When studying the components of well being there is nothing more compelling to me than engagement. Simply put it’s that sparkle and energy you feel (or see in someone else!) which they are excited, totally all-in involved. It’s the opposite of sitting on the couch with the remote control flipping channels. It’s up off the couch moving or sinking into a project that fully absorbs you- it is anything but mindless.
Two parts of this are finding out what helps you into a state of flow and discovering and using your strengths on purpose.
You may have heard of flow. It’s that thing that happens when you are so engaged with something that you forget what time it is. You are so interested that you have stopped watching the clock. You are absorbed. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi author of the great book Flow explains that when we are in a place where you are challenged a bit beyond what is easy for us and we are not stressed out. We can sink right in. Flow is also referred to as “being in the zone.”
One way to cultivate more flow in your life is planning and using your strengths on purpose.
I use the VIA Character Strengths with every client in my coaching practice. If you haven’t taken this assessment, I encourage you- it’s free and really fun to find out about the strengths you have right now in your life.
Take it here at www.viacharacter.org This site also offers a ton of resources to explore.
Whether you have an official paper stating your strengths or you simply identify strengths you see in yourself, the route to flow (and more fun, engagement, better results, etc) is using them on purpose. One way to practice this is to begin the day with a review. As you look at each activity you will be involved in ask yourself which strength could you use to achieve what you would like out of each instance. Do this for home and at work. When you use your strengths on purpose they get stronger and even more automatic.
A quick scan of engagement in your life- ask yourself how engaged are you with each area- on a scale from 1-10. A 10 being I am all in!
Family and home time.
With learning new things, reading, expanding your thinking.
Feel free to shine the flashlight in other areas of your life I didn’t mention and honestly ask yourself the same thing.
For any area you did not say it’s a 10- ask yourself and write down- What would make it a 10? You’re not committing you’re just discovering.
Once you’ve done this consider which area is the highest priority to focus on first and what is the first thing you will commit to doing in the next 24 areas to move it toward the 10. The size of the action is not important, moving forward and making even the smallest progress is.
In this way you are already engaging more fully in your life! You are creating that life well lived! On purpose! It’s the best and so are you!
See you next week as we continue building well being!