Often, “Finding Flow” is touted to be the holy grail of finding life happiness. It’s claimed that when you engage in your passion or utilize your signature strengths, you find a sense of flow – you lose track of time and get into the “zone”. It’s a highly positive feeling and one I’ve been wondering if I will find post-career. [Yes, I found it often while working.]
As I’ve been working on utilizing my signature strength of creativity (which I’ve determined is more about synthesizing information and finding frameworks, not art or music creation), it felt my activities were more like going down some rabbit holes… not finding flow!
On three different occasions in the past few weeks, it felt a bit like I was sucked down into time-zapping rabbit holes:
- First one started with a conversation with a moving company. Yes, the Big Move is getting closer! (And yes, I know other people do it much more quickly.) They highly recommended before they do any house inventory for a move estimate that we decide (as a couple) what is being moved. Not so crazy when you consider we are downsizing (2300 sq ft with full basement to 1900 sq ft, no basement) and we have a full house of furniture already in Florida. So I took this recommendation to begin my own house-alignment inventory. A room-by-room list of our things – identified as definitely move, definitely not move, and uncertain. Uncertain leads the race, because I’m not sure if things will fit, as well as being uncertain if I can convince hubby to NOT move it. (My hoarder husband is opposed to the concept of de-cluttering.) Yes, organizing this into a structured framework – a five-page list – was a multi-hour loose-track-of-time exercise. Was it flow or was it a rabbit hole activity? (And no, we have not yet had the conversation on the uncertain column.)
- Second instance of flow was creating a yoga flow (no pun intended!) I’m currently in physical therapy to learn to manage breast-cancer-related lymphedema. My physical therapy team found some information on a clinical using yoga for treating this condition. It was a series of recommended yoga asana, but there was not a clear yoga flow – no transitions from asana to asana. So I researched the various asana, looked for transitions, and created a yoga flow sequence. I’ve done it myself a few times, and gave it to my physical therapy team to re-use, if another client with this condition enjoys doing yoga. I definitely lost track of time during the creation, enjoyed researching the transitions, and felt a sense of accomplishment with the final framework. Was this the flow of using my signature strength or was it just another rabbit hole of exploration?
- Third instance has been exploring Enneagram. The Enneagram self-discovery tool has been getting more and more “press” lately. I’ve been around long enough to see various personality tools come in and go out of favor. In fact, as I pulled out my self-discovery files (yes, I have files on this topic), I found I had taken the Enneagram tool twice before. (Simply to note: I’ve taken the Myer-Briggs tool at least 5 times as that one’s been around even longer – in and out of favor!) But, my familiarity with Enneagram was low. What exactly is a Type1 or a Type 4? That question turned into multiple days deeply exploring the concepts, on multiple sites, and creating my own descriptions on each personality type. Again, hours of research and synthesis…. Is it flow or a rabbit hole?
Often utilizing your signature strengths or finding your passion is supposed to be “for the greater good”. Is there any “greater good” from any of my dives into creative synthesis?I’m finding myself settling into even more Enneagram exploration. I’m still not familiar enough with the framework, but why do I need a feeling of expertise? Why am I doing this? Should I stop?
So, what is your point of view – am I finding flow (utilizing my strength of creativity synthesis) or merely chasing rabbits?
Picture Credit: Me – Actually a bit of artistic creativity – self-made wreath.