• Flow, also known as zone, is the mental
state of operation in which a person performing
an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of
energized focus, full involvement, and
enjoyment in the process of the activity.
• In flow, the emotions are not just contained and
channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned
with the task at hand.
• Flow can happen for any activity that you can
practice at your own cutting edge of mastery and
challenge. It rarely happens when people are
watching television or just “hanging out.”
• Flow experiences can occur in different ways for
different people. Some might experience flow
while engaging in a sport such as skiing, tennis,
soccer, dancing, or running. Others might have
such an experience while engaged in an activity
such as painting, drawing, or writing.
• Csíkszentmihályi hypothesized that people with
several very specific personality traits may be
better able to achieve flow more often than the
• These personality traits include curiosity,
persistence, low self-centeredness, and a high
rate of performing activities for intrinsic reasons
• People with most of these personality traits are
said to have an ’autotelic personality’.
• Some people are more prone to experience flow
• People with an autotelic personality have a
greater preference for "high-action-opportunity,
high-skills situations that stimulate them and
encourage growth" compared to those without
an autotelic personality.
• It is in such high-challenge, high-skills situations
that people are most likely to enter the flow
Nine elements that
together create the
conditions for flow
• Clear goals that, while challenging, are still
• Strong concentration and focused attention.
• The activity is intrinsically rewarding.
• Feelings of serenity; a loss of feelings of self-
• Timelessness; a distorted sense of time; feeling
so focused on the present that you lose track of
• Immediate feedback.
• Knowing that the task is doable; a balance
between skill level and the challenge presented.
• Feelings of personal control over the situation
and the outcome.
• Lack of awareness of physical needs.
• One of the fundamental building blocks of well-
being is autonomy, being in control of your own
life and make your own decisions and choices
about what to do or not to do.
• Control is an important part of the flow
experience too, although it seems that,
paradoxically, it isn’t the actuality of having
control that matters, but the possibility of
exercising control, and the lack of worry about
Experiencing Freedom from Negative
• Flow seems more aligned with the concept of
mindfulness because it requires you to be able
to direct your attention at will to the task in
• By paying focused attention to the task there
isn’t room in your consciousness for other
distractions, worries, or negative thoughts.
• It isn’t that you ignore the source of negativity as
such, but that for as long as the flow experience
lasts, which might be minutes or even hours,
you’re oblivious to negative thoughts and
therefore free from them.
• As long as the challenge of the task slightly
outweighs the level of skill, experiencing flow
can lead to mastery.
• Attention and intrinsic motivation seem to go
hand in hand: ensuring that the years of practice
are as enjoyable as possible, even if they are hard
work, makes perfect sense.
Facilitating Personal Growth and
Connection with Others
• Flow also leads to personal growth because it
facilitates two contrasting psychological
processes that enable the self to become more
• On the one hand, it facilitates differentiation or
separation from other people, that is, the feeling
of being personally unique, capable, and skilled.
• On the other hand, flow
facilitates integration, both of the self (harmony
because your thoughts, feelings, intentions, and
senses are aligned) and with other people (in
terms of feeling more closely connected with
• It would seem that flow experiences not only
enable us to learn and grow as individuals, but
also help us to achieve the third psychological
• Flow experiences help build confidence. This
isn’t just the confidence that naturally occurs as
a result of becoming more skilled and competent
at a task.
• Flow requires us to focus our attention so
completely on the task in hand that there’s no
room left over to think about our own selves.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s studies:
• He divide the teenagers into two categories
• “low-flow” teens—and “high-flow” teens
• Teenagers who spent a lot of time watching
television and hanging out at the mall—“low-
• “High-flow” teens who spent most of their time
on hobbies, sports and homework. The high-flow
teens did better on every measure of well-being
things like self-esteem and engagement except
Applications of Flow:
Flow in Education:
• Csikszentmihalyi has suggested that over
learning a skill or concept can help people
Flow in Sports:
• Just like in educational settings, engaging in a
challenging athletic activity that is doable but
presents a slight stretching of one's abilities is a
good way to achieve flow.
Flow in the Workplace:
• Flow can also occur when workers are engaged
in tasks where they are able to focus entirely on
the project at hand. For example, a writer might
experience this while working on a novel or a
graphic designer might achieve flow while
working on a website illustration.
The Benefits of Flow:
• Flow can lead to improved performance.
• Flow can also lead to further learning and skill
• Know your strengths:
Take an inventory of your talents and
strengths and practice them. Even the most
talented athletes and musicians practice nearly
• Capture new ideas:
Keep a notebook or voice recorder with you
and next to your bed. Make it a habit to pause
and jot down ideas and observations as they
come to you.
• Challenge yourself:
Flow comes from the balance of mastery and
challenge. And creativity comes from thinking
about challenging problems
• Broaden your knowledge:
Seek out knowledge in a completely new and
different area. Some of the most creative ideas
have come from making unexpected connections
in different fields of knowledge.
• Choose what to pay attention:
Make an effort to spend time doing things
that are at your cutting edge of mastery and
challenge. Give yourself opportunities for flow
by creating time and space free of distractions.
• Redesign your work to use your
You may be able to work with your
supervisor, team members, or delegate to others
so that you can spend more time on tasks and
projects that give you the best balance of
mastery and challenge.
• Change your environment:
Put objects in your work space photos,
clippings, comics, mementos, toys that inspire
you and make you smile, and rotate them with
new ones from time to time to help inspire you
to take notice.
• Sleep on it:
Studies have found that creative solutions
and new ideas really do come to us in our
dreams, in the in-between state just before
falling asleep, and after waking up.
Some of the most effective brainstorming
happens when individuals in a group think up
and write down ideas on their own, exchange or
share them with group members, and then come
up with more ideas.
• Go outside:
Some research has shown that people are
more innovative and creative in natural settings
THE WORK OF CREATIVITY:
• The first step is period of prepration,becoming
immersed,consiously or not, in a set of
problematic issues that are interesting and
• During this stage, someone may perform
research, creates goals, organize thoughts and
brainstorm as different ideas formulate.
• Examples of problems can include an artistic
challenge or an assignment to write a paper.
• While the individual begins to process their
ideas, they begin to synthesize them using their
imagination and begins to construct a creation.
• Because of its mysterious quality, incubation has
often been thought the most creative part of
• How long a period of incubation is needed varies
depending on the nature of problem.
The third process of creative process is insight.
As ideas begin to mature, the individual has an
epiphany regarding how to piece their thoughts
together in a manner that makes sense.
• The fourth component is evolution e.g. deciding
whether the insight is valuable and worthy.
• This is often the most emotionally trying part of
process, when one feels most uncertain and
• The implementation of an idea or solution in the
creative process model is when an individual
begins the process of transforming their
thoughts into a final product.
Highly creative individuals
&Benefits of creativity
1.Display a great deal of curiosity about many
2. Generate a large number of ideas or solutions to
problems and questions.
3. Are often uninhibited in expressions of opinion.
4. Are willing to take risks.
5. Display a good deal of intellectual playfulness.
6. Display keen senses of humor.
7. Are unusually aware of his or her impulses.
8. Exhibit heightened emotional sensitivity.
9. Are frequently perceived as nonconforming.
10. Criticize constructively.
• Stumbling upon a way to eliminate a nagging
concern or pushing your abilities to new heights
is wonderful for its own sake. But living life
imaginatively comes with additional benefits
and can even enhance your most important
• Creativity provides opportunities for self-
actualization. "It makes you more resilient, more
vividly in the moment, and, at the same time,
more connected to the world," Richards says.
• Students who were engaged in everyday
creativity had a greater sense of well-being and
personal growth than non-creative classmates.