A musician recently remarked that when she was totally absorbed in music, she heard tunes in every sound. This phenomenon occurred when she attended music festivals that are intense bubbles of experience, devoted entirely to music, comprising people with an intense focus on that form of music.
When turning on the water in the sink, instead of simply a random white noise of water splashing, tunes would emerge from the sound of water splashing. Perhaps she is picking up the music of the spheres but at least part of what is occurring is that the brain is making sense of things. When hearing random sounds, it creates a structure.
The downside of this process is that one may perceive order where it does not actually exist. Or you may impose one pattern rather than appreciate the moment as it is.
The upside of the process is the power of a core value. Whether focusing on music, knowledge, or quality of worklife, people have a capacity to become fully absorbed. They can enter a flow in which they bring that value or perspective to everything they encounter.
Part of what creates this condition is the company of other people. Spending time, preferably days on end, with others who share a commitment magnifies one’s focus. The cognitive dimension comes from focusing attention on the topic, talking about it, and gaining new insights. The expressive dimension comes from sharing the emotional buzz resulting from being with like-minded others.
So, while it does make sense to maintain an open mind, experience diverse events, and consider alternative perspectives, there is a power in immersing oneself. The experience increases one’s resilience by strengthening the force of a core value in one’s life.
When do you have an opportunity to become fully absorbed a core value?
What can you do as a leader to bring that experience to others?
Who are the people who magnify that process?
How long does the flow continue after you’ve returned from the bubble?