Finding Joy: Let it Flow

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Finding Joy: Let it Flow

by Bibi Ohlsson | Human Capacity Building | Evoking Excellence

“Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la, la la la la la la.”

It’s all around us this time of the year, the excitement and anticipation of the Holiday season. Family dinners, open houses, parties, happy faces, and joyful hearts. Since the Holiday season runs parallel with end-of-year-business-tasks, next year’s business planning, end of semester finals and recitals among many things, it sure takes focus and effort to navigate the terrain sustainably. Finding Joy: Let if flow! How’s that even possible?

Finding Joy

You can find it very helpful to connect with your inner world to find joy and get clear about why the Holiday season matters to you personally. When you feel a sense of autonomy and do things for the right reasons, it can help you feel more motivated, fulfilled, and you can even experience growth. Research explains why: when motivation is coming from our inner world [intrinsic], it feels satisfying and meaningful. As opposed to motivation coming from seeking to meet other people’s expectations or avoid punishment [extrinsic]. (Deci & Ryan 2000)

Let us think together and adapt the research to the Holiday season: If you’re trying to meet or exceed other people’s expectations, you can experience resistance, unwillingness, a lack of motivation, and burnout. It’s more sustainable to plan activities you feel passionate about and which connects with your desires and needs. The more you enjoy what you do, the more energy you will have.

Wholeheartedly 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,” is the advice written around 50s AD.   Research has long since proved this to be good advice.  How do you go about implementing wholeheartedness? You may want to consider the following two steps:

  1. Applying self-awareness and emotional intelligence can help you understand your preferences, desires, and therefore uncover what your heart wants. Having this knowledge will enable you to ‘work at it with all your heart.’   
  2. Self-determination and authenticity drive engagement and enthusiasm, and you can consistently genuinely own your goals. Holding your goals can result in higher performance, well-being, and, most certainly, help you finding joy. You can experience fulfillment and growth when you become aware of the match between what you are doing and the ‘why,’ 

Connecting with, and responding from the essence of who you are – your true authentic self – can help you sparkle with all your heart. How lovely wouldn’t that be?

Let it Flow

It’s in this space of growth and fulfillment, in this state of wholehearted engagement with life, where we can catch a glimpse of flow. [Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi] Flow is “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” [Csikszentmihalyi 1990]

In other words, when you’re able to “Let it Flow” or be in the zone, whatever you’re doing will feel much more effortless and enjoyable. It is suggested that creativity triggers flow and cultivates innovative thinking. (Pearce & Conger, 2003).  

Continue reading and you can find a ‘shortcut’ to Finding Joy: Let if Flow

Use creativity

Find a way to use your creativity, and do so long before you feel the pressure or anticipation of the ‘perfect’ Holiday season creeping up on you, and before you feel overwhelmed. Think about how creativity can help you solve the challenges and find multiple alternative solutions instead of searching for one correct way of doing things. [Scott, Leritz & Mumford, 2004]  

What about brainstorming a list of sustainable ideas, and do it together with your family or friends? Doing a kitchen table brainstorming session with others can build common grounds and unleash a greater sense of shared responsibility. You can induce a flow state by allowing yourself to be lost in the zone and focus on the moment while brainstorming, stretching your imagination, and thinking like there is no box. 

With a positively focus on self-determination and authenticity, you can develop a personally meaningful sense of contribution to your family and community. Bringing out the best in yourself empowers you to help others finding harmonious joy in the Holiday season. 

After all, “Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la, la la la la la la.” 

Finding Joy: Let if Flow is indeed possible.

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