A Positive Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asked once, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”
He looked at creative people – first artists and scientists, and so forth – trying to understand what made them feel that it was worth essentially spending their life doing things for which many of them didn’t expect either fame or fortune, but which made their life meaningful and worth doing. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.
The simple rule of ‘flow’ and I applied in my Swagat Children Library classroom since over 20 years. I thought of making life beautiful for children – simply by encouraging the young minds for reading and allow them to flow their mind with creative juices. They loved to do what they liked and with the flow, the motivation helped to make them learn faster when they were in a state of flow because they were more focused, creative and often got themselves into increased level of challenge. With the inspired moment of flow, my children often got carried away in a current with the state of mind that sparked curiosity and interest. At different times, the flow was shifted from reading activities to creativity. They even made minor adjustments to ‘stick to rule’ activities – Reading, writing reviews, narrating or switch to Creativity – drawing, making posters, creating comic strips, doing project work and so on.
Some flow results at Swagat :
Kids concentrated completely on the activity.
Children lost track of time and did not wish to go home.
Kids felt a great sense of intrinsic motivation. Afterall, doing activity has own benefits.
They have a sense of clarity about what needs to do and how to go about it.
Kids forgot their classroom worries and concerns.
Coming out of Boredom. There is a feeling like “you’re not doing your everyday routine.”
They have a sense of control over their role needed to successfully complete the task.
Doing something out of anxiety often leads to boredom. A spark need to be rooted and exactly this leads to achievement of flow. Moreover, no interruptions, no hassles and no lowering of self esteem. In fact, boost in self confidence has always been the key to success. Humor and enthusiasm always work hand in hand. Having a free mind with laughter – humor brings students closer and be friendly. Allowing them to monitor themselves by giving them activities they like. This doesn’t mean you are not watching or hovering over them what they are doing but they are themselves involved in the flow of their heightened creativity. However, one thing that I noticed is the junk flow – overdoing i.e. addiction. Too much of reading stories, too much of talkative chit chats, too much of playing games, etc. and it sure ends up to chaos. Children need to be guided not pampered. And, stick to rules by firmness to get best result what you want. A boy who plays continuous video games or has no interest except cartoons, often end up ‘Junk flow’ as eventually, this catches up to boring activity too. Too much of reading activity and no love for creativity often end up boring for some.
Jot down flow activities for the kid and there’s a whole big list ‘To Do’ and hook to catch pace with time. I used a couple of activities in Swagat Class. Two things that I
measured is the amount of challenge kids experienced at that moment and the amount of skill that they feel they have at that moment. Each child did things very differently
from other child, but for everyone that flow channel was that they are doing what you really liked to do – reading, singing, writing, narrating, chit-chatting, etc. Quite
interestingly I ended up from ‘Only a sit and read Kids Library’ to mingle with kids as Swagat Library and creativity center. Some Interesting Passion Projects at the Swagat
Children Library cum Activity Class were:
* All about Reading – Loud Reading, style reading, group reading, narrating what was read, dramatising the story, etc.
* All about Projects – Vocabulary Projects, Comic Projects, Comic Strip making Projects, Gujarat Project (Info), Poetry Project, Story Project, Causes Project – No smoking, no drugs, Advertisement Poster making Projects, etc
* Singing and Art sessions
* Internet surfing and You Tube, Blogging, Google Products use in classroom
* Scrap Books, Talk Sessions, celebration days, creative and critical thinking sessions etc.
(Many of these Projects were Learning supportive Projects which were done as an Activity)
You can find more on this link on Kidsfreesouls : http://www.kidsfreesouls.com/index.php/Swagat-Children-Library/swagat-children-library-activities.html
It’s a passion that often work wonders. Children often make a difference through Passion Projects. They could be anything of choice. I ask a couple of questions when they
come to my class.
* Do you like to read?/What do you like to read
* What do you love to do most? Read, sing, dance…
* What is your dream to be and why?
* Do you love to do Projects? Do you like to join causes?
* What is your favorite hobby/Game/movie/song, etc
The generosity and huge hearts of all my students have simply amazed me. They are setting a great example, exploring their passions, learning self-direction, and feeling a
real sense of accomplishment.
And as I look back, I plunged with many twists as my passion ended up with varied professions – the flow that worked wonders to continuously be occupied in the things I loved to do the most. (Being a Journalist, Author, Business-person, Teacher, Content writer, Tech maker…and so on…even I often miss a part of my passion achievement to mention. Yes, I play Keyboards and been a Music Teacher once upon a time and performed Shows in schools:-)
Simple – the rule of ‘Flow’ and sure, you and your kids can put more and more life in flow choosing what is required, what is best and what is absolute. I am sure, you
obviously know how to do that spontaneously without any advice, but unfortunately a lot of people don’t. Hence, this article finds way on web to flow…..
You can find details of Swagat Children Library cum Activity class here below. You don’t need to be a member if you are far away but definitely can use Swagat Literacy Program and Kidsfreesouls NIE Tips and use the site to help kids cope with academic as well as Technology skills. Enjoy.