Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term ‘flow’ in 1975 to define being totally in a state of flow, i.e., immersed in what one is doing and experiencing a “growth towards complexity”. Another term used to define this state is being ‘wired in’. The term ‘being in a state of flow’ makes one imagine a river flowing towards its destination. It seems to have a clarity of objective and is unperturbed by the obstacles of rocks in its path, yet it seems so calm as it flows along.
A person is in flow when he enjoys what he is doing, be it painting, reading, studying a favourite subject, writing or improving his football skills. He is so focused on an activity that time seems to slow down and he misses out on a lunch appointment. Another feature of being immersed in the now is that of lacking self-consciousness. Watch a tennis match at Wimbledon. Despite the big crowd of spectators, the tennis players are totally focused on the game.
Time seems to stand still when we are in a state of flow. A tennis player feels as if the ball is coming at her in slow motion. However, when the game is over and she is out of flow, she realizes that the ball moved swiftly.