Saturday, May 29, 2010

A great movie and example of flow experience

We watched The Hurt Locker last night on PPV. What a great movie! I'm so glad we saw it yesterday, because if we'd waited just one more day, I'm pretty sure this news would have seen me exercising a personal boycott of the film: Creators Must Move Beyond Suing the Audience
The file-sharing public faces yet another wave of predatory litigation, this time from the so-called US Copyright Group ("USCG"), which is suing BitTorrent users on behalf of various independent filmmakers. The Hollywood Reporter reports that more than 20,000 individuals have been sued, with more suits to come, and the producers of the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker have also signed up with the USCG to go after BitTorrent users.
That said, the character played by Jeremy Renner in the movie was simply incredible. I've been reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. You couldn't ask for a better example of living in the flow than Sergeant First Class William James. This character had all the elements: immersion, mastery, a distortion of time, a suspension of self-consciousness, clear goals-- you make a mistake you die, and a desire to continuously push the boundaries of performance. It's worth seeing The Hurt Locker for no other reason than to study this character.

You can achieve flow states in all walks of life and in every type of job. You don't have to go looking for highly dangerous situations, e.g. bombs to defuse. You just have to push your personal everyday boundaries in ways heretofore unimagined.

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