Resourcefulness – Why It Matters and What Is It?

Today, I wanted to share with you about resourcefulness – why it matters and what is it? As I discuss this, I am also going to write a little bit about flow and how I see it linking to resourcefulness. Subsequently, I am going to discuss –

  • What is Resourcefulness?
  • Linking Resourcefulness to Flow,
  • What is Wellbeing?
  • Why Resourcefulness Matters.

Let’s get started….


What is Resourcefulness?

Resourcefulness is –

When I think of resourcefulness, I think of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his research in to flow and the relationship between challenges and skills.


Linking Resourcefulness to Flow…

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as

“a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p.4).

In his TedTalk, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi uses the following diagram to illustrate the “flow state” or what some call “the sweet spot”. As you can see, to be in a state of flow a person needs to have a high challenge level and a high skill level. The horizontal axis measures how challenging the activity is, and the vertical axis measures the individual’s level of skill.


As you can see in the diagram above – there is an interplay between how challenging an activity is and the skill level (or resourcefulness) of a person and how that can make you feel. They include –

  • Apathy (low challenge level, low skill level),
  • Boredom (low challenge level, medium skill level),
  • Relaxation (low challenge level, high skill level),
  • Being in control (medium challenge level, high skill level),
  • Worry (medium challenge level, low skill level),
  • Anxiety (high challenge level, low skill level),
  • Arousal (high challenge level, medium skill level),
  • The “flow state” (high challenge level and high skill level).

Flow state also links in with wellbeing.


What is Wellbeing?

Following are some definitions of wellbeing from a variety of sources:

  • “the condition of being contented, healthy or successful” ~ Collins Dictionaries
  • “a state of being comfortable, happy and healthy” ~ Oxford Dictionaries
  • “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community” ~ World Health Organisation
  • Subjective Well-Being (SWB) was defined by Deiner in (2009 as –

“the general evaluation of one’s quality of life. The concept has been conceptualized as the three components: (1) a cognitive appraisal that one’s life was good (life satisfaction); (2) experiencing positive levels of pleasant emotions; (3) experiencing relatively low levels of negative moods.”


Why Resourcefulness Matters…

By reading the above, I am hoping you can see why resourcefulness matters. However, research also matters here and according to Dodge et al (2012), stable wellbeing –

“…is when individuals have the psychological, social and physical resources they need to meet a particular psychological, social and/or physical challenge. When individuals have more challenges than resources, the see-saw dips, along with their wellbeing, and vice-versa” (p.230). 

And visually –


Over to You….

I hope this post has give you some insight in to resourcefulness – why it matters and what it is. Any questions, please write them below.

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


References –

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceNew York, NY: Harper and Row.

Diener, E. (2009). Subjective well-being. The Science of Well-Being, 11-58.

Dodge, R., Daly, A., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. (2012). The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 222-235. doi:10.5502/ijw.v2i3.4 


  • Wendy

    Reply Reply May 20, 2020

    A very informative and useful article. Thank you.

    • Jane

      Reply Reply May 20, 2020

      Thanks Wendy for taking the time to comment 🙂

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