Sunday, 31 July 2016

Flow, Books, TED Talks and Stretching

That is quite a title for a post I know but I just didn't know where to start. You know how sometimes you find yourself saying that you haven't been up the much when people ask.  Not that you haven't done anything but rather that you feel you haven't been anywhere noteworthy, so people will  not be interested. 

Often when I am asked at work if I've done anything at the weekend I have said no, nothing much, when really I have been out walking with the dogs a number of times, done all the house related stuff, read a book or two, made a new dress, cooked all out meals (sometimes a new recipe) listened to music, sometimes practiced Spanish or guitar and perhaps any list of other things that may vary from week to week.  However because I have not been anywhere I feel compelled to say 'nothing much' I am very happy being around home and I do like to go out too, I think I need to look at my self talk in that area perhaps.

So this week the book I have loved the most is Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Fantastic and thought provoking I thought and I have the strange feeling I have read some if not all of it before (must be getting old!).
So if you haven't read the book flow is the state you are in when you are completely absorbed in a task and don't notice the passing of time, therefore you are in a state of contentment.  This is a rather simplified description so you will have to read the book to get the full picture, but basically we have all been in that state at some point.  For some it could be washing the dishes but for others making music, art, playing with the children, it doesn't matter the activity as it is different for everyone.  It does state later on in the book that improving activities give the greatest scope for this feeling and that if there is a certain amount of difficulty to overcome the pleasure is greater.

I found it interesting but not surprising that difficulty in an activity is better than say watching T.V, because although we all enjoy T.V sometimes it probably doesn't add to lasting memories or a sense of achievement.  It also relates well to something we have been discussing in school which is the growth mindset.  The book Mindset by Carol Dweck is a good one to read on that if you are interested.

I have also nearly finished A brief history of tractors in Ukranian.  This book I have been  dipping in and out of so more on that later.  I read a post by Nina Sankovitch the other day who vowed to read a book every day for her blog for year, you can find her blog here, go take a look I am inspired to up my game in reading more.

While still on the subject of books, a really good talk I saw on TED was again titled Why I read a book a day by Tai Lopez.  He explains how he got lots of advice as a young man in search of direction from reading the ideas of great people  who had succeeded in various fields, he goes on to state that this information is there for all of us, so we should use it to our advantage.

There have been quite a few TED talks watched this week and not while sitting passively either.  I got it into my head that I am not flexible enough, well it's not just in my head I'm not! So I have set myself a target to do some stretching exercises everyday, I do some when I get up then some later in the day. The ones I do later in the day I have found are an ideal partner to watching a TED talk while I am on the rug trying to hold a position.  I think exercising alone can  be dull so this is the perfect use of my time.

Anyway it is that time of day so I am off to do some of that stretching now.

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