I've been thinking a lot lately about how positive thinking induces more productive, creative and happier futures. Like many young people, when I was growing up I endured a lot of pain and suffering at the hands of perceived realities that didn't necessarily present 'truth', but seemed to cultivate some form of emotional incarceration.
In retrospect, I can now see how certain patterns of behavior -- induced by emotional reality states -- have shaped my decisions and my outcomes, particularly in business. Life and business, of course, tend not to be all that separate, when you get down to the dirty details. I think this is especially apparent as you become an entrepreneur. It makes you look at 'failure' differently, and success more earnestly. It also makes you take a hard look at your strengths and misgivings.
The catalyst? Pure, unadulterated instinct, as this new project from Steven Kotler on FLOW highlights.
As an athlete, I can identify with some of the themes described by these 'supermen', although I wonder about their implications on a more group or universal type of consciousness.
FLOW, as a concept itself, has been wonderfully popularized by the seminal thinker and psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. His perspectives on happiness and creativity have literally changed my life.
As a spiritualist, I've been tinkering with the notion of personal reward as a part of a collective, post-autoletic experience. I've developed an augmentation of Csikszentmihalyi's notion of FLOW (top of this post) as an attempt to explore the intersections of emotional and temporal vitality. It's probably not very 'right', but I find it valuable in the sense that it brings me closer to understanding how empathy operates as a signifier for a group intelligence and respective skills development.
I believe that empathy is the culminating point of any emotional and temporal perspective, and drives the kind of decision-making that can enable individuals to transcend, and companies to transform. We often explore the aspects of FLOW when we do innovation projects, but in startup environments it seems that we have a lot of opportunity for growth.
Perhaps that statement is obvious. If it isn't, then I hope it becomes that way very soon ;)