The Midpoint

Flow appears near the emotional midpoint between boredom and anxiety, in what scientists call the flow channel—the spot where the task is hard enough to make us stretch but not hard enough to make us snap.

How hard is that? Answers vary, but the general thinking is about 4 percent. That’s it. That’s the sweet spot. If you want to trigger flow, the challenge should be 4 percent greater than the skills.

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