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Flow: The Psychology of Happiness: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness [Paperback]

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 2002
What really makes people glad to be alive? What are the inner experiences that make life worthwhile? For more than two decades Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studied those states in which people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment. His studies revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is 'flow' - a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to complete absorption in an activity and results in the achievement of a perfect state of happiness. Flow has become the classic work on happiness and a major contribution to contemporary psychology. It examines such timeless issues as the challenge of lifelong learning; family relationships; art, sport and sex as 'flow'; the pain of loneliness; optimal use of free time; and how to make our lives meaningful.

Frequently Bought Together

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness + Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (MasterMinds) + Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention
Price For All Three: 29.49

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rider; New Ed edition (1 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712657592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712657594
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Elegantly written...it is more relevant than ever" (The Times)

"Mr Csikszentmihalyi illuminates the accuracy of what philosophers have been saying for centuries: that the way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism but in mindful challenge" (The New York Times)

Book Description

This classic popular psychology title explains how, by altering our perspective, we can find happiness, dispel disharmony and enter a state of perfect equilibrium - a state of 'flow'

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow: A Path to Happiness 8 Dec 2008
By Beth
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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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important book 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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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow: A Path to Happiness 15 Dec 2008
By Beth
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 ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much...
I know it is considered a classic, and I almost feel embarrassed to give it an average score but... it just goes on, and on, and on. And it does not arrive anywhere. Read more
Published 2 months ago by WRW-ER
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly interesrting, a life changing book!
The FLOW of reading this book was incredible! It has depth of thought, very well explained and entertaining study cases (but not with fluff like many others). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ponchito Tello
3.0 out of 5 stars recommended to me but i only read a few pages.
I found this too superficial and couldn't get into it.
not saying it's not correct but it seemed to be taking too long to get there.
Published 10 months ago by Mr. R. Sylvester
3.0 out of 5 stars An article over-expanded into a book
The author has some interesting ideas and the central premis of his argument is a valid one, but he overdoes it, and the whole book becomes boring after a time.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. S. I. M. Hodge
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted
This is not a pop psychology book...

This was a mission to read. But well worth it!

A top 10 book for me, for sure!
Published 13 months ago by M. CARRELO
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I have spent a lot of time reading this book. Picking it up and putting it down. It is full of good advice and a lot of helpful information.
Published 16 months ago by Ken Budd
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing
This is such a good book I read it cover to cover out of enjoyment. I've bought three further copies for my friends. They report a similar level of appreciation for the great work.
Published 18 months ago by JamesM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a great author
Wonderful and elaborate work about flow, how to achieve flow and how being in flow will result in a happier, better life. The book feels a bit like the 90's (because it is! Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by R. Dorst
4.0 out of 5 stars Inportant information
Flow activity, that you immerse yourself in to the exclusion of all worries and everything else, are what it's all about - maybe you'll find some new ideas here.
Published on 3 Dec 2011 by scouserunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Work and how to enjoy it
As the title says, now a classic. Flow in various modes of life - including work and how to enjoy it. Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by Peter W. Burden
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