Writing a list of the ten things that you most enjoy doing and without which your life would be incomplete helps you to begin to focus on what is important to you. These should be things that give you satisfaction, joy and a feeling of accomplishment. Don’t worry about the order in which you write them or be too fussy about how well you have expressed your thoughts. You can edit the first draft later after you have had time to think about it.
Ten things I most enjoy doing
My enjoy list is: 1. Reading. 2. Listening to classical music. 3. Walking my Jack Russell dog. 4. Going to films and the theatre with my wife Esther. 5. Writing. 6. Gardening. 7. Personal Development. 8. Time spent with Esther, our children and grandchildren. 9. Sudoku. 10. Crosswords.
What I learned from writing this enjoy list.
My immediate reaction was to realise that I usually enjoy doing eight of these things most days of the week and items 4 and 8 at least once and often twice a week. My years of life hacking have led me to manage my life so I frequently do many of the things I enjoy most of all. No wonder I think these are the best years of my life.
The outcome surprised me as I expected to find a single dominant goal emerge that stood head and shoulders above the rest that I could commit myself to achieve. Instead I have ten activities in which to seek deeper levels of enjoyment and reach higher levels of competence.
On further reflection it occurred to me that I regularly achieve a decent level of “flow” while I am reading, writing and gardening. So it looks as if my goal should be to put more priority on these three with a view to getting a flow fix every day or as often as possible. When in flow according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Positive Psychology researcher and writer, you feel seven things as follows: 1. Completely involved, focused, concentrating – with this either due to innate curiosity or as a result of training. 2. Sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality. 3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going. 4. Knowing the activity is doable – that the skills are adequate, and neither anxious or bored. 5. Sense of serenity – no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego – afterwards feeling of transcending ego in ways not thought possible. 6. Timeliness – thoroughly focused on the present, don’t notice time passing. 7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward. (http://austega.com/education/articles/flow.htm).