“[I]n essence, what our life is consists [of] experiences related to work, to keeping things we already have from falling apart, and to whatever else we do in our free time. It is within these parameters that life unfolds, and it is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.” (emphasis added)
Summary: “Part psychology study and part self-help book, Finding Flow is a prescriptive guide that helps us reclaim ownership of our lives. The key, according to Csikszentmihalyi is to challenge ourselves with tasks that require a high degree of skill and commitment. Instead of watching television, play the piano; transform a routine task with a different approach. In short, learn the joy of complete engagement.” (inside cover, front flap)
I’m not sure where to start… Saying I loved this book might be an understatement. I had a hard time putting it down and found myself up late a number of nights reading it. Finding Flow changed the way I think about how I spend my leisure time dramatically. It made me realize that I’d come to believe (somewhat unconsciously) that spending my leisure time in passive pursuits would make me feel more rested and centered, when in actuality that’s not what my experience has shown.
Finding Flow is the kind of non-fiction I love to read – informative and actionable! It’s easy to make real changes in your life based on the overarching idea of increasing the number of flow experiences by increasing the amount of active v. passive leisure activities you pursue.
The metaphor of “flow” is one that many people have used to describe the sense of effortless action they feel in moments that stand out as the best in their lives. Athletes refer to it as “being in the zone,” religious mystics as being in in “ecstasy,” artists and musicians as aesthetic rapture. Athletes, mystics, and artists do very different things when they reach flow, yet their descriptions of the experience are remarkably similar.
None of this is hard to do since it simply means doing more of what you love. How’s that for fun personal development! After reading this book, I’ve found myself easily engrossed in active lesiure – writing, exploring new places in Dallas, getting my hands dirty in the yard, reading – leaving my DVR list to grow alone. I’m sure that I’ll go back to spending some time watching TV, but I’m really not missing it much at all.