Are there things in your life that fascinate you and let you to forget the world around you?

The cool thing about fascination is that it allows you to enter a state of FLOW, a psychological state in which you can focus on something completely.

And the stronger your fascination, the more likely you are to enter into this state.

„FLOW“ was first conceptualized by psychologist Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who defined it as being completely, blissfully, and effortlessly immersed in an activity.

And this could be any activity: solving a crossword puzzle, painting a picture, or having a deep conversation with a good friend.

More importantly, being in a state of FLOW allows your brain to perform more efficiently, which improves your performance. (SOURCE)

Neuroscientists have shown this by comparing the brain activity of expert golfers and novices as the two groups imagined performing a golf swing.

As they took their imaginary swings, the experts were able to focus effortlessly and enter the state of flow.

This same efficiency appeared in the experiment’s brain imaging: the experts showed relatively low brain activity while the novices struggled hard to focus on the task and, consequently, showed relatively high brain activity. (SOURCE)

If a simple job already taxes your brainpower, as it did with these novices, more demanding tasks can overwhelm you, leading you to make mistakes or crumble under the pressure.

But someone who is fascinated with what they do will enter a state of flow and will still have enough spare brainpower to meet a challenge. 

So it looks like as nature would have optimized in your brain an energy-save tool, as the part of your smart phone which dims the screen-light, when you are not using it, to save energy and/or better use brain energy to accomplish more tasks sequentially and more efficiently.

And fascination can be contagious as well.

You may have heard of actors and musicians saying they are at the top of their game when they perform alongside the best in their field. This is because fascination and FLOW are contagious to those around us.

How cool is that?

In Mesopotamia, somewhere around 3500 BC, someone came up with the brilliant idea of the very first wheel. While we don’t know anything about the inventor, it’s a safe bet that this person’s fascination made gave them the „innovation advantage.“

As the name suggests, the innovation advantage characterizes people who are always coming up with new ideas.

These people are full of creativity and hold little regard for the status quo.

Instead, they keep coming up with new ideas and ways to disrupt it. 

Just about any great scientific and technological breakthrough can be traced back to people with this advantage, be it that unknown Mesopotamian person, Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs, or Hedy Lamarr (the Austrian-American actress and inventor who pioneered the technology that formed the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems).

While other people are busy trying to improve an existing product / process / strategy approach,…, innovators get easily boried in improving „things“ which do not work well over time and will prefer to work on developing a new one from scratch, UPGRADING THE OLD VERSION FOR TESTING THE NEW ONE.

In leadership positions, these individuals tend to look at the big picture and excel at creating a NEW vision for their team to fill with details.

At the personal level, these are those persons who constantly strive to create and manifest the best future version of themselves.

What about you? Could your fascination lead you to a new discovery?

Marco Giannecchini