chase meaning not happiness feeling meh flow happiness mihaly csikszentmihalyi Nov 01, 2021

Welcome to Week #40

What whisper did you hear from #39?

Did you connect with some of the new words? Which ones?

Are you ready for your teacher to appear?

Are you looking and would you know what it looks like if you saw it?

Is your teacher already hiding in plain sight?

What’s struck me this week?

1. Feeling a bit ‘meh’ on the inside? Get outside

Whatever your post-pandemic situation is – hybrid working; social distancing anxiety; groundhog work from home; re-adjusting to previous workplace norms – it can be a challenging re-adjustment. It may trigger feelings of ‘meh’ – indifference, disinterest, apathy or boredom. In certain circles ‘meh’ has been re-named languishing – a far more articulate word but almost sounds too interesting whereas ‘meh’ sounds like the feeling.

So, for whatever reason, if you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ here’s some simple advice – get outside.

If you can find a way to experience the sights, sounds and smells of outside it can have a positive effect. This is not an alternative to any professional help or support that might be required but I’ve found it really helpful – stepping out into the garden and focusing on the greenery; walking outside and listening to the birds or outdoor sounds; looking up and allowing some vitamin D to splash my face; taking a deep sigh of fresh air.

The New York Times: There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing

2. Chase meaning not happiness

We’ve got happiness round the wrong way. We’re prone to say “I’ll be happy when…” and then 'when' arrives and we’re no more happy than before.

Happiness precedes our success - see this HBR Positive Intelligence Article. But if you’re the driven type and you’re goal and achievement orientated you might be thinking ‘chasing stuff has made me successful’. That may well be true but chasing happiness won’t necessarily led to you being happier. If you're desperate to chase something then chase meaning. Chase meaning and significance in the big and little things. Chase meaning in the mundane and the novel. Chase meaning in the relationships you have and are yet to have. Chase meaning and happiness will be a pleasant by-product.

3. Sadly, another giant passed this week - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi recognised and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity, performance and happiness.

Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. He was the godfather of everything to do with peak states. Here are some of my favourite quotes:

• The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times... the best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limit in voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile

• ...perhaps the most distinguishing trait of visionary leaders is that they believe in a goal that benefits not only themselves, but others as well. It is such vision that attracts the psychic energy of other people, and makes them willing to work beyond the call of duty for the organisation.

• A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe

• Goals transform a random walk into a chase

• ...success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue... as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a course greater than oneself

• It is better to look suffering straight in the eye, acknowledge and respect its presence, and then get busy as soon as possible focusing on things we choose to focus on

4. Freedom Fridays Podcast

My weekly conversation with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We explore some of the big changes people have gone through and what’s helped the journey. The intention is to share as openly as possible some of the ingredients – the good, the bad, the ugly – that shape our shift from ‘I have to’ into ‘I choose to’. The lessons are hiding in open sight within the conversation – it’s up to you how you apply them.

This week’s episode is Part #2 of my chat with Marcus Crow. We discussed some of the common change management approaches and our views of the positives and negatives. We also touch on navigating complexity beyond the changes that the current pandemic scenario has forced upon many of us.

Check out Part 2 Episode #38.

That's all for this week and I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #40.

Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.





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