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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience[ FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE ] By Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly ( Author )Jul-01-2008 Paperback Paperback – 1 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061339202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061339202
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called "flow." During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Beth on 8 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
Besides having more vowels in his name than any other researcher in the field of positive psychology, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi is probably best known for his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. So what exactlty is flow and what does it have to do with finding happiness?

There are short and long ways to define the concept of flow. The short way is to tell you that flow is roughly the equivalent to what most people refer to as being "in the zone" or "in the groove". More elaborate definitions might be that it is "the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people do it even at great cost, for the sheer state of doing it."

Being such a desirable state, flow is naturally linked to happiness. The book feels that the path to happiness is a circuitous one that begins with one achieving control over the "contents of our consciousness". I'm taking that to mean that if I learn to find flow experiences, it will lead to greater happiness.

Know from the get-go that "Flow" is NOT a step-by-step book that gives you tips on how to be happy. Instead, the book summarizes years of research, so what you get when all is said and done, are general principles along with examples of how people have used them to transform their lives. The hope, then, is that you will have enough information in the book to make the transition from principles and theory, to actual practice.

In a nutshell, Flow is a unique and interesting book that examines the process of achieving happiness through the control of one's inner life.
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98 of 103 people found the following review helpful By David Jameson on 28 April 2004
Format: Paperback
This book points out something which should be obvious - that in order tohave a happy, fulfilling life you must live your life to have as many"flow" experiences as possible. That is, you must do things that havegoals that you are fully committed to achieving, and that you are highlymotivated to achieve. The human brain has evolved to solve challenges suchas hunting, finding new territory and surviving in inhospitable climates.Having motivating challenges results in a happy and fulfilling life, whilea lack of such factors can lead to depression, fatigue and ill health.
A number of years ago after suffering from suicidal depression, anxietyand chronic illness (CFS/ME), I eventually came to a point where I wasforced to change my lifestyle. Partly by sheer luck, and partly thoughobserving how my lifestyle affected my mental and physical health, Ieventually came to the realisation that having positive goals andmotivation were crucial to maintaining my health, and that a lack of thesefactors lead back down the path of physical and mental deterioration.
In the past few years I have lived my entire life as one long "flow"experience - everything I do is now part of an overall plan for my life,and every day I am working towards short- and long-term goals that I amhighly motivated in. Over the last few years I have completely recoveredfrom CFS/ME and have not suffered from depression, and this is purely downto my change in lifestyle and mental attitude - what Csikszentmihalyidescribes as "flow".
After coming across Csikszentmihalyi's work a few weeks ago, I realisedthat his "flow" concept is exactly the same as the mental attitude andlifestyle factors that have helped me go from chronic ill health anddepression to perfect physical and mental health and living a happy andfulfilling life.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Beth on 15 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
Besides having more vowels in his name than any other researcher in the field of positive psychology, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi is probably best known for his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. So what exactlty is flow and what does it have to do with finding happiness?

There are short and long ways to define the concept of flow. The short way is to tell you that flow is roughly the equivalent to what most people refer to as being "in the zone" or "in the groove". More elaborate definitions might be that it is "the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people do it even at great cost, for the sheer state of doing it."

Being such a desirable state, flow is naturally linked to happiness. The book feels that the path to happiness is a circuitous one that begins with one achieving control over the "contents of our consciousness". I'm taking that to mean that if I learn to find flow experiences, it will lead to greater happiness.

Know from the get-go that "Flow" is NOT a step-by-step book that gives you tips on how to be happy. Instead, the book summarizes years of research, so what you get when all is said and done, are general principles along with examples of how people have used them to transform their lives. The hope, then, is that you will have enough information in the book to make the transition from principles and theory, to actual practice.

In a nutshell, Flow is a unique and interesting book that examines the process of achieving happiness through the control of one's inner life.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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