Flow, Dopamine, and Evil

Flow, Dopamine, and Evil

The Father of Flow Psychology, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, noted in his early commentary that Flow does not necessarily equate to characteristically good actions. Meaning, it is thought that several of our quintessential “bad guys” were probably acting in a flow state. Steven Kotler, Flow expert, states: “Flow involves tinkering with primal biology: addictive neurochemistry, potent psychology, and hardwired evolutionary behaviors.”1 There is some danger involved in the pursuit of Flow. Therefore, some precautions need to be taken.

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Hi, I’m … Squirrel! Sorry, I have ADHD.

Hi, I’m … Squirrel! Sorry, I have ADHD.

Squirrel!

Oh, if I hear that joke in the mocking of my personal quirks one more time.

The comparison to “Dug”, the talking dog from the animated movie Up, has plagued me for most of my adult life. I (apparently) was (am) distracted by every little thing that had (has) nothing to do with the current situation I was (am) in. I was the poster child for ADHD, the butt of every hyperactivity joke, and even I joked that I had it. But in hindsight, I didn’t really know what it was.

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Apple Watches Are Ugly…But I Bought One Anyway

Apple Watches Are Ugly…But I Bought One Anyway

There was a time when I was holding my breath for the next Apple product release. I admire technology and believe that it has a net positive impact on our society. I felt the Apple brand inspired individualism, the highest quality, creativity, and a quest for greatness. (Of course, there are good arguments for and against all of these ideas).

I was excited to get the Apple Watch before it was released. I wanted to be an early adopter and more closely connected to the technology that I believed held so much promise. Practically, I’d use it to run and listen to music, ditching the phone arm-clip and replacing my flimsy Garmin watch. Over the years, I ended up buying several Apple Watches.

During the time I was really into the Apple Watch idea, I was bothered by one key component. It seemed very obvious, though I tried to ignore it. I fought my instinct to be repelled and tried to overcome. It seemed sacrilege to say out loud. My thoughts would fall on judgmental, deaf ears.

The Apple Watch is an ugly timepiece.

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Flow Series #4: The Art of Living a Meaningful Life

Flow Series #4: The Art of Living a Meaningful Life

We are in the midst of a crisis of meaning, inundated with cultural images and pressures signaling status and prestige, dictating what is deemed socially acceptable. The cancel culture, the culture wars, and the fear of being excluded have us expending a tremendous amount of attention to the millions of messages to which we are exposed each day.

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Flow Series #3: Trigger Your Flow

Flow Series #3: Trigger Your Flow

At this point, we know what Flow is and understand the importance of the stages of the Flow Cycle. (If not, click here.) Now, let’s look at what TRIGGERS flow.

The triggers exist in two categories, internal and external. There are twelve individual flow triggers, six in each category.

Flow triggers work by either increasing neurochemicals that cause flow or by lessening the cognitive load allowing for focus3. Recall that the flow state activation hinges on focus and attention

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Flow Series #2: The Flow Cycle – A Sum Greater Than Its Parts

Flow Series #2: The Flow Cycle – A Sum Greater Than Its Parts

As the second installment in our Flow Series, we look at the Flow Cycle, its function, and potential in our lives.

There are four stages in the Flow Cycle – struggle, release, flow, and recovery. All are equally important in achieving the third stage and the goal of the cycle, Flow. The Flow definition is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best. The aim here is to create a sense of intense engagement in our lives, enhancing a sense of meaning, purpose, and well-being.

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