Engagement in something is not the same as showing interest.
Being interested in something is most often a temporary and superficial exploration of a topic and is primarily “mind based” (=thinking). Engagement is deeper and is connected to your emotions. Engagement is shown by action and contribution. This can be in interactions with family, friends, colleagues – all forms of communities and relations you take part in.
To be engaged means that you add energy. Your ability to add energy depends on your presence in the moment and to put action behind words. You are probably familiar with the expression ”Walk the talk” which means that what you express and “stand for” is what you also do.
However, real action is sometimes lost in our desire and urge to evaluate, rationalise and assess. Several studies indicate that we spend around 50% of our time mind wandering rather than being in the present moment, here and now. When we think about what we or others should have, could have or would have done or what we shall, can and will do in the future, we leave the here and now and the opportunity we have to act. We allow our perceptions to dominate and it paralyses our ability to take action.
In Positive Psychology Engagement is found to be a key factor for mental wellbeing and leading a happy life. In this context engagement is a ”state of being” where you experience all your skills and strengths are brought to use, you are feeling challenged in a positive way and go all in on whatever the task you have in front of you (=Flow).