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The Happiest People Know Their 'Flow State.' What's Yours?

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
6 min read

Think about what makes you happier than anything else in the world. Now think about what you’re good at. If you can find the intersection of the two -- and get paid to do whatever that is -- you’ve also found your own personal yellow brick road.

It starts with recognizing your “flow state” -- that moment when you feel your best and perform your best, according to Jason Silva, host of the Emmy-nominated show Brain Games on NatGeo. Consider that elevated mental state musicians and athletes get into when they are performing at their absolute peak. That moment when a person is feeling truly satisfied by what he or she is doing -- that’s the flow state Silva is describing.

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“Most people who identify when they get into a flow state and build their life around it are the happiest people in the world,” he says.

Silva understands the idea of building a career around your flow state, because that’s precisely what he did. He finds himself in his own flow state when he attempts to verbally communicate a large, mind-bending philosophical idea. If you watch any of his ’Shots of Awe’ YouTube videos, you’ll get a pretty good sense of what that flow looks like from the outside. Those videos were what led him to speaking engagements around the world and eventually landed him his gig at NatGeo.

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Silva says he knows he is in a flow state when he’s no longer thinking about anything else. “What happens to me when I am caught up in a specific idea, in some specific subject that captures my imagination, is that I forget myself. I lose myself in the cognitive activity of this idea. And then what happens is you transcend self consciousness, you transcend insecurity, you transcend self-doubt. You kind of get out of your own way.”   

Watch this video to hear Silva talk more about what a flow state is, why it’s important to try to find yours and how he leveraged his own to build a career he adores.

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