It was a good day of escaping – we liberated a trapped wizard, freed ourselves after being kidnapped, escaped a cannibal’s cabin in the woods, and now we were working hard to prove ourselves so we could get initiated into a highly-selective secret society. The set-like quality of the experience fully immersed us in the adventure, and we had reached the sought-after flow state that truly great experiences afford us. We worked our way through a graffiti-riddled alley, into a local store with a secret entrance into an exclusive lounge, then through another secret door into the elusive secret society. It felt like we had been in the experience for hours and only moments.
The experience was designed to elicit this response and certainly met its goal; however, we can learn to create this flow state for ourselves in any area of our lives. It starts with mindset – deciding that you will be focused and immersed in the experience (whether it is work, having a conversation with a friend, spending time with family, etc.) and finding ways to remain engaged. The late Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first named the concept of flow in 1975. There are many resources, including his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, to help you learn how to generate this flow in your everyday life.