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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience



This book is about the concept of flow state, which is essentially a mental state in which you’re fully immersed in whatever you’re doing, characterised by complete absorption and enjoyment. Csikszentmihalyi also extends this concept into an exploration of happiness and fulfilment in our lives.

This was the first time I had explicitly come across the flow state and I guess it’s quite a profound thing to identify. I think I picked it up because I’d seen a lot of recommendations across the Internet and thought it sounded interesting.

I enjoyed this book a lot from what I can remember. Csikszentmihalyi’s arguments on happiness resonate and feel very valid along with his research. As I started to become more familiar with the concept as the book went on, I started to realise how valuable it can be for your own happiness and the impact it has in my own life. From time to time I do think about whether I’ve experienced flow states or what I can do to achieve that state. I think explicitly defined concept are always beneficial to know about especially when there’s good research behind it. I guess it just allows you to be more self-aware about the things you experience.

I feel like I learnt quite a lot from this book, so I’d definitely recommend especially if you’re into psychology and happiness in general. Regardless of whether you get on board with the concepts, there’s probably something you’ll find insightful.