Play Super Mario Bros at work…

…and get paid to do it.

Well, that is the reality for some, but it could be for all. How you ask? Simply put some ‘flow’ into your work. Flow is the state you find yourself in when playing your favourite video game. I have personally been in this state many times as I used to love playing Super Mario Bros, and I must admit, I enjoyed it for hours! Can you imagine if your work day felt like that? You wouldn’t feel like you were working at all.

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, former head of the department of psychology for the University of Chicago, is best known for his research on this notion of flow. In case you have not played Super Mario Bros, or Jumpman Jr. (added for my sister) or whatever new game is on the market, let me explain. Under the influence of flow you will experience clear goals, clear concentration and pure focus. You will lose track of time, have personal control over your work (or at least feel as if you do) and you will experience a balance between your ability levels and your challenges.

The key is to find your flow at work. A few steps to get you started;

1. What really makes you happy? Yes, you do know, make a list. If you are having trouble, ask your mother what you liked to do when you were five. This is a great place to start.
2. Identify the positive aspects of your current work and focus on them.
3. Do the things that make you happy most – this sounds easy but a few of you are asking what to do about the parts of your job that you do not like. You need to change the way you look at those tasks; know that they serve a purpose. (See the movie The Razor’s Edge when Bill Murray is washing dishes with a guide in India whilst in a boat)
4. Use your breaks wisely. Go for walks or runs, visit with people who leave you with good, positive energy or find a comfy chair in the library near the fire place and read a good book (You may feel the urge to nap at said library; I encourage it!)
5. Keep looking for a better position and consider it professional development.

If you are not enjoying your job now, how long are you planning to wait before you start?

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Maya Angelou US Author and poet (1928- )

For a different perspective see a fellow blog...


  1. An interesting post as always, Janet.

    BTW, thanks for the link.

  2. Thanks Anthony - enjoying yours as well.


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