flow

originally published here.

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I read a story about a fruitful, successful working relationship last weekend that struck a chord with me.

It is from the introduction to Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’:

“…While writing the article that reported these findings, Amos and I discovered that we liked working together. Amos was always very funny and in his presence I became funny as well, so we spent hours of solid work in continuous amusement. The pleasure we found in working together made us exceptionally patient; it is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored. Perhaps most important, we checked our critical weapons at the door. Both Amos and I were critical and argumentative, he even more than I, but during the years of our collaboration, neither of us ever rejected out of hand anything the other said. Indeed, one of the great joys I found in the collaboration was that Amos frequently saw the point of my vague ideas much more clearly than I did … We were sufficiently similar to understand each other easily, and sufficiently different to surprise each other.”

^^^ this makes my heart swell. ^^^

I really like the characterization / concept of flow that Heidi Roizen and many others, especially technical workers, describe achieving by doing the right *kind* of work — but at least at this point in my career, I’ve discovered that in addition to the type of work, the people I’m working with are a non-negotiable part of doing my “best work.”™

I have been very lucky to find people in my professional life that make working hard not feel like it is working hard enough because we enjoy each other.

Smart is a given.

Talented is special, but not impossible to find.

People you love working with, that take you to the next level of personal performance, might be as rare as/rarer than people you love romantically (if you’re crazy like me.)

This is not a set of instructions to find them or evaluate them, just a quick thank you to people that work well with me, earn my trust, surprise me, and make my time fly by in the best way.

Kathleen MeilComment