FiGG stands for FLOW in GROWTH and GIVING.
FiGG is my personal belief about what makes for a fulfilling and happy life. First is finding happiness through FLOW, by spending time in Flow State.
The term Flow State was coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He describes it as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” Allowing you to truly enjoy what you do, to grow and become a more complex person.
Alongside Flow state, is the idea of ‘going with the flow’, such an overused but under appreciated expression. It is not a message of apathy or indifference. On the contrary, when properly understood, it is one of the most profound ideas that can be found in Taoist, Buddhist and Stoic teachings.
If we can accept what life throws at us, every opportunity, curveball, and catastrophe; joy and sadness, happiness and grief, prosperity and being broke, health and illness. And realise that by trying to mental control what is, we are causing ourselves unnecessary suffering. Instead, if we can learn to go with whatever comes our way, without overthinking or overlaying our own stories, meaning or blame. We can go with the flow so that we can live more peaceful and joyful lives.
GROWTH is about progressing in our lives, improving our habits, behaviour, actions and reactions. Psychologist have shown that our preferences and values change over time. We are not a finished product, we are always a work in progress. Whether we like it or not, we are always changing. So if we’re not growing, the sad truth is we’re just slowly dying. Instead of fruitlessly trying to always control the outside world, we can put that energy to something that we can control – ourselves. Let’s make sure we are always growing, always improving, because in absolute terms, the alternative doesn’t look so great.
To aid in our personal growth, we also must develop a growth mindset in every aspect of our lives. Carol Dweck, the psychologist who developed the concept, says someone with a growth mindset “believes that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
And finally to GIVE, to contribute, to be of service to others. Research shows that we are happier when we give to others rather than to ourselves. The Dalai Lama observes that happiness does not come from material things but rather from a deep, genuine concern for others’ happiness. He says that by “focusing on one’s own needs instead of others’ results in negative emotions that prevent true and lasting happiness for the self.” And the last word is from Ghandi who says “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
But if you’re still not convinced, think back to the last time you got really great news or something amazing happened to you, what was the first thing you wanted to do? I bet it was to tell someone and share it with them! Humans are an inherently social. We have survived because we take care of one another. Generosity is, in part, a survival instinct.
And so, FiGG is my personal ethos. And the The Wild FiGG is an attempt live and share that ethos with others.
Writing and yoga are two ways I’ve found that get me into Flow State. These are also tools that I use in order grow and encourage me to always be reading, contemplating and attempting to apply any lessons learn to real life. And so, why not share them with others, maybe it will be of help to someone, somewhere at some time.