Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Summary and Notes

“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”

Dan Silvestre


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Related: Finding Flow, Creativity, Deep Work, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Rise of Superman

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Flow Short Summary

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi takes on the problem of how to live a happier life. A meaningful life is one where the person spends his time in a state of optimal experience called Flow. To live a great life, all your goals must be unified in a way that produces the maximum amount of flow. A hard read but one that will challenge your beliefs on happiness.

Flow Summary

People often end up feeling that their lives have been wasted, that instead of being filled with happiness their years were spent in anxiety and boredom.

How can we make sure that our life is worth living?

By improving our experiences.

“Subjective experience is not just one of the dimensions of life, it is life itself.”

Happiness is not a constant state of mind. It must be cultivated and defended.

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

These experiences are universal to all cultures and time periods. The author defines them as Flow experiences.

Learning how to transform any task into a flow experience will be the key to unlock long lasting happiness.

But what is Flow?

What Is Flow?

“The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost.”

Flow is when you’re so invested in a project that you lose track of time. When you feel “in the zone”.

To achieve flow, you need 3 things:

  1. Realistic goals



Dan Silvestre

Performance coach helping leaders get the right things done with less effort than anything they've tried before. Join 20k+ readers: newsletter.dansilvestre.com