What makes me tick? It can be a pretty daunting question when you don’t know the answer. What does it even mean, ‘to tick’? It’s not the same as feeling happy. It’s deeper, more involved. It’s that thing deep down that inspires and pushes you. It’s the thing that makes you feel really, well, you.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi gives this deep, productive quality a name: Flow. Writer Gill Edwards also argues that when we experience Flow Time, we feel connected, galvanised, essential. She tells us to ‘follow our bliss’ by thinking about what we really love doing, then seeing how we could either introduce these things into our current situation, or change our situation to accommodate them.
That sounds easy enough, but how, exactly, do you ‘follow your bliss’? How do you find your direction? Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapist, Russ Harris, suggests asking yourself the following questions as your starting point.
Deep down inside, what is important to you?
What do you want your life to be about?
What sort of person do you want to be?
What sort of relationships do you want to build?
Try writing down the answers to these questions and brainstorm ways in which you could incorporate them into your life.
Imagine your answer to question 3 was: ‘I want to be a creative person with a trusted circle of people in my life’. What could you actually do to express your creativity and foster strong relationships? Cook for friends? Hand-make their birthday cards? Send them poems you love?
Pinpointing what you want to gain will help you find those authentic ‘ticking’ experiences you crave.
But don’t expect to find them straight away. As Harris says: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again; and if it still isn’t working, try something different.’
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