“Csikszentmihalyi arrives at an insight that many of us can intuitively grasp, despite our insistent (and culturally supported) denial of this truth. That is, it is not what happens to us that determines our happiness, but the manner in which we make sense of that reality. . . . The manner in which Csikszentmihalyi integrates research on consciousness, personal psychology and spirituality is illuminating.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
The bestselling classic that holds the key to unlocking meaning, creativity, peak performance, and true happiness.
Legendary 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 ("the leading researcher into ‘flow states’" —Newsweek) 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, unlock our potential, and greatly improve the quality of our lives.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934-2021) was a professor at Claremont Graduate University and former chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. His books include Creativity, The Evolving Self and the national bestseller Flow.
"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
“Flow is important....The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge.” — New York Times Book Review
“Rethinks what motivates people.” — Newsweek
"An intriguing look at the age-old problem of human happiness." — Library Journal
“[A] passionate and eloquent defense...[of] intellectual as well as emotional commitment to pleasure, for society’s sake as well as our own.” — Booklist
“Csikszentmihalyi arrives at an insight that many of us can intuitively grasp, despite our insistent (and culturally supported) denial of this truth. That is, it is not what happens to us that determines our happiness, but the manner in which we make sense of that reality. . . . a deep cultural critique . . . the manner in which Csikszentmihalyi integrates research on consciousness, personal psychology and spirituality is illuminating.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Explore[s] a happy state of mind called flow, the feeling of complete engagement in a creative or playful activity” — Time magazine
“The insightful analyst Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argues that the key to gratification is completely absorbing work—he calls it ‘flow.’” — Salon.com