All people are created equal, except…

There are major differences in the expression of various aspects of this model from person to person.

For some, the healthy tension may be exactly in the middle between maximum and minimum tension, while for many it probably tends more to one side or the other. One may feel alive and comfortable with a higher basic tone, the other alive and comfortable with a lower basic tone.

Some people have a high tolerance when it comes to the rash to extremes. Some can approach the zone of overburden and potential traumatization very closely. Others can live persistently along the border of low challenge. Some can do both. Others prefer to stay in the range of moderate swings between lower and higher energy.

In addition, people differ in the oscillating frequency around their spot of ideal energy. Some swing quickly between tension and solution, others can maintain a high energy level in their system over longer phases and can cope with longer phases with little energy.

The flow approach is an opportunity and a trap

If we extend the basic concept of self-efficacy to include the flow concept, then we create an opportunity to continuously optimize our actions.

The flow concept allows us to stay in the context of our self-efficacy. In addition, it challenges us to adjust our inner tension continuously and pleasantly with the level of challenge we are dealing with.

The flow approach thus represents a refinement and deepening of Bandura’s original concept. And we are happy to take that with us.

However, it seems important to me to point out a trap of the flow concept. There is a certain dynamic inherent in the flow approach, which requires a continuous increase in challenge. The associated escalation can remind us of the increase of dosage in the area of addiction. And this is a dynamic that we know from extreme sports and the field of workaholism, but also from people whose greatest constant in life is “change”.

We are prepared

We have a distinct luxury. We are immune to the greed for flow experiences.

Because we take the minimal success and learning orientation from our previous considerations with us into the flow concept.

Csikszentmihalyi works with the problematization of low challenges. He confronts us with the danger that we could drift into a state of apathy and depression if we do not challenge ourselves sufficiently.

But we have abolished this possibility with a mindful enjoyment of minimal success by means of a fundamental change of attitude and benevolent inner narrative culture.

With this in mind, we can use the benefits of flow orientation for our productivity and drive if we want to. We can calibrate our tasks to an optimal level of challenge. In doing so, we can use the desired quality or the desired quantity of our output to adjust our challenge. We can also pay attention to the optimal use of our resources or a virtuoso performance. Of course, we can also provide ourselves with new requirements at any time if we feel like it.

But there is one thing we remain faithful to in all of this

We adjust our challenges on the level of tasks that meet our original definition: they comprise a maximum of two steps and a maximum of two minutes.