A ‘best moment’ describes an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform at our best. If you have experienced such moments, you will be in a ‘state of flow’ otherwise known as ‘being in the zone.’ Studies show that we are more creative, productive and happy when we are in a state of flow. Is being in a state of flow the key to happiness?
The best moments in our lives are not the passive, relaxing and leisurely time spent at the beach, by the pool, at home or somewhere else; the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile.
Experiencing a state of flow is universal and can occur across all classes, genders, ages, and cultures and across many types of activities. Authors need to cultivate a state of flow in order to be able to write. Being creative is an essential part of writing; authors find their sense of creativity in various ways. Personally, I am at my most creative when I allow myself to ‘stay loose’, to ramble, to drift, to be receptive to what’s happening around me, to keep an open mind to outside influences, other people’s writing and ways of thinking, but also things like music and dancing.
The poet Joseph Brodsky reported listening to music to enhance his poetic prowess. Albert Einstein is another famous example who thought up his greatest physics breakthroughs during his violin breaks (as many of Einstein’s biographers have pointed out, the music of Bach and Mozart has much the same clarity, simplicity, and architectural perfection that Einstein always sought in his own theories).
Being able to ‘let go’ or ‘stay loose’ is not easy. In fact, it can be pretty uncomfortable and unsettling if the ‘drifting’ lasts too long. Fuzzy circumstances and daily uncertainty exhaust us; sometimes it seems easier to take options that are clear cut, that are black or white. Creative people seem to have a higher level of tolerance for ambiguous circumstances and are more accepting of unstructured time because they are driven by curiosity and want to see where unpredictable currents will take them. The world belongs to those who are curious, those who are not afraid to try, to explore, to poke, to question, and to turn things inside out.
The art of dancing and literature seem to have nothing in common; what can an author, whose job it is to ‘play around’ with words, learn from the art that requires none? Storytelling! In dance, people tell stories or share emotions by moving their bodies; in literature, people tell stories by writing down words. Writers are dancers at heart, both need vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated into action. Writers and dancers need to find their own, individual attitude, rhythm and style; the expression of dance and writing are both unique and, if blocked, will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
There is an undeniable connection between creativity, productivity and being happy. Being in a state of flow allows you to achieve all three. Be receptive, keep those creative channels open, put on your best soundtrack and dance like nobody is watching, because nobody is watching!
Your Quest, my friend, is to feel the music,
move that body, and then write about it!
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