April 8, 2011
Lori DePrete Brown
Sharon Younkin
Introductions (15 minutes)
Icebreaker (15 minutes)
Overview (20 minutes)
◦ Happiness (Sharon)
◦ Flow (Lori)
Group Discussion (45 minutes)
◦ Key questions about two posted articles
Wrap up/What’s happening next (15 minutes)
◦Share with your small
groups an experience
you have had with
happiness and flow in
relation to your work.
Life satisfaction + Coping resources + Positive emotions
Authentic happiness is facilitated by the
development and practice of character virtues
such as:
We measure happiness in moments, sorrows
and difficulties typically in longer spans of
This, however, does not alter the fact that each moment
of happiness, no matter how fleeting, increases our
resilience and in turn gives us the resources necessary to
navigate through life’s difficulties
Moving through difficulties also can allow for
the personal growth that in turn contributes
to the development of critical factors
necessary for increasing happiness.
Key points:
◦ Broaden and Build Theory
 Positive emotions allow us to broaden our ability to
deal with difficulty and enhance our resilience.
 The beneficial effects of positive emotions build over
◦ It’s not a zero sum game
 Positive emotions benefit us regardless of negative
emotions and life challenges.
 Recognizing our small, fleeting moments of joy results
in meaningful benefits to our well being and resilience.
Pursue intrinsic goals and values for their own
Personal growth
Community involvement
Health and well being
 VS. extrinsic goals like wealth, fame, image and power
Behave in autonomous, volitional or consensual
Be mindful and act with a sense of awareness
Satisfy your basic psychological needs for
competency, relatedness and autonomy
◦ Deep, reciprocal, valued relationships with others
◦ Beyond our ability to meet basic needs, money does not
buy happiness
◦ Where money can help:
 Experiential purchases can add to happiness, material
purchases rarely do.
 However, money is not required for positive experiential
◦ Decrease small talk, increase substantive conversation
“Time Affluence”
◦ Time is required in order to engage in activities that
promote personal growth, connection with others,
and community involvement
◦ Having a sense of time abundance is more
important to happiness than a sense of financial
◦ Increased time affluence increases mindfulness and
“Time Poverty”
◦ Time poverty can negatively affect happiness by:
Lowering physical health
Reducing civic engagement
Limiting family and relational involvement
Inhibiting “flow”
Reducing mindfulness
“Take Back Your Time”
◦ Organizational movement to address time poverty
in a collective fashion.
◦ www.timeday.org
Three critical factors for a happy workplace
◦ Equity
 Respectful and dignified treatment
 Fairness
 Security
◦ Achievement
Pride in company
◦ Camaraderie
 Positive connections with colleagues
Employees have higher levels of subjective well being
when they choose their behaviors, feel efficacious
and successful, and when they feel connected to
Work hours are negatively correlated with life
Workplaces considering “time affluence” as a means
of employee compensation can significantly increase
employee well being.
The Journal of Business Ethics suggests that
addressing employee’s experience of time affluence
is an important ethical business practice.
Happiness and flow are deeply related
“Flow” experiences, like happiness, are
frequently identified in retrospect, not in the
◦ Similarly, the happiness we experience when we are
in flow is typically recognized after we’ve moved
through the flow experience.
Flow is enjoyable, and feelings of enjoyment
contribute to happiness and resilience.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s seminal works
about flow:
◦ Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
◦ Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement in
Everyday Life
◦ Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery
and Invention
◦ Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow
in Consciousness
Identify one thing from either reading that you can
immediately apply to your work
Locus of control: what can you do to increase the
likelihood of a flow state and/or happy moments
Compare/contrast happiness and flow
When you think about experiences that helped you grow,
are they experiences of happiness and flow, or are they
experiences of suffering and sorrow?
Do the frameworks of happiness and flow have a place for
suffering and sorrow? If not, should they?
Consultation Sessions with Rick Foster and
Greg Hicks, authors of Happiness & Health
◦ Thursday, May 5
Day long workshop (includes lunch)
facilitated by Rick and Greg
◦ Friday, May 6
The book:
◦ Happiness & Health: Nine Choices That Unlock the
Powerful Connection Between the Two things We
Want Most
The BLE!!
 We
hope you have gained at
least one tool to increase
your opportunities for flow,
happiness, and well-being.

Happiness and Flow - The Big Learning Event