|The authorís name may not be on the tip of your tongue but this is an important book and recommended reading. In the same way that The Timeless Way of Building defines the central quality of a pleasing environment, the book Flow defines the means to transform everyday experience into a harmony of mind and body.
For more than two decades Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has been studying states of "optimal experience" - those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment. These investigations have revealed what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow - a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to complete absorption in an activity.
Everyone experiences flow from time to time and will recognize its characteristics: People typically feel strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities. Both the sense of time and emotional problems seem to disappear, and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience reveals how this pleasurable state can, in fact, be controlled, and not just left to chance, by setting ourselves challenges-tasks that are neither too difficult nor too simple for our abilities. With such goals, we learn to order the information that enters consciousness and thereby improve the quality of our lives.
About the Author
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is professor and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. His previous books include Flow and The Evolving Self. Flow was shown on the 1993 NBC Super Bowl broadcast as the book that inspired Jimmy Johnson, then coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It was also a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club.