Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who popularized the term Flow and demonstrated how anyone could achieve focused contentment, died recently. In light of his passing, I felt compelled to write this post as his work has profoundly influenced both my life and coaching philosophy.
The Psychology of Flow
Flow is a state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity. In this mental state, people are experiencing joy as they become fully involved and focused on what they are doing.
“The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost,”
I borrowed this title from Joan’s Facebook post. Joan’s a visually impaired athlete and the top scorer for the women’s national Goalball team. She was reflecting on a 1 v 3 modified Goalball game where she competed and won against three sighted athletes. This happened just before the circuit breaker.
She was pondering about who would be considered “disabled” should the tables be turned – in a context where the sighted athletes had to operate in a “blind” environment instead. You can read about her thoughts and watch the game here. While you are at it, do send her a friend request!
“Is disability a result of one’s condition, or the result of the physical and social environment?”
I thought that Joan’s sharing connected really strongly with the Social Model of Disability and there is an important message here to be shared with my fellow coaches and the public.