Tag Archives: in the zone

Flow The Psychology of Optimal Performance Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Chapters 7 to 10) – Productivity Book Group

Productivity Book Group [ http://productivitybookgroup.org ] discussed the second half of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience [ http://amzn.to/1lE8nPz ] – by the renowned psychologist, Dr. Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi. Enjoy the discussion!


Dr. Czikszentmihalyi is currently Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He was formerly a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago for 31 years, also serving as the department head of psychology until 2000. As the father of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman, has said, Dr. Czikszentmihalyi is the world’s leading positive psychology researcher.

In 1990, he published, Flow, and I thought it would be good to explain his definition of “flow” and then we can get into the discussion.

Over the course of 900 interviews, Dr. C.’s analysis of happy people from all walks of life and professions around the globe, he started to hear a word being used for this condition of ecstatic absorption in one’s activity–”flow.” Flow is this effortless state of doing and can be defined by its parts. We may also know this in athletics terms as being “in the zone.”

Through Dr. C.’s research he has identified seven major components:

  1. Goals and rules of the activity are clear, not confusing, and not conflicting, with immediate, moment by moment feedback.
  2. Challenges of the activity are matched with the skills of the person.
  3. Duality of attention disappears; merged action and awareness. Think of this as absolute focus.
  4. Intensity of the present moment…creating a new reality…what he calls “escape forward”…moving you into a focus, productive modality.
  5. A confidence in your control of a experience.
  6. Ego defenses dissipate and you lose a sense of self-consciousness. After the activity, self-esteem increases; one of the paradoxes of flow.
  7. Time warps. More time passes than experience, or time slows down relative to reality.

These are the conditions most-often necessary to achieve flow in your life. Czikszentmihalyi aims in the book, Flow, to engage the reader in knowing as much about these components so that he or she can increase flow in everyday life.


FAVORITE QUOTATION

Here is my favorite quotation from Dr. Czikszentmihalyi’s Flow:

…instead of using our physical and mental resources to experience flow, most of us spend many hours each week watching celebrated athletes play in enormous stadiums. Instead of making music, we listen to platinum records cut by millionaire musicians. Instead of making art, we go to admire paintings that brought in the highest bid at the latest auction. We do not run risks acting on our beliefs, but occupy each day watching actors who pretend to have adventures, engaged in mock-meaningful action. This vicarious participation is able to mask, at least temporarily, the underlying emptiness of wasted time. But it is a very pale substitute for attention invested in real challenges. The flow experience that results from the use of skills leads to growth; passive entertainment leads nowhere. (p. 162)


The callers you hear in this episode are readers just like you, and you are more than welcome to join us on the live calls to discuss productivity books too! Please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and find out the details and the schedule for upcoming book discussion calls. If you plan to read ahead or read a little more slowly, please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and check out the schedule on the “Upcoming Books” page.

Please feel free to visit iTunes, Stitcher or whichever podcast directory or app you prefer to access Productivity Book Group…and feel free to review us there! This helps expand our readership and bring new discussion callers into the fold. Thank you.

Finally, all podcast episodes are archived at ProductivityBookGroup.org under “Episodes” so if you missed a call and want to review it, feel free to head over and give them a listen.

Our next reading selections are:

Note: All registered service marks, trademarks and other copyrighted materials mentioned on the podcast are that of their respective owners. This group is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by those copyright owners.

Flow The Psychology of Optimal Performance Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Chapters 1 to 6) – Productivity Book Group

Productivity Book Group [ http://productivitybookgroup.org ] discussed the first half of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience [ http://amzn.to/1lE8nPz ] by the renowned psychologist, Dr. Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi. Enjoy the discussion!


Dr. Czikszentmihalyi is currently Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He was formerly a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago for 31 years, also serving as the department head of psychology until 2000. As the father of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman, has said, Dr. Czikszentmihalyi is the world’s leading positive psychology researcher.

In 1990, he published, Flow, and I thought it would be good to explain his definition of “flow” and then we can get into the discussion.

Over the course of 900 interviews, Dr. C.’s analysis of happy people from all walks of life and professions around the globe, he started to hear a word being used for this condition of ecstatic absorption in one’s activity–”flow.” Flow is this effortless state of doing and can be defined by its parts. We may also know this in athletics terms as being “in the zone.”

Through Dr. C.’s research he has identified seven major components:

  1. Goals and rules of the activity are clear, not confusing, and not conflicting, with immediate, moment by moment feedback.
  2. Challenges of the activity are matched with the skills of the person.
  3. Duality of attention disappears; merged action and awareness. Think of this as absolute focus.
  4. Intensity of the present moment…creating a new reality…what he calls “escape forward”…moving you into a focus, productive modality.
  5. A confidence in your control of a experience.
  6. Ego defenses dissipate and you lose a sense of self-consciousness. After the activity, self-esteem increases; one of the paradoxes of flow.
  7. Time warps. More time passes than experience, or time slows down relative to reality.

These are the conditions most-often necessary to achieve flow in your life. Czikszentmihalyi aims in the book, Flow, to engage the reader in knowing as much about these components so that he or she can increase flow in everyday life.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Q1. What is “happiness” to you? And, what do you think about Dr. Czikszentmihalyi’s thoughts on happiness?

Q2. Can you describe times when you achieve flow?

Q3. How do you feel like you can manufacture more components of flow into your personal and family life?

Q4. Physical and mental improvement seem to be the easiest first step toward flow, according to the author. What ways can you “dip your toe” into flow this way?

Q5. How do you feel like you can create more opportunities for flow in your professional life?

Q6. Dr. C. talks about passive experiences, like watching TV where others are in a state of flow, as being counter to us finding our own states of flow. In what ways do you think we can achieve flow even during passive activities to make them active? And, how do we combat this cultural shift toward more sedentary, passive experience?


The callers you hear in this episode are readers just like you, and you are more than welcome to join us on the live calls to discuss productivity books too! Please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and find out the details and the schedule for upcoming book discussion calls. If you plan to read ahead or read a little more slowly, please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and check out the schedule on the “Upcoming Books” page.

Please feel free to visit iTunes, Stitcher or whichever podcast directory or app you prefer to access Productivity Book Group…and feel free to review us there! This helps expand our readership and bring new discussion callers into the fold. Thank you.

Finally, all podcast episodes are archived at ProductivityBookGroup.org under “Episodes” so if you missed a call and want to review it, feel free to head over and give them a listen.

Our next reading selections are:

Note: All registered service marks, trademarks and other copyrighted materials mentioned on the podcast are that of their respective owners. This group is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by those copyright owners.