Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Benefits and Lure of Flow Experience with My Bachelors Project

Did you know that when you're engrossed in an activity that you enjoy, your brain can enter a near-meditative state, beneficial to body, mind and soul?

- Humana Financial Protection Products brochure
I got this quote from a brochure I received with the policy kit for my Critical Illness insurance policy. It hits upon how I feel about my writing and the type of experiences we should look for in life (as long the behavior, itself, isn't immoral and hurts others).

In full disclosure for those who don't know me: I am licensed as a personal lines, life, health and accident insurance agent in the State of Illinois. It's not my first choice, but I am finding myself enjoying working with people to put together a personal plan of financial protection.

These days I'm working most often with health, dental, vision, critical illness and hospital indemnity plans. I agree that these things can be so intimidating that consumers may grow frustrated, but I feel a good agent can provide access and craft a personal plan to provide great peace of mind. Don't hesitate to e-mail me if you live in Illinois and want to see what peace of
mind could be available to you.

Enough self promotion for my day job.

I've randomly encountered the concept of Flow for the last thirteen years or so. A friend wrote about it in a college paper. I've experienced it here and there. Personalities on TV, generally sports stars, have discussed it. I've tried to mine it for material to write my project.

An insurance company putting it into a brochure legitimizes Flow as something worth looking into and trying to work into life.

I've incorporated it in my life already with my research and writing activities. Throughout the years I've likened my bachelors project as an abusive relationship. The frustration becomes so exhausting sometimes that I feel like it has beat me up.

I can't quit it, though. Reaching the point when I just want to throw it down and move on with life, it sucks me back in. I can't stop thinking about it. I have had great times with it. I've learned a lot while working on it. What does it say about me if I quit it? Will any activities be just a backtrack to look at the project with a new perspective or will it be something independent that I really want to do for its own merits? And think of all the great times I've had with this bachelors project. I've come so far with it, how can I just stop here?

There is an academic paper available for purchase online called The Role of Flow Experience in Cyber-Game Addiction. I haven't read it. Nonetheless, having it come up in a Google search using "flow" and "addiction" illustrates that Flow can have some part in the addiction process.

I don't know. The jury is still out. But Sunday night, I did some intense researching that will hopefully bear some fruit. I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around, and I procrastinated on some of my duties (one which didn't need doing because of fortuitous events the next day, anyway).

I dreamt that night, though. I can't remember having any dreams in a long awhile. I made up for my Sunday night sociopathy on Monday night with the wife. I felt great at work during the day Monday when I would have rather been at home doing some more research or writing about the research I had done. I even had the ability to think about and discuss other things. I'm often obsessed about the project when not in the midst of getting my "fix."

So, who knows? Getting into the Flow greatly improves life, but it has the possibility of addiction? An insurance company, almost inherently a conservative entity, states that the Flow experience (using more words than that) has benefits.

As with all things in life, striking the balance between Flow and everyday life, even joyful parts in life, becomes a challenge. Challenge isn't bad, even when it becomes difficult. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, they say.

In my adult life, though, I often feel that it's those Flow experiences that make life worth living. I'll keep pursuing them for now.

Links of interest: Humana Financial Protection Products brochure, Flow, The Role of Flow Experience in Cyber-Game Addiction


Sennaya Swamy said...

Thank you for sharing the experience on the project.

The_Lex said...

You're welcome. And thank you for the response!