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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990)

de Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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4,880692,234 (3.99)38
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.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perbiblioteca privada, kellycommapaul, Black.Opium, patl, FinnS, yates9, quincunx00, moodfazal, kurasevich
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Anglès (63)  Castellà (3)  Hongarès (1)  Alemany (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (69)
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A fundamental psychological text which introduces one of the central pieces to shape game design and performance.

Flow still remains a mysterious factor but ever growing in socio economic relevance. If society “flowed” might we forget many other problems? ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
Simply the most important book for anyone who wants a passion and not just a career. Too many people ask themselves the wrong question. Am I happy? What is happiness? etc.. Instead of getting an answer, they get caught in the debate, because they aren't really looking to be happy. They are looking for Flow. (Of course it sounds funny to say "I'm flow" not the best word choice on his part. To me, its better described as nirvana.)

Flow is that feeling when you are so at one with what you are doing that everything else fades away. It could be that feeling when you are laughing with your kids or making a new discovery at work, or baking a cake or helping a divorced couple find a way to get along so the kids don't suffer. It's whatever you do that makes you so absorbed in it, you are one with the task at that moment. And the fulfillment and satisfaction accompanying those moments is really what most of us seek when we use the word happiness.

( )
  stickersthatmatter | May 29, 2023 |
Better than average self-help book by a respected psychologist. But it's still basically a self-help book and a 23-year-old one at that. I guess I was expecting a little more. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Flow is a concept extensively researched by Csikszentmihalyi (chick-sent-me-hi). It is the state that one gets into when one is concentrating and focused. Flow is a product of an organized consciousness.

The book starts by looking at happiness. Study participants report themselves to be happier when they have been in a state of flow. (One surprising consequence is that, in general, people have more positive experiences when working than during their leisure time.) Happiness is more often caused by situations that cause enjoyment than those that cause pleasure. Pleasure is what one feels when fulfilling biological or psychological needs. Enjoyment is what one feels when one is actively creating a positive experience that goes beyond basic needs. One activity can have elements of both; a food lover may feel pleasure eating (because eating satisfies hunger) and enjoyment (because the food lover appreciates the meal as an experience).

Having concluded that happiness is often caused by being in the state of flow, the author details elements of the flow experience:

A challenging activity that requires skills. Flow experiences are often seen as enjoyable because they are challenging. One has to concentrate and use skills that are not used in day to day experience.

The merging of action and awareness. Action may feel effortless when one is in a flow state. The experience is the center of activity, so one does not think about the difficulty of what one is doing.

Clear goals and feedback. Games and sports are common flow activities. One reason for this is that they have clearly defined goals and provide ample feedback. Having clear goals and feedback helps prevent one from becoming frustrated or bored.

Concentration on the task at hand. People in a state of flow are concentrating on their task to the exclusion of day to day concerns. That explains why I am so absent minded!

The paradox of control. People in a state of flow do not worry about losing control. This does not mean that they are reckless. A rock climber in a state of flow is aware of how every action affects their safety. They just are confident that they can prevent failure. This is called a paradox because it occurs in situations where, in some ways, one has less control because the situation is governed by rules or otherwise restricted.

The loss of self-consciousness. Being in a state of flow results in a concept of one's self that is more complex. During the flow experience, however, one's self-consciousness decreases. Instead of concentrating on oneself, one concentrates on the activity at hand.

The transformation of time. During a flow experience, time may seem to go quickly or slowly. Time may seem to go quickly while one is lost in the flow, but at moments when concentration is most vital it may seem to slow down so that one has time to take in every detail.

The rest of book describes different experiences that can cause the flow state. There are chapters describing the state of flow as it relates to physical experiences, mental experiences, work, people, and even tragedy. This section of the book contains many examples from various studies.

Csikszentmihalyi's book takes a reasonably rigorous look at an interesting and important psychological phenomenon. Anyone who has seen the term "flow" bandied around on the internet and wondered if it was a well founded concept would do well to read this book. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Today was a Saturday. I spent most of the day worrying about what to make for dinner, watching my toddler, and doing miscellaneous stuff. But I determined, in the late afternoon, to replace the flush valve in the bathroom. Even though I had put it off for a week, and wasn't looking forward to getting that up close and personal with my toilet, it was the quickest, most enjoyable hour of my day. What happened? Flow.

I've heard Csikszentmihalyi's work summarized multiple times(he's a big thing in the business world)*, but that doesn't mean that I heard it all. In fact, the summarization of his definition of "Flow" is just the beginning of what ends up being a powerful argument for meaning, accountability, and growth.

I, being me, would love a Chicago style of notes but the notes are definitely there in my non-preferred style. His chapters on others were really interesting. He would be an interesting soul to chat with.

*Simon Sinek has a lovely pronunciation guide of his name in one of his books. :) ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
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Twenty-three hundred years ago Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.
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Weber claimed, after this science [of capitalism] was perfected, it developed its own goals, based on the logic of production and consumption and not that of human happiness. At that point economic behavior ceases to be rational, because it is no longer guided by the goal that originally justified it....Weber himself complained that capitalism which originated as a religious vocation, had in time become a mere "sport" for entrepreneurs--and an "iron cage" for everyone else. [275-276 notes]
When a person's psychic energy coalesces into a life theme, consciousness achieves harmony. [230]
[In Dante's Divina Commedia -- used in seminar on the pitfalls of midlife--ambition, lust, and greed, or in Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, the desire for power, sex and money] Virgil tries to reassure Dante--the good news is that there is a way out of the dark forest. The bad news is that the way leads through hell." [235]
The Inferno is informed by a deep religious ethic, and it is very clear to anyone who reads it that Dante's Christianity is not an accepted but a discovered belief. The religious life he created was made up of insights he combined from Christianity, with the best of Greek philosophy and Islamic wisdom.
To extract meaning from a system of beliefs a person must first compare the information contained in it with his or her concrete experience, retain what makes sense, and then reject the rest. [238]
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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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