What We Are Reading
March 2021

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

What is happiness? In this classic book from 1990, psychologist Csikszentmihalyi (easy for you to say) provides a compelling and grounded examination of this normally fuzzy and elusive subject. His concept of Flow, first coined in 1975, has been foundational to so much thinking around habits, motivation and peak performance. Flow happens when we are so engrossed in an activity that nothing else seems to matter, when we are stretched to our limits in an effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. While not always pleasurable in the moment, activities such as going on a challenging run, collaborating with team members on a difficult business problem, or even cleaning our messy garage are the types of moments that we look back on as our most enjoyable. A key reason is that these activities bring focus and “structure” to our consciousness, something our brain, naturally prone to states of chaos and disorder, craves.

HIGHLIGHT(S): For our careers to be satisfying, we should fill our work with as many Flow-type activities as possible. This means having clear goals, pushing our abilities to the limit and continually collecting feedback on our performance. No wonder WJM’s executive coaching clients are so happy :)

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Psychology-Experience-Perennial-Classics/dp/0061339202/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=flow&qid=1602697605&s=books&sr=1-1

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