In order to enjoy your work (your own webshop) to the maximum, it is therefore important to elevate the flow elements to the goal and to determine how those elements can best be filled in for you.

4 Tips to find your flow easier

1 - Create your own space and reduce noise

Develop your own rituals, ensure comfort. If you are hot or cold, if you have a rumbling stomach or something else that makes you uncomfortable, that whole flow will stay away anyway. Try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. For example, turn off your phone so that you cannot receive Facebook, e-mail, apps or other noise. Close the door, put on some white noise headphones, maybe working from the library or cafe will work for you. Anyway, make it your own 'space' and ritual.

2 - Give yourself time

It is important to give yourself enough time to work in the flow. When you know you have to stop quickly to get to an appointment, are you on a kick chair and the flow? He stays away. It also takes some time before the flow becomes active, by the way. It does help to plan the time you have. You can say that you take a break after 25 minutes. That's a nice idea, better than setting yourself up to work for hours (it can feel like a mountain). By the way, this is called the Pomodoro technique and yes, there are different apps for that, but you can also buy the real 🍅 tomato kitchen timer here!

3 - Let it go

Don't have any expectations and make sure there are no wrong answers. That already feels 'loose', doesn't it? Great, because if you are creating, for example, the creative process must be allowed to run its course and that is not possible with strict rules. Nothing is crazy. Be like Elsa, let it go.

4 - Develop your skills

Remember, to get into a flow, you need to have the skills to take on the challenge. For example, if you want to set up a marketing plan, but you don't have the skills needed to succeed, forget it. Therefore, invest in training and resources that you need to meet the challenges you set for yourself.

Long story short

You'll know as soon as you're in it. People who are in the flow describe it as a state of ecstasy, which is even outside of reality. It gives a sense of focus, concentration and all-knowing clarity of what you are doing. You feel the value of your work and the work itself is the reward.

You can also find 'Find your flow' in the workbook Sell your stuff online on pages 26 and 27. You can order the book here. Watch Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's inspiring TEDtalk here.

Mariko Naber

Author - Mariko Naber
Mariko is the happy brain behind Happlify. Together with partner Mark she runs Sell your stuff online, branding agency Loaded ink BNO and Atelier Naber . She loves feel good, random acts of kindness, meatballs, chocolate mousse, family time, zee, piña colada, sugar & spice and everything nice 💛

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