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Little Find

Pointlessness, flow, and Mario Kart

Do you find yourself languishing, watching TV shows late into the night, scrolling through news without concentrating, or going through entire days in zombie mode? This languishing is normal. But it is not inevitable.

This mental malaise was very common during the pandemic, and even universal. It is characterized by a feeling of emptiness, stagnation, and boredom. Languishing can mess with your concentration and put the brakes on your motivation, and it’s often a taboo subject.
And yet the best way to counter it is not through a frenetic quest for optimism, but the flow you set yourself to get things done. And actively – Netflix bingeing does not count here.
Flow relies on three, interdependent conditions:

  1. If languish manifests itself through stagnation, your flow is going to need an injection of achievements, rooted in small victories every day. So do something, achieve something.
  2. But do this by concentrating hard on a single activity, thus giving meaning to what you are doing, whatever it is.
  3. The importance of what you do for others will give you extra impetus to do even better by them.

Over the last few months, you may have suffered from a feeling of pointlessness. You are not alone. But tell yourself the antidote to your languish is not necessarily being productive – Adam Grant recounts how Mario Kart got him out of his rut!

To go further

How to stop languishing and start finding flow

TED talk, Adam Grant, 2021

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Florence Meyer
Published by Florence Meyer
Executive coach, change management expert, and author. Constantly on the lookout for the latest management and leadership trends.