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This review is from: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (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". So what exactly is flow?
Well, 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 and is a classic in it's field. Other positive psychology books I liked include "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 24, 2009 7:10:29 AM PDT
Artemio Rivera says:
This subject is fully discussed in Zen Budhism as "Mindfulness". An excellent book about this is The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2009 10:40:22 AM PST
Clare Joy says:
Being mindful of everything one is experiencing - every emotion whether we have chosen to label it good or bad. The first step is awareness that we are having an emotion and then staying with that emotion in order to fully experience it, rather than going into a reaction which only serves to guarantee reexperiencing it in the future over and over again until we complete its full experience.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2011 5:11:08 PM PDT
CA reader says:
What does your comment refer to? The book? Or is this your own stand alone observation? Having just experienced what you're describing very deeply for the first time in my life (studying a particular recurrant emotion rather than my habitual rejection of it), I'm interested to know whether this refers to "Flow" as the author describes it.
Posted on Jun 24, 2012 10:50:39 PM PDT
A Reviewer says:
Thanks for the book recomendation!
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