Winter evening, and a book review of “Flow”

It’s evening and I’m taking a step towards making regular updates to this blog. If I succeed then this will be a public part of regular journal writing and “reflection”, all part of my new life. Wish me luck!

The evening meal is over and my family are sitting around, each doing their own activities: two reading, one drawing a cartoon strip and one (me) writing a journal (this). The television is chattering away in the corner, providing background noise, but otherwise being ignored. The fire is glowing warmly in the grate. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the smell of burning peat is particularly evocative.

This morning I walked down to the village again. I decided to exercise a pair of boots I haven’t used for several years. These are heavy leather boots, as opposed to the light canvas ones I have grown used to using. At first they felt rather stiff, but as time passed they became more supple. I think I need an extra pair of socks though. The winter weather has made the wild birds bold. On my way to the village I saw two robins and two wrens, all of which came within an arm’s length.

I’ve spent some of the day “re-making connections”. I’ve sent out several notes and updated stuff in Facebook and LinkedIn. I suppose I should get in the habit of doing this regularly.

And finally the “book review” (“Flow”). I’m in the process of reading this. For anyone (like me) interested in psychology, and particularly “Positive Psychology”, this is a really interesting book. The blurb on the cover over-sells it a bit – “The classic work on how to achieve happiness”, and makes it sound like snake oil. It isn’t like that at all. “Flow” is a state of mind achieved when I am giving my complete attention to an activity and the challenges it presents are well matched to my skills. This state is associated with happiness and personal growth. The author describes the state, why it is desirable and activities (some of which might be surprising) which can be used to bring it about. It’s an accessible mix of academic and popular writing.

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