Thursday, April 27, 2006

One More Dinner Party Tip

As you know, one of the secrets of happiness is enjoying Flow activities as often as you can. Writing has always been the way I get my Flow on (along with cooking and, of course, shopping for expensive boots). Writing allows me to forget my worries or what time it is, and be completely focused on the moment, so happy I don’t even think to wonder whether I’m happy or not.

Recently I learned that groups as well as individuals may attain Flow. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Czech psychologist who coined the term, said that a creative spatial arrangement is one way to encourage Group Flow. For example, let’s say you’re having a brainstorming session with your work colleagues, you should have chairs and white boards in the conference room—but remove the table (or, of course, you can keep the table and skip the chairs).

Because of my continued scientific interest in the dinner party, I cannot help wondering how you could apply Group Flow principles when entertaining. Usually my method of inducing Group Flow is to keep refilling people’s wineglasses. Now I’m wondering whether all I need to do is hide their chairs.

But let me return to the subject at hand. A year ago I wasn’t doing enough writing, and so I started a blog. But now I’m writing a lot. Currently I’m getting my Flow fix from a piece for one of my favorite magazines, a new novel, and a couple of other projects. With so much to do, I have to make a choice about where my time and energy goes—and I’ve decided to take a break from Resident Alien. Until I return, I hope that you will Flow.

3 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Noooooooooo! You must keep blogging! It is the essential foundation upon which all other writing is built!

Remember, writing is not hard. The more of it you do, the more of it you can do.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I am very sorry that there are no new updates to this blog. You are rather brill, you know?

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Alexander said...

A good post and an interesting read

6:43 AM  

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