Absolutely Autotelic

22 Jul

It has been 3 weeks since my last blog. Every weekend I think, “I should write a blog.” And every weekend I struggle to craft one that I anticipate will resonate with you. After my last one, which was a perfect storm of emotional purging, how could my next even come close to its intensity? I’ve decided that it can’t, and that is no reason to not write anything at all. I have some important things to say–after writing my Ocean of Emotion blog, I didn’t just stop my typical wondering (I’m a perpetual analyst and thinker, and as you now know, feeler). I believe I just got caught up in the demands of life post-competition, and I threw myself into the priorities that presented themselves. Nothing I had to share quite measured up to my need to do something else.

I received a comment from a friend/client after reading my last post though, that I want to share with you. She said, “Wow, I really  liked your post. I could relate. It surprised me though.”

This came through in an email. I scrolled down the page, looking for the rest of her thoughts. There were none. I scanned the email more closely, and I’m sure I had a puzzled look on my face while doing so. Nothing.

I hit the “Reply” button and typed, Thank you for your comments. I certainly just let it all hang out on that one. You saw a raw and vulnerable side to who I am. May I ask what surprised you?

I received an email back almost immediately. “You seem more human.” End of note.

Certainly not a woman of many words, but those four words that she did share with me were dripping with substance.

In humor I wrote back, Oh no! My robot facade has been broken!

The Kori who she had mistakenly assumed was unshakeable, had been revealed to be at the time a bloody pulp. Oh yes, I’m definitely human. The more human I become too, the more I accept myself. Rather than disintegrating when I “fall apart”, I feel more integrated than ever  before. Giving myself permission to experience the torrential downpours and raging winds and accepting –and expecting– them to be a part of my life, has given me a reciprocal solace and peace in who I am.

Perhaps the reason she thought I was not of this world– a machine — is because of how I have developed the ability to concentrate and focus so intensely on what I want to accomplish, that I appear unflappable. (I like to think I am a machine sometimes, and I often use this analogy when I’m teaching others how to develop the mental toughness necessary for achievement and enjoyment of the toil that accompanies daily life). She’d never been privy to the internal torment I can experience. The torment occurs often (yes, I go through that push-pull conflict of what I want versus what I need, what I should do versus what I’m doing, and being distracted by my thoughts), but it doesn’t last a long time. As my blog indicated, I may fall off the surfboard, but won’t get swept out to sea.  I connect with a rabid obsession of being autotelic.

Big word, I know. Until recently I didn’t even know what it meant, much less had even heard of it. I’ve been teaching the skills involved in embodying an autotelic nature, but did not have the vocabulary word to link them.

Autotelic is defined as “having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.” For example, engaging in activity purely for the experience of the activity itself, versus for any incentives that may follow. From experiences like this come growth of the self. An individual with an autotelic personality demonstrates the ability to become absorbed in an event or task, a situation, or circumstance, regardless of the external environment. If you have ever been “in the zone”, where you have felt like you’ve lost all track of time, you felt completely immersed in what you were doing, and you were not worried about how you looked or what other people were thinking about you, you experienced an autotelic moment.

I’m giving a seminar this week on mindset mastery and the talk will cover in depth how to become more autotelic. In essence, we are addressing how to create more flow in life– optimal experiences. Becoming autotelic will not make you a robot, but it might make you appear to be one.

Becoming autotelic gives you the skills to be mentally tough, to rebound from setbacks quickly, to become more aware and in control, to understand your skills, and to set goals and create momentum for yourself through a commitment to challenge. It can also give you a less self-centered manner (think actually listening to your partner when you’re engaged in a discussion rather than deciding what you want to say in response) of being.

I want to suck the marrow out of every bit of my life. I think my friend and client got that about me before reading my blog. But she is just  now learning to understand that in order to do so, you can’t be  bone dry.

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~ Joseph Campbell


5 Responses to “Absolutely Autotelic”

  1. Dynamic Demo July 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM #

    I know you are human.. Kori!! It’s that energy and focus that I admire! Now I know what you call it! AWESOME!!

    • kpropst July 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

      There was a time earlier in my life, D, when I felt like if I showed my authentic self, I would be ridiculed and rejected. Now I don’t know how to be any other way– the inner conflict that occurs when I’m not “real” is too great. If I am ridiculed and rejected because I’m my silly, dorky, emotional, and sometimes just downright ugly self, then I guess I know who my true friends are, right ? I admire YOU too. Believe it or not, you have taught me a lot. You’re the best– thanks for your comment! 😉

  2. sandy July 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM #

    I too understand autotelicism. I find it to be one of the best feelings ever. Being a part of something that takes you away from self. It’s a good thing. And for Heaven sakes Kori, you are human . . . except when you get us in that back room perhaps 😉

    • kpropst July 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM #

      Haha. But Sandy, I’m completely enveloped in the moment when we’re in the back room! I’m awesomely autotelic! 🙂

  3. https://delicious.com/tntodorovseo93 November 8, 2014 at 9:46 AM #

    Die richtet sich an und nicht a Endverbraucher.

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