By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,

Book cover of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Book description

“Csikszentmihalyi arrives at an insight that many of us can intuitively grasp, despite our insistent (and culturally supported) denial of this truth. That is, it is not what happens to us that determines our happiness, but the manner in which we make sense of that reality. . . . The…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked Flow as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I started out my career path as an artist, and when creating art, I regularly got into a state of what is known as flow. Hours would pass before I realized that it was already deep into night and I should be at home.

We think we know what flow is but Csikszentmihalyi tells us what it really is—a combination of the right amount of challenge and skill. Flow describes a state when one experiences the ultimate form of creativity—when a person is so immersed in an experience that time doesn’t matter.

Learning why people pursue experiences that can get…

Flow is a groundbreaking book, embodying the ideal combination of depth and simplicity. A trendsetter from 2008, it offers readers a compelling case for the value of entering a ‘flow’ state—which can also be described as immersion or singletasking. Beautifully presented, memorable, and—yes—a life-changer. I learned from Mihaly that the impact of immersing in tasks is immeasurably profound.

From Devora's list on to singletask what matters most.

It is trite to say: this book changed my life… and maybe not accurate, maybe what this book did was profoundly alter my understanding of myself. I love this book. Csikszentmihalyi explains that when we are happy we are in Flow, which is an optimal state of challenge and success. One person might find it in tennis, another at work, another (my son) in video games. But some of us, know how to find it… and that, my dear, makes all the difference.

Want books like Flow?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Flow.

Browse books like Flow

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in attention, happiness, and psychology?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about attention, happiness, and psychology.

Attention Explore 12 books about attention
Happiness Explore 311 books about happiness
Psychology Explore 1,687 books about psychology