Do You Yu? - Ideas At Work


Do You Yu?

Author: Bob Picha

Surfing dolphins know how to go with flow, and be in their zone.

They catch a wave of opportunity, go with the flow, and have fun.

Flow and Yu have much in common.

According to Dr. Csikszentmihalyi’s research for his book on “Flows…” the concept of Yu referred to about 2300 years ago in the writings of taoists scholar Chuang Tzu, Yu is a synonym for the right way of following the path… “flowing.” Chuang Tzu believed that to Yu was the proper way to live-without concern for external rewards, spontaneously with total commitment-in short, as a total autotelic experience.

In other words, the mystical heights of the Yu are not attained by some superhuman quantum jump, but simply by the gradual focusing of attention on the opportunities for actions in one’s environment, which results in a perfection of skills that with time become so thoroughly automatic as to seem spontaneous and outerworldly.

“This is the real secret of life– to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” — Alan Wilson Watts

“I never worked a day in my life…it was all fun”. — Thomas Edison

The autotelic personality is an individual who generally does things for their own sake,in the “here and now”,rather than for some later goal.

No one is fully autotelic, since we all have to do things even if we don’t enjoy them, either out of a sense of duty or necessity. But there is a gradation, ranging from individuals who almost never feel that what they do is worth doing for its own sake, to others who feel that most  anything they do is fun and valuable in its own right. It is to these latter individuals the term autotelic personality applies.

The autotelic personality are people with several very specific personality traits which are better able to achieve the “flow experience” than the average person. These personality traits include curiosity, persistence, low self-centeredness, and a desire of performing activities for intrinsic reasons only.

People with an autotelic personality tend to have a greater preference for challenging-opportunities and learning skills that stimulate them and encourage growth. It is in such high-challenge and through creative learning skills that people are most likely to enter the “flow state”. Wikipedia

There is a way to understand what flow in the zone is, and how you can Yu.

What’s it like in the ZONE?

This is the zone described by Richard Koch:

There are times when we are totally absorbed, absolutely happy, in tune with the universe-when time stands still. We are scarcely conscious of time ourselves… we are in the ZONE, in the moment, experiencing a sense of inner calm or bliss. “A day of time in the zone” may be worth a lifetime of dog days… less is more.

These are the rare moments when we feel happiest and when we achieve the most. We may have a breakthrough insight or idea. We may make a decision that changes lives.


There is a way to understand what flow in the zone is, and how you can Yu.

Have you ever been in that place called your zone? The only law in the zone is the Law of Least Effort. It follows the principle of Economy of Effort. Everyone knows pretty much when they are in the zone because they seem to do so much while using so little energy. In fact, at times, it feels like they are gaining energy by doing things in the zone. The question is: How do you get to the zone without a GPS to guide you?… You need a GPA (Greatest Personal Asset) evaluation.

One answer is that we all have a tool box of natural tools; tools we use that require very little energy. These are skills, abilities, and behaviors that come to us “naturally”. The tools in our toolbox are our Greatest Personal Assets.

Discover Your GPA

Know your zone… your zone is not your zip code.

Have you ever been in the zone?



1 Comment on "Do You Yu?"

  1. Bob Peddy says:

    I have been there. It is everything Koch said.

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