Seriously – what you do and who you are

Experiencing flow requires us to take some things seriously. Taking a craft or a hobby or a job seriously means we care both about developing skills and, then, testing those skills by challenging ourselves.

taking what you do seriously, serious, flow, challenge,(Thanks Wikipedia for the image and Prof Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi for the gift of “Flow”)

Since experiencing flow has been shown to be an essential part of living a fulfilled life, taking nothing seriously is a sure-shot route to unhappiness.

However, once you start taking what you do seriously, you can fall into the trap of taking yourself seriously. As we immerse ourselves in what we do and tend to identify ourselves with what we do, we can often lose sight of the lines that separate what we do and who we are; even if what we do is one of the surest expressions of who we are and what we stand for – so, the relationship is definitely complicated. However, the blurring of these lines is both trouble and a recipe for the sort of insecurity and unhappiness that accompanies a loss of perspective.

So, by all means, take your craft seriously. But, be wary of taking yourself seriously.

(Filed under “note to self” :-))

0 thoughts on “Seriously – what you do and who you are

  1. This is the second time in the past few weeks that the book Flow has been mentioned (in another blog.) I think that’s going on the reading list.

    1. The nice thing is you can get a good understanding without reading the full book. :) it is one of those things that’ll make sense as soon as you read it (sign of genius :))

    1. I think taking yourself too seriously tends to be a sign of excessive ego and insecurity.

      It helps to be able to take a joke about yourself, proactive laugh about yourself and keep perspective as you go through the ups and downs.

      Does that help clarify?

  2. Don’t forget Rule #6!

    Agree with your points Rohan. For me, I consider ‘taking yourself too seriously’ to be interchangeable with taking things too personally. The danger I find is that it can just lead you down a negative spiral, focusing on comments or feedback that just don’t help you do the things that matter.

    As a freelancer, I liked Stephen Pressfield’s advice in Do the Work which was along the lines of psychologically separating yourself from your work by using a personal brand. So, by identify triggers (environments, structure, routines, stationary, etc.) that put you firmly in work mode and therefore ‘brand’ mode, you can ‘take the work seriously’ and give yourself a path to looking at feedback more objectively. When you do get feedback, comments, etc. that threaten to derail, that you’re prone to take personally, it’s easier to detach yourself from them and leave them with your brand rather than taking them home and dwelling on them when you finish your work for the day.

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