Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


Am enthralled by this thread in Ask Metafilter There's some talk of mindfulness as it relates to the proposed concept of "flow." This is a state that I am always striving for. I think it may be among the most true and viable paths to happiness available to us in this human state we inhabit.

The elusive concept of happiness in work... Since we have to do some kind of work virtually all of our lives, doesn't it pay to make a practice of finding fulfillment in everything we have to do?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
Since we have to do some kind of work virtually all of our lives, doesn't it pay to make a practice of finding fulfillment in everything we have to do?

I would say so, yes, but I think many people get stuck on the idea that every aspect of a task or job must fulfill them, or it's useless. Fulfillment as "something that makes me immediately happy or I quit" seems pretty hollow to me. There will always be something not-great, even if your job is rolling around in a pile of puppies all day.

More often, I've found, fulfillment is where you make it. Lots of aspects of my job are boring or in themselves unsatisfying, but when things get clicking along and my brain and body feel like they're working in perfect sync to get the job done, that's pretty great. I feel like I'm right in the moment, fully focused, graceful, and attuned. I always look around afterward and think, "Wow. Did I just do all that? It felt so easy!" The feeling of capability, or of competence, is gratifying.

I'll have to read the book on flow to see if that's even similar. I feel like the bartender in the thread who has lists and commands in his head that automatically rearrange themselves according to his needs.

It's interesting to think about, isn't it? Makes me want to go all dorm-room and drink and talk about it all night long... :)
Mar. 15th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I understand what you mean. I think the definition of fulfillment here isn't "easy and fun all the time." I think it can apply even to many tasks that are drudgery on the surface, but can bring a kind of satisfaction if you can fall into sync, the way you describe it.

I need to read the book, too. Of course, I have a four foot stack of books I need to read at the moment.

Mar. 15th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
But here's what sometimes happens to me: if I'm in the groove and you suddenly go "Aha! Here is fulfillment!" that tends to chase it away. Messes with the in-the-momentness of it because you have to separate and analyze, thus removing an important component from the machine. So, if I "try" to get into the groove, or get back into it, it doesn't seem to work as well as when it's just organic.

You know, it's like that one story. By that guy. ;)

It's why I tend to skip seeking fulfillment and go straight for the beer. ;)
Mar. 15th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
Fullfilling work in the modern age is nearly impossible except for a select few. After the army i switched to, "I work to support my life, not live to support my work," since the army as yet has to be the only truely fullfilling job i've had. At least for the first few years. Work helps make my life fullfilling. Too many times i've had jobs that were litterally trading sweat and blood for cash. My new job is almost there, I realllllllly like it. Except it stirs up the urge to re-enlist.
I also look at fullfillment like enlightenment: It is not something you should seek to accomplish. It almost becomes a Schrodinger's Cat issue if you do.
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)

But seriously, yes, it does. I'm 100% positive about this 95% of the time, it's just that the 5% is so damned loud and tied to Important Stuff (like the power bill).

I only skimmed the metafilter but I have two things to say:
1) I think you'd like this book a coworker gave me a few years ago called Everyday Sacred. (She gave it to me because she'd read it, it changed her outlook on making a living vs. life's work, and she said she realized that the book was saying things that I'd mentioned in casual conversation, and she thought I was all wise and stuff. Bitchin.)

2) I think, no I feel -- pretty strongly -- that flow is always there. There's some sort of internal switch that we can flip on purpose or can get flipped by chance, and we're more aware of it. It might feel like we're dipping into it, but we're always in it, and our awareness of it just tends to make us stop working cross-current or against it, you know?

Anyhoo, yes -- it does without question pay to make a practice of finding fulfillment in everything we have to do. Like most things, I think there's a great return on investment involved in trying to be reasonably aware and appreciative, without over-formalizing the processes, you know?

(I miss and love you vast amounts, by the way)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



Latest Month

February 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner