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Friday, June 29, 2007

Book Review 4 - Finding Flow

Award-winning photo of orchid. Photo Credit
I've written previously about finding a meaning in your life (see my June 2006 Newsletter), or talked about Joseph Campbell and his by now world-renowned statement: follow your bliss, and so I thought that today's book review could focus on Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's Finding Flow.

The New York Times published this brief review of the book:

By JACQUELINE BOONE

In 13th-century French villages . . . the most common leisure pursuit was still that of picking lice out of each other's hair,'' Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wryly observes. ''Now, of course, we have television.'' In ''Finding Flow,'' Csikszentmihalyi, who teaches psychology and education at the University of Chicago, discusses how ''flow experiences'' - those ephemeral ''flashes of intense living'' that by seeming happenstance illuminate the ''dull background'' of everyday routine - can be consciously evoked to infuse everyday work, leisure and social activities with new meaning and significance. Csikszentmihalyi eloquently argues that living fully in the here and now requires that one heed the lessons of the past and acknowledge that today's most seemingly trivial acts inevitably have an impact on the future. Although the assertions occasionally smack of hyperbole and overgeneralization, Csikszentmihalyi's message encompasses an inspiring and challenging truth: that ''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.''

Interestingly, we find the author himself writing this about the book in Psychology Today which you can read by clicking on the link.

Previous Posts in the Book Review Series:

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