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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Everyone is fond of flow experiences. Flow experiences are the moments when we feel a renewed sense of being. We feel that we are indeed alive. All of our energy is focused on a single experience. And such experiences become the landmark memories in our minds. Triggered by this unmatched level of enjoyment, we look forward to such experiences even more.

A flow experience could be entering a new romantic relationship where everything feels perfect in the beginning, making a new piece of music that catches your fancy, or meeting an old friend after several years. Such flow experiences carry a different level of vibrant energy.

The ideas in this book show you how to take control of such flow experiences in life. Imagine how joyful you would become if you could have such experiences on demand. Although this will require active use of your skills and energy, this book will teach you how to have that optimum experience.

Once you attain the wisdom from this book, you’ll no longer chase short-lived pleasures like sex or power. You’ll be able to design your life for the optimum experience. Life will become more happening and meaningful.

About the Author

A Hungarian psychology professor, who emigrated to the United States. He recognised and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental state. He is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.

Great ideas from this book


1. If you want to be happy, chase goals.

2. Control your thoughts and you’ll be happy.

3. To enjoy life, break old patterns and have new experiences.

4. Stop wishful thinking and start taking action to realize your dreams.

5. Don’t chase shallow goals set by society.

6. Appreciate everything, because every good thing comes to an end.

7. Don’t wait for the future; chase your goals in the present.

8. Don’t give your power away to mystical things.

Stop being mediocre and aim for mastery in life.

9. Stop being mediocre and aim for mastery in life.


10. Control your instincts with activities that circulate your breath and ground you into your being.

Mental Toughness

11. Enjoy the journey to your goals if you want to survive external changes.

12. To become mentally tough, focus on progress toward your primary goals in life.


13. Set clear intentions to create opportunities.


14. Invest your attention wisely, because your attention determines the quality of your life.