It's after knock-off time and you're still at the office, working on a project you feel was made for you. You've become so absorbed in your thoughts and ideas and the sheer enjoyment of the experience, you haven't noticed everyone else has gone home. Your mind, body and spirit have come together as you pour your natural talents, skills and abilities into a product that only you could create. It's a feeling sometimes described as a ‘state of flow'.

It doesn't just happen at work. It can happen when you're spending quality time with the family or friends, listening to great music, singing in a choir, creating a painting, winning at sport, or walking in the hills. It can be triggered during a physical, passive, intellectual, social, manual, environmental, or spiritual experience.

It's always:

• intensely enjoyable
• a peaceful feeling of being at ease with yourself
• an expression of your inner self, in your own unique way
• a positive experience that expands your thinking and stirs your creative juices, and
• generates a ripple effect, flowing through every part of your life and work, lifting self esteem, self confidence and sense of self worth.

It can at times inspire your sense of life purpose, value and meaning.

We're told we only use a small percentage of our brain's potential. The more you allow yourself to think and act naturally, the greater your prospect of discovering a talent you didn't know you had - or forgot you had - sometimes introducing you to a new and enjoyable interest.

We all spend so much of our lives trying to ‘fit round pegs into square holes' - struggling to learn skills and talents that others tell us we need if we want to be successful, especially in business. Too often, we (and others) overlook the powerful potential we unlock when we're at play, doing something simply for enjoyment. When you ‘lose' yourself in an interest you love, you ‘find' yourself - your natural instincts, skills, abilities and talents come to the fore.

All of this is vital to the business employer or manager. Success in business today demands more than the skills and abilities set out in a job specification. Think how much intellectual property your organisation lost the last time a long-term employee left. ‘Transferable skills' are an often under-appreciated element of individual and corporate success. They're developed not only at work but also in personal life - any time you're experiencing the state of flow that comes from losing yourself in an interest you love.

Developing business skills is only one of many benefits that individuals and employers gain from passionate interests outside of work. They also

• provide the most natural form of stress management,

• generate new energy, reducing the symptoms and costs of burnout, illness, absenteeism and staff turnover, and

• build the self esteem and self-confidence that trigger workplace enthusiasm, optimism and innovation, resulting in high quality products and happy customers.

Most importantly, they add greatly to the employer's chances of keeping good staff, keeping them happy and achieving sustained high quality work productivity.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Nicholls is Australia's People Gardener - Cultivating Thriving Lives. His difference is his 30+ years of professional experience helping people cultivate their natural skills, interests, self esteem, self confidence and sense of self worth through their recreational and leisure interests. Think about it? When does the real you come alive and thrive most? When you are simply enjoying something for its own sake. For more information go to or contact Peter at