Are you going to have a negentropic or entropic type of day?
Do you find yourself looking inward towards that inner voice telling yourself that order needs to be restored and change needs to be made? (i.e do you tell yourself I’m bored, anxious or overwhelmed)
Psychic entropy is a state of disorder in the self system that results in decreased efficiency of that system, inasmuch as less attention is left over to relate to new information(1).
Or do you find a sense of clarity where you can just focus on the outside world taking on the situation at hand in a deep state of fascination known as negentropy?
The self system is in harmony, and no attention needs to be allocated to its internal functioning. If attention is turned inward, it is done so voluntarily to reflect or to plan, not to negotiate inner conflict. The subjective experiences of psychic negentropy are what we call fun, involvement, enjoyment, serenity; and they are characterized by lack of involuntary self- consciousness(1).
Turns out, you probably do a lot of entropy and maybe if you are lucky you
might run into some negentropic situations during your day depending on a few factors.
The one key factor that leads to a negentropic state is when you match your skill to the situation at hand.
When the skills and challenges balance each other, the situation usually produces flow. As a result, a flow activity is able to provide a self-contained little world in which a person can act with total involvement and without self-doubts. The most obvious example of a flow activity is an athletic context, such as a football game(1).
“Flow” can happen beyond the athletic field. In fact, you may experience flow at work or in social settings.
Have you ever solved a really hard problem at work and you were so locked into finding the solution where you felt a trance like state? That’s flow!
Have you ever had a conversation or interaction with a person you found beautiful or fascinating where you blocked out all other distractions? That’s flow!
These euphoric states of trance are not just a way to use your absolute focus but also represent pivotal points in growing our minds! This in turn allows for life enjoyment and expansion of your world knowledge. Some say to be truly happy you must grow. This is because we de-sensitize ourself to the experience or find the challenge boring. There is nothing wrong with hedonic (pleasure based) or epicurean (peaceful) moments but also realize that having a flow grow journey feels good too!
So my point is this: It is okay talking to yourself as it’s probably an attempt to restore order and make a change. This is where creativity comes from!
Learn to appreciate the things that cause you to reach the state of ultra focus and make them a part of your life. Perhaps you need to challenge yourself more at work, during a physical journey or in social situations.
When you find your perfect mix you’ll learn a lot more about yourself, the world around you which lead to more happiness both in the moment and in future endeavors.
When skill matches the challenge you evolve into a better, stronger and happier person. At times we want to relax, take the easy job or avoid going outside our comfort zone.
However, what makes putting your feet up here and there say in a hammock tied to some palm trees is that it’s in leu of the challenges you’ve conquered. It’s about finding a balance!
So finding just the right amount of challenge at work, in workouts and in social settings also makes you appreciate the simpler things in life and that’s the real win here.
Find your balance between “flow” and looking within.
1) Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. “Learning,“flow,” and happiness.” Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education. Springer Netherlands, 2014. 153-172.