Happiness and Flow April 8, 2011 Lori DePrete Brown Sharon Younkin
AGENDA • Introductions (15 minutes) • Icebreaker (15 minutes) • Overview (20 minutes) • Happiness (Sharon) • Flow (Lori) • Group Discussion (45 minutes) • Key questions about two posted articles • Wrap up/What’s happening next (15 minutes)
Small group discussion (icebreaker) • Share with your small groups an experience you have had with happiness and flow in relation to your work.
Happiness • Happiness= • Life satisfaction + Coping resources + Positive emotions • Authentic happiness is facilitated by the development and practice of character virtues such as: • kindness • gratitude • curiosity • playfulness • humor • open-mindedness • hope • optimism
Happiness and Sorrow • We measure happiness in moments, sorrows and difficulties typically in longer spans of time • This, however, does not alter the fact that each moment of happiness, no matter how fleeting, increases our resilience and in turn gives us the resources necessary to navigate through life’s difficulties • Moving through difficulties also can allow for the personal growth that in turn contributes to the development of critical factors necessary for increasing happiness.
Happiness Unpacked • Key points: • Broaden and Build Theory • Positive emotions allow us to broaden our ability to deal with difficulty and enhance our resilience. • The beneficial effects of positive emotions build over time. • It’s not a zero sum game • Positive emotions benefit us regardless of negative emotions and life challenges. • Recognizing our small, fleeting moments of joy results in meaningful benefits to our well being and resilience.
Increasing Happiness • Pursue intrinsic goals and values for their own sake • Personal growth • Relationships • Community involvement • Health and well being • VS. extrinsic goals like wealth, fame, image and power • Behave in autonomous, volitional or consensual ways • Be mindful and act with a sense of awareness • Satisfy your basic psychological needs for competency, relatedness and autonomy
Increasing Happiness • Relatedness: • Deep, reciprocal, valued relationships with others • Money: • Beyond our ability to meet basic needs, money does not buy happiness • Where money can help: • Experiential purchases can add to happiness, material purchases rarely do. • However, money is not required for positive experiential endeavors • Conversation: • Decrease small talk, increase substantive conversation • Time…
Happiness and Time • “Time Affluence” • Time is required in order to engage in activities that promote personal growth, connection with others, and community involvement • Having a sense of time abundance is more important to happiness than a sense of financial abundance. • Increased time affluence increases mindfulness and flow
Happiness and Time • “Time Poverty” • Time poverty can negatively affect happiness by: • Lowering physical health • Reducing civic engagement • Limiting family and relational involvement • Inhibiting “flow” • Reducing mindfulness • “Take Back Your Time” • Organizational movement to address time poverty in a collective fashion. • www.timeday.org
Happiness and Work • Three critical factors for a happy workplace • Equity • Respectful and dignified treatment • Fairness • Security • Achievement • Pride in company • Empowerment/autonomy • Feedback • challenge • Camaraderie • Positive connections with colleagues
Happiness and Work • Employees have higher levels of subjective well being when they choose their behaviors, feel efficacious and successful, and when they feel connected to colleagues. • Work hours are negatively correlated with life satisfaction. • Workplaces considering “time affluence” as a means of employee compensation can significantly increase employee well being. • The Journal of Business Ethics suggests that addressing employee’s experience of time affluence is an important ethical business practice.
Happiness and Flow • Happiness and flow are deeply related • “Flow” experiences, like happiness, are frequently identified in retrospect, not in the moment. • Similarly, the happiness we experience when we are in flow is typically recognized after we’ve moved through the flow experience. • Flow is enjoyable, and feelings of enjoyment contribute to happiness and resilience.
Flow • MihalyCsikszentmihalyi’s seminal works about flow: • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience • Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement in Everyday Life • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention • Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness
Group discussion: • Identify one thing from either reading that you can immediately apply to your work • Locus of control: what can you do to increase the likelihood of a flow state and/or happy moments occurring? • Compare/contrast happiness and flow • When you think about experiences that helped you grow, are they experiences of happiness and flow, or are they experiences of suffering and sorrow? • Do the frameworks of happiness and flow have a place for suffering and sorrow? If not, should they?
Next Steps: • Consultation Sessions with Rick Foster and Greg Hicks, authors of Happiness & Health • Thursday, May 5 • Day long workshop (includes lunch) facilitated by Rick and Greg • Friday, May 6 • The book: • Happiness & Health: Nine Choices That Unlock the Powerful Connection Between the Two things We Want Most • The BLE!!
Thanks! • We hope you have gained at least one tool to increase your opportunities for flow, happiness, and well-being.