- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition edition (March 13, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060920432
- ISBN-13: 978-0060920432
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 557 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Paperback – February 1, 1991
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You have heard about how a musician loses herself in her music, how a painter becomes one with the process of painting. In work, sport, conversation or hobby, you have experienced, yourself, the suspension of time, the freedom of complete absorption in activity. This is "flow," an experience that is at once demanding and rewarding--an experience that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates is one of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences a person can have. The exhaustive case studies, controlled experiments and innumerable references to historical figures, philosophers and scientists through the ages prove Csikszentmihalyi's point that flow is a singularly productive and desirable state. But the implications for its application to society are what make the book revolutionary.
"An intriguing look at the age-old problem of human happiness." -- --Library Journal
"Documents a set of scientific discoveries about human nature that actually illuminates the life experiences of all persons." -- --Howard Gardner, author of Frames of Mind
"It rethinks what motivates people." -- --Newsweek
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Many books claiming to help us understand ourselves better and find ways of improving our lives have limited usefulness because they are written from a single perspective - but people learn and experience in many, many different ways, so what works for the author is likely to work for only a small percentage of readers. Csikszentmihalyi avoids this problem brilliantly and simply, because he presents the concept of flow from many different perspectives - physical and mental, solitary and in groups, and so on. Thus, there is something here for everyone - different learning styles, different behavioral preferences, different life experiences.
It's a wonderful book that has already affected my life and my coaching work. I'm sure I will reread it often - and find new treasures every time!
I would recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest inclination towards psychology or the social sciences.