A couple of weeks ago a young high school student asked me to speak about "my passion" at his class. I've been reflecting on this assignment ever since. Is it even possible to follow my passion as an adult? Have I left it behind with youthful dreams of Opera houses and Broadway musicals? What is my passion now?
This question matters. It matters that I have to think about passion, that I don't just know - immediately - that I'm doing what I was born to do. It matters if I slowly allow my gifts to slip away.
Take a look, for instance, at Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's brilliant work on Flow. A person is in "Flow" when her work is so challenging, so enriching, that nothing else seems to matter - at least for that moment. Perhaps Warren Beatty was thinking of Flow when he said: "You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play."
Tomorrow, I want to wake up and focus first on that which brings me to Flow. The discovery of research. The pure joy of learning something new. The excitement of finishing something I care about. Let me declare Wednesdays my Flow days.
How about you? What brings you to Flow?
To learn more about Professor Csikszentmihaly's work:
Happy Flow Day!
About the Author
Dr. Cris Wildermuth is an Assistant Professor at Drake University, where she coordinates and teaches at the Master of Science in Leadership Development.