What is it like to be in a state of “flow”?

During the first year of my MBA, as I sat down for the end-semester exam of the Operations Management course, a classmate next to me noisily opened a packet of potato chips.

As he started munching, its crackling and rustling sound irritated the hell out of me. How would I focus on the exam paper with this racket going on?

Soon, we got the exam paper. The first question was not easy but doable. So I dove in and managed to nail it. Then I attacked the next question, and so on.

Finally, when the paper got over, I took a deep breath and it almost felt like I was coming out of a bubble. I could now sense my breathing and realized that 2 hrs were nearly over. I had totally forgotten about my classmate, now sitting with an empty packet of potato chips.

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It was an oddly satisfying experience to be so absorbed in an activity as to lose all sense of distractions and even the passage of time — this is what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called ‘Flow.’

To be happy, we don’t need absurd amounts of money — just create these flow experiences every day by working with intense focus, on activities you find meaningful.

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