Riding flow vs feeling meh

Adam Grant, How to stop languishing and start finding flow

I just enjoyed watching this TED talk by Adam Grant. Three things that stood out for me were:

Toxic Positivity

When people ask ‘how are you’? you’re expected to say ‘great’ or ‘living my best life’! That’s called toxic positivity.

It’s the pressure that we face to be upbeat and optimistic at all times.

Bingeing vs Flow States

The best predictor of happiness isn’t optimism, it’s flow.

Bingeing (e.g. TV series) is passive engagement in a fictional world.

Peak flow depends on active engagement in the real world.

The Mario Kart Theory of Peak Flow

Mastery – happiness in Western cultures depends on making progress, however small.

Mindfuless – focusing your full attention on a single task. We need boundaries to avoid interruptions.

Mastery and mindfulness will get you to flow, but to get to peak experience, you need to know you matter.

Mattering – you get greater meaning from your work, knowing that your work positively impacts peoples’ lives.

Grant and his family achieved mastery, mindfulness and mattering from playing Mario Kart together during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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