Flow book review

Have you ever been so focused on a task or task to the allude that you stopped noticing the passage of time, and also even forobtained to eat or drink? Like you’re just “in the zone” and also feel a deep exhilaration or excellent enjoyment? I think most of us have actually proficient this prior to. Or at least, I understand I experienced this once I’m playing a game or reading.

This state in which human being are “so connected in an activity that nothing else appears to matter; the endure itself is so enjoyable that civilization will certainly do it also at good cost, for the sheer sake of doing it” (p. 4), is dubbed the flow state. This is the key conversation suggest in this classical and also well-known title in positive psychology, Flow: the psychology of optimal experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

The book starts with Csikszentmihalyi pointing out the idea of happiness and specifying it as “a condition that requirements to be all set for, cultivated, and also defended privately by each person” (p. 3). It is a problem accomplished by mastering manage over the contents of our consciousness. The state of flow that we accomplish by this mastery is as close as it gets to true happiness; this is as soon as we are completely engaged, in finish manage of ourselves regardless of the instance. He then discusses the device of consciousness and also just how it have the right to be managed in chapter 2.

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“People that learn to regulate inner endure will certainly be able to recognize the top quality of their stays, which is as cshed as any type of of us have the right to to being happy.”

In chapter 3, Csikszentmihalyi discusses the distinction in between pleacertain and also enjoyment. These two terms are frequently interchangeable, however he makes a clear difference in this case: pleacertain is a feeling of contentment that is achieved when social or organic expectations have actually been met, e.g. eating a meal when we are hungry is pleasant bereason we are fulfilling our organic requirements. Enjoyment, on the other hand, is a feeling that occurs not only after the demands are met, yet also as soon as somepoint else is accomplished beyond expectations; it is defined by a feeling of novelty and achievement e.g. playing a game of chess that stretches our capacity. In various other words, pleasure is passive and dependent on external stimuli, while enjoyment originates from within however needs more initiative to emphasis on our component. This also suggests that we can derive self-advancement from enjoyment, yet not from pleacertain. That being sassist, Csikszentmihalyi also emphasizes that “pleacertain is additionally a critical component on the quality of life, but by itself, it does not bring happiness” (p. 46). Between these 2, enjoyment deserve to bring us closer to the circulation state.

So just how do we attain this circulation state? In chapter 4, Csikszentmihalyi explained that tright here are two key dimensions involved: difficulties and ability. For an task to be a circulation task, it should administer an obstacle that is slightly higher than our existing skill. This will certainly press us to a higher level of performance and also administer a sense of success. When the level of difficulties and also skill is mismatched, yet, it will certainly frequently lead to stress and anxiety or boredom. It is best described in the listed below diagram:


In this chapter, Csikszentmihalyi additionally mentions an exciting idea of autotelic personality (from the Greek αὐτοτελής or autotelēs. αὐτός or autos implies “self” and τέλος or telos indicates “goal”.) People through this personality tend to find it much easier to attain flow as compared to others.

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The crucial trait of this personality is one that is likewise evident in survivors of excessive adversity, called “nonself-conscious individualism”, or a strongly directed purpose that is not self-seeking. More definition:

People who have actually that top quality are bent on doing their ideal in all circumstances, yet they are not concerned mostly through advancing their very own interests. Since they are inherently urged in their actions, they are not quickly disturbed by exterior risks. With enough psychic power free to observe and also analyze their surroundings objectively, they have actually a far better chance of learning in them brand-new methods for action. (p. 92)

Similar to some of us are born via better muscle coordination or adaptability, some of us even more predisposed to have actually this trait. Even so, I’d prefer to believe that this is a trait that we can construct and nurture in ourselves.

Csikszentmihalyi additionally found that several types of activities such as sports, games, or art have the right to repetitively develop circulation. But since we can’t execute just sports, games, or art all the moment, it is vital to have the ability to transcreate various other types of tasks that we execute on a day-to-day basis to be a flow-inducing one. From chapter 5 to 8, Csikszentmihalyi discusses these activities: physical and/or sensory activities (e.g. listening to music, doing yoga) in chapter 5, symbolic skills activities (e.g. creating poeattempt, pursuing amateur scientific research) in chapter 6, occupational tasks (yes, work!) in chapter 7, and social tasks in chapter 8. There’s an interesting thing to note from chapter 7 in which he talks about the “paradox of work”. His studies reported that civilization have knowledgeable more flow while on the task as compared to in the time of leisure time, yet these very same people are also wishing for even more leisure time. Tright here are a number of viable explanations, yet the one highlighted in this book is that it is feasible that world ignore their very own circulation proficient at work-related and rather referred to the social and/or societal norm that “work-related is not intended to be enjoyable”; it is “supposed” to be a constraint to our cost-free time.

In any case, what I gather from these chapters is that any type of task, even the mundane ones, can be transdeveloped into a flow-inducing task by establishing a goal before commencing the task. For example, if we are going to listen to a song, we have the right to set the goal as “I want to discern what are the musical instruments offered in this song”. This goal will help us to focus and also pay attention to the activity and learn to reap the current endure. The goal need not be grand also or complicated, although it need to not be a competitive goal either or the attention will certainly be shifted to the competition rather. Approach the task through a spirit of adendeavor and also curiosity, through the goal to increase your level of skill!

The last two chapters talk about just how to usage flow to cope via stress or tragedies, and also just how to unify the experiences and also the self-enhancements got from miscellaneous flow activities to produce interpretation and cultivate a function in life. Csikszentmihalyi recommends reflection to assistance activity; prior to investing in a goal, it pays to sheight and also really questions whether if the goal is really somepoint worth doing, attainable, and also the majority of importantly, somepoint that you will gain (and obtain you in a flow state!).

Overall, I really prefer this book and also would certainly recommfinish it to anyone, particularly those that are presently struggling and/or experiencing adversity in their life. It really helps to lug everything into perspective that “every little thing may not be as poor as it seems”, that probably it’s just our perspective, and tbelow are actions that we have the right to require to cope through it. What I have actually learned many from this book is that the key to happiness does indeed come from within; it’s all in the perspective and also perspective that we use to look at our situation. It will certainly take time and also practice to attune them, but I think it is absolutely doable!

Tbelow are 240 peras on this book, not counting the notes and also references. It shouldn’t take me as well long to review, yet I uncovered myself needing to stop a few times to absorb and reflect on the ideas and also wisdom I learn from this book. It took me approximately 2 days to read this, so do allocate plenty of time if you arrangement to review this one for your summer reads!

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is located at Company Library or Humanities and also Social Sciences Library, through call number BF575.H27C958