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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is a good life?
'What is a good life?', is basically the question addressed by this book. Well, isn't a good life just about being happy? Ok, but that is not the complete answer. For how do we become and stay happy? Not by watching TV, eating, or relaxing all day! In small doses these things are good and improve your daily life, but the effects are not additive. In other words: a point...
Published on 3 July 2002 by Coert Visser

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An aternative guide for living
Live a good life. Help others to do likewise. Csikszentmihaly provides a quick overview of the ways we behave that will make us and those around us more satisfied with life, but more important is his exhortation to use our efforts to reduce "entropy" around us. Entropy in this view is that chaos that all things tend towards, and is allowed to expand whenever we are...
Published on 12 May 2010 by Andrew Vermes


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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is a good life?, 3 July 2002
By 
Coert Visser "solutionfocusedchange.com" (Driebergen Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
'What is a good life?', is basically the question addressed by this book. Well, isn't a good life just about being happy? Ok, but that is not the complete answer. For how do we become and stay happy? Not by watching TV, eating, or relaxing all day! In small doses these things are good and improve your daily life, but the effects are not additive. In other words: a point of diminishing returns is quickly reached. Also you don't become happy by having to do nothing. Csikszentmihalyi's research shows that both intrinsic motivation (wanting to do something) and extrinsic motivation (having to do something) are preferable to not having any kind of goal to focus your attention.
Csikszentmihalyi argues that a life filled with 'flow activities' is more worth living than one spent consuming passive entertainment. He says, the point is to be happy while doing things that stretch your goals and skills that help you grow and fulfil your potential. In other words: the content of your experiences over a lifetime determines the quality of your life. Then what exactly ìs 'flow'? Is it just some vague new New Age concept? Not at all! It is precisely defined and well-researched. The experience if flow is the sense of effortless action we feel in moments that we see as the best in our lives. In order to have flow experiences you need clear goals/demands, immediate and relevant feedback and a balance between your skills and the demands. Then your attention becomes ordered and fully invested. Because of the total demand on you psychic energy you become completely focused, your self-consciousness disappears, as does your sense of time, yet you feel strong and competent. When in flow, you are not exactly happy, because you are not focused on your inner states (that would take away your attention from the task at hand). But looking back you are happy. Having flow experiences leads to growth and learning and improving your life becomes a question of making flow as much as possible a constant part of your everyday experience.
Csikszentmihalyi describes how you can find flow in several important life domains. One domain is work. Often we short-sightedly spend a lot of energy to take the easy way and cut corners, trying to do as little as possible in our jobs. If we would spend the same amount of energy trying to accomplish more we would probably enjoy our work more and be more successful as well. To improve your work you can try to take the whole context of your job into account. Doing this you can better understand your contribution to the whole and understand and value your role more. This enables you to invest more energy and withdraw more meaning from your work. Further, to use flow at work you can try to establish a situation in which your job (an other people's jobs) provides clear goals, unambiguous feedback, a sense of control, few distractions and challenges that match your skills. Just as much as in work you can create flow in your family and other relationships according to Csikszentmihalyi. He says it is particularly important to give attention to building harmony between participant's goals and to find ways to balance the meaningfulness of the rewards you get from work and relationships.
This book is definitely worth reading. Csikszentmihalyi's answer to the question 'What is a good life?' is practical and convincing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We could all do with finding more, 28 July 2006
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
Csikszentmihalyi argues that the majority of the time during everyday life we are not completely focused on what we are doing, we are thinking about a conversation we had yesterday, or worried about a test we have next week. But on the rare occasions when we are doing something which we really love, be it skiing, playing poker, listening to music or cooking a meal, we may experience moments where "what we feel, what we wish, and what we think are in harmony," Csikszentmihalyi calls these exceptional moments of complete immersion, flow experiences.

There are two important factors that seem to be required for flow to be experienced, the first is, the balance between ones skill and the challenge involved must be equal and high, too great a challenge and one will get frustrated, not enough challenge and one will get bored, if skill and challenge are balanced but low then one will fell apathetic to the task. Csikszentmihalyi thus suggests that "flow acts a magnet for learning" the more we participate in the activity the more our skill increases and the higher challenge we have to set ourselves next time. The other important factor in flow is that we must have clear goals and receive immediate feedback on our actions, for example the mountaineer getting one step closer to the summit.

