In the last article, we looked at an overview of the 8 main components of achieving a flow state. Flow is when you’re fully mentally engaged and feeling enjoyment while doing an activity. The term flow was coined and popularised by the late Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced mee-HIGH CHEEK-sent-me-HIGH-ee).
Before we dive into how to achieve a work-life flow experience, let’s review a few important points so you have a clearer understanding of the following:
Why and how I use the terms work-life flow and work-life balance .
What work-life flow means, and why it’s a better concept.
How we create our results in life.
How to make better decisions and become a better version of yourself.
You’ll notice something new if you’ve been reading my other articles. I’ve started speaking and writing about embracing work-life flow and not work-life balance. One reason is that during my interviews with moms from various walks of life, I noticed that defining “work-life balance” was causing confusion. And although the women had different interpretations, they were all trying to achieve the same thing – harmony or synchrony between these parts of their lives.
However, you’ll also see that despite my preference for the phrase work-life flow, I continue to use both terms “balance” and “flow” regarding creating a personal and professional life that works in harmony. This is because the phrase work-life balance has been around for so long, it is deeply ingrained in the work-life culture, and most people know what it broadly refers to. So until more people understand the concept of flow and it replaces the idea of balance, I’ll continue to reference both.
What work-life flow means, and why it’s a better concept
Therefore, instead of striving for balance, we should aim for work-life flow. Work-life flow involves experiencing a state of consciousness called flow, where we feel deeply engaged and fulfilled. Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi proposed that true satisfaction comes from being in a state of flow. During flow, people experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.
Work-life flow is a conscious mental and emotional state of experiencing your professional and personal life to greater fullness and fulfilment. To achieve work-life flow, we must create the experience in all areas of our lives.
Work-life flow is better than work-life balance, as it acknowledges our life’s dynamic and ever-changing nature.
How we create our results in life
Work-life flow is a conscious experience. It’s living on purpose. You acknowledge that you are in control of your life. Although you may not control your circumstances, you control how you respond. Your response is a choice. Often, we make unconscious choices, and when we get undesirable results, we blame others, fate, destiny or bad luck. In work-life flow, we wake up from the slumber of our unconscious reactions and make conscious choices. We choose how we will respond. We accept responsibility for the direction of our personal and professional lives.
Here it’s important to note that although we can choose what to think, how to feel and how to respond to a particular situation, it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll get our desired result. However, we create an opportunity to influence or steer that outcome more in our favour. Then, we are more likely to get better results.
The thing is, we are in the habit of making unconscious choices most of the time. So our biggest challenge is first to unlearn these old unconscious habits. After this, we can learn and train ourselves to make conscious choices, then regularly practice to maintain the ability to make these thought-out decisions most of the time.
How we can better results in life.
Here’s an oversimplified summary of how we influence our results.
The formula for our results is:
Thought + Emotion +Action = Result
When we make conscious decisions, we make better decisions because:
Conscious (Thought +Emotion+Action) = Better Result
But if we continue to make unconscious decisions, then our choices can be worse:
UNconcious (Thought + Emotion +Action) = Worse result
How to make better decisions and become a better version of yourself in life
To make better decisions, we need to start with a solid foundation of 2 things: Great self-awareness and self-care.
Self awareness is understanding who you are and your values. Self-awareness helps you identify your priorities and make priority-based decisions which are better.
Self-care is made of what you do to optimise your physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. That’s how you show up as a better version of yourself which puts you in a strong position to make better decisions. By prioritising self-care, organisation, and support, we can strive for a flow where we feel deeply engaged and fulfilled in our personal and professional lives.
And that’s the mission and teachings of my company Herself Health. We're a health and lifestyle platform designed for every woman and mother in a leadership position. We help her lay down a solid foundation of self-awareness and self-care so that she can become a better version of herself in all areas of her personal and professional life.
In the following articles, I’ll explain how to use the principles of this framework to achieve a work-life flow experience.
So if you still need to experience flow, subscribe to this newsletter and join me on this journey.
Let’s continue this journey together and make your success healthy and happy!