Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience – By: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Book Summary

Book Summary

Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience – By: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Eduttainable Idea 1

Work in a state of flow. Flow will provide you with opportunities to learn from challenges and enjoy your work. You have found flow when you are present. When you are consumed by work you love, time stands still. Flow is based on scientific research and experiments in human psychology. When you are in flow you are in the state of control. You are deliberate in your action and concentration. When you’re stretching yourself to accomplish something worthwhile, you move towards flow. Flow appears for me whenever I play sports. I enjoy squash, hockey and soccer. These sports allow me to use concentration and play to get results. Play is so important. When you are at play you have fun and enjoy what you do. Focused fun can be incorporated into your work. Take your job and approach it in a way that you’ll experience flow, embracing higher states of consciousness make challenge meaningful. When you are doing what you are challenged by and enjoy, you will be content.

“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.” says Csikszentmihalyi.

We consistently need new goals and challenges as we grow and allow ourselves to stretch. If your work makes up most of your life you should find something that allows you to experience flow. Really enjoy what you do. What if you increases flow in your life a little each day? How would you feel? To experience flow you need to listen to yourself and be honest.

Eduttainable Idea 2

Action creates flow. Once you set a goal, you need to measure it. Focus on what you’re doing and keep making finer distinctions. Look for opportunities to create flow when things become boring. In the workplace job redesign is required. Your job should resemble flow like activities.

“On the job people feel skillful and challenged, and therefore feel more happy, strong, creative, and satisfied. In their free time people feel that there is generally not much to do and their skills are not being used, and therefore they tend to feel more sad, weak, dull, and dissatisfied. Yet they would like to work less and spend more time in leisure. What does this contradictory pattern mean? There are several possible explanations, but one conclusion seems inevitable: when it comes to work, people do not heed the evidence of their senses. They disregard the quality of immediate experience, and base their motivation instead on the strongly rooted cultural stereotype of what work is supposed to be like. They think of it as an imposition, a constraint, an infringement of their freedom, and therefore something to be avoided as much as possible.” ” says Csikszentmihalyi.

If we transform our relationships into flow experiences, we improve our quality-of-life. Look for ways to improve your prospects state of flow. How can you make your prospects experience flow? If you can help your prospects experience flow, they will likely reciprocate. The best part of your job is when you’re experiencing flow. The easy way to find flow is to simply examine what you do when there are no demands on you or your time. What do you find yourself doing or focusing on that keeps you interested in learning? If you can find flow in your life you, even despair will be more tolerable. Finding a way to live harmoniously is the ultimate quest. When you’re not focused on yourself, you are able to solve problems. There’s two ways to handle obstacles or problems, one is to focus on the obstacles the other is to identify the obstacles and move them out-of-the-way so that you can get back to flow. It’s important to remember to set goals, be immersed, pay attention and learn to enjoy the experience happening right now.

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were. When we choose a goal and invest ourselves in it to the limits of concentration, whatever we do will be enjoyable. And once we have tasted this joy, we will redouble our efforts to taste it again. This is the way the self grows.

10,000 feet view

If you get absorbed in your work you are lucky. If you find yourself in flow then you are happy. The more flow can make you happy, the better you will generally feel. You should look for happiness opportunities at work wherever possible. How could you tweak your job to experience flow? What could you do differently this week that might make your job more fun? Do you have a job where you experience flow?

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Mark Latimer

Mark Latimer

Mark Latimer is the Host of the EDUTTAIN Podcast. Join us weekly as we interview leaders, speakers, authors and more.

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