Csikszentmihalyi highlights that we all have flow experiance which add to the richness of life. by identifying it's sources and understanding it's benefits we can seek to find more flow experiances and thus further enrich our lives.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An aternative guide for living, 12 May 2010
By 
Andrew Vermes (Hassocks, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
Live a good life. Help others to do likewise. Csikszentmihaly provides a quick overview of the ways we behave that will make us and those around us more satisfied with life, but more important is his exhortation to use our efforts to reduce "entropy" around us. Entropy in this view is that chaos that all things tend towards, and is allowed to expand whenever we are passive participants rather than absorbed in some useful activity. Flow is that "in the zone" unconscious mode of operation we find in hobbies or work when we are fully engaged, and unsurprisingly, people feel better the more "flow" they experience. If you dislike organised religion and its dogma, Flow provides a good, albeit pseudo-religious guide to living a good life. On the downside this book barely touches the promised subtitle "The psychology of engagement with everyday life", and the snippets of research presented serve to show the totally obvious, such as people find more "flow" when engaged in hobbies, sports and study than watching TV, or that we're more likely to find flow when the degree of challenge we're presented with is great enough, but not so great as to overwhelm us. Buy it, read it, but don't expect too much really practical advice or depth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice balance of science and self-help, 2 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
I just finished "Flow" and was delighted. Csikszentmihalyi has done an excellent job of bringing together research (most of it his own)and presenting it in a clear, engaging way. Even better, the concept of "flow" is real and important -- I found myself frequenty brought out of an intellectual assessment into more personal reflections on flow in my life. And cheaper than psychotherapy! My only criticism is that the layout is a bit too straightforward -- more visual variety would have been appropriate straightf
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough analysis of how people enjoy their world., 6 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
The author, Mihaly Csikszentmihlyi, clearly presents his technical research in layman's terms without leaving out detail which the reader can use to evaluate his statements. The book gave me a new perception of how it is that I enjoy myself and better understanding of human behavior. It also answered many questions for me and opened up many new avenues of thought.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book requiring strong effort for optimal results., 15 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
At an intuitive level I "knew" this book was valuable to me. But just reading it did not allow me to gel all of the life-affirming and wisdom-based messages. It was not until I mindmapped the book -- tore its ideas apart -- and rebuilt them -- that I totally grasped all of its positive life-altering ideas. By mindmapping the book, its ideas are now an ever-growing part of my "new" life.
This book has/is/continues to dramatically alter my life in powerful/positive directions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting,philosophical read, 9 Oct 2009
By 
Gemma Jarrett (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
This book is fascinating-it talks about how to make every day count and how we can achieve 'full-life experience' and 'excellence in life' by doing activities we love and can lose ourselves in. It also talks about how to and why we should make the most of and set out to enjoy the most mundane of tasks (such as work, for example!)Definitely worth a read if you're into self-help,philosophy or just want to read a life-affirming, psychological study.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 8 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
I found this book to be a major disappointment. The title indicates that the book is about "finding flow," but it is not. Instead he rambles on for 150 pages about stuff you can get from his other books. I found much more interesting information in his book Creativity. He also passes off many opinions as facts (this is the way things are). Most people would agree with these opinions, but if you're not like most people, you're likely to be angered.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read, 6 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
This book was an assigned reading for one of my psychology courses, and unlike most required books, it was surprisingly good! It gave me a chance to re-evaluate how I live my life, and at the very least, find activities that I can do with children in my life that will make THEIR lives more enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Properly written psychology book by the eminent psychologist ..., 3 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) (Paperback)
Excellent. Properly written psychology book by the eminent psychologist who carried out the research. It a easy enough read. Content is similar to his seminal work Flow. That is a meater read for those more interest in the science.
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Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds)
Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Paperback - 16 Mar 1998)
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