Remember the last time you were concentrating so effortlessly that you hardly realized you were working? That’s what researchers call a state of “flow.” It’s a productive state and an enjoyable one, and it comes more easily to some of us than others. But to whom?
In this study, researchers wanted to figure out what intelligence and neuroticism had to do with it, so they used standard tests to gauge participants’ personality, intelligence, and proneness to achieving flow. People who were neurotic had much more difficulty achieving flow, and people who were conscientious had a much easier time of it—but intelligence wasn’t a factor at all.
You don’t need to be a genius to reap the benefits of flow: it has much more to do with an all-around positive affect.