Sunday, July 24, 2016

== book: Flow - The Psychology of Optimal Experience ==

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics): Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: 9780061339202: Books

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: a state of complete involvement in what you are doing
also makes everyday activities more enjoyable.
Necessary preconditions:
  1. Clear Goals (long and short term, moment to moment)
    in some sports goals are clear; in most cases it is up to us to make clear goals,
    even in most boring and simple activities
  2. Immediate Feedback: even boring activities can be made more rewarding by making a game out of them, do the best, beat the time for example, do most efficiently & effectively, to be in control of the time that would be wasted otherwise
4 major benefits from Flow activities:
  • get control of your inner life: attention, moods, willpower
  • experience flow in everyday activities regardless of external conditions
  • learn how to develop increasingly complex self
  • put together everyday experiences into a meaningful life filled with serenity and satifaction
what makes real difference is not what you learn, but what you do to implement those ideas
to discover what makes people happy better learn from results of scientific research than slowly by trial and error

major components of flow;
  1. Clear Goals, both major and minor step by step, not confusing and contradictory
  2. Immediate Feedback: is what you are doing getting you closer to goals or not
  3. Challenges of activity are matched with skills of the person.
  4. When first 3 conditions are met, emerges felling of Focus and Concentration
    on what you are doing, instead of usual split attention
    Because of this focus you can achieve so much more when in flow state;
    feeling of inner harmony, great ease, spontaneous energy 
  5. because of focus, stops being aware of usual problems of everyday life
    they are removed from attention by focus, no worry about past and future
    The flow becomes an form of escape from reality, by creating new reality.
    Instead of "escape backward" by using drugs, alcohol that is repressing reality.
    In flow, we "escape forward" by creating a new reality by taking on new challenges and learning new skills 
  6. feeling to be in control of your life, but not in control since that would mean that your skills are higher than the challenge, but you are on an edge where control is possible by using your skills in their entirety
  7. loosing sense of self conciseness, loosing ego-defenses of everyday life; not warring what others think about our self, that is one of the worse feelings. In the flow you are so involved, that you can not wary what others think of you. Sense of transcendence, going beyond the limits of the self. While you forget yourself during the activity, typically reflecting after the flow activity increases self esteem, feeling good about your accomplishment.
    (a paradox of flow: you let your self go, and it returns stronger)
  8. sense of time seems to be transformed, loosing sense of passing time, time is condensed. Time adapts itself to your experience, timfee passes fast.
what is the difference between "pleasure" and "enjoyment"? (happiness)
enjoyable state of flow is quite different from what people think as a pleasure

pleasure is result of and it supports evolution:
 fill good when we eat to get enough nutrition,
 fill good having sex, to reproduce
pleasure does not require skills, but while it can help us survive it does not help us grow
pleasure can also be dangerous because can get addicted to it if not controlled

enjoyment from flow does not come from simply satisfying basic instincts,
but from recognizing new challenges, developing new skills we didn't have before
flow lead to growth and higher levels of complexity

To lead a happy life it is not enough to have a few isolated  happy experiences every now and then.
Instead, one can learn how to find enjoyment from any situation that may come up
To do so one must muster its conscientiousness  how to harness attention for your goals

Conscientiousness is an an important but a bit long word so I will short it to c16s
This means there is 16 letters between first c and last s.
"Mindfulness" is also a synonym for c16s sometimes.

c16s is responsible for everything that we are aware of and experience in our life.
It is like a flashlight that provides a focus on what we are currently attending.
Attention is an limited resource, there is only so much that we can attend in any given moment.
When there are too many things competing for out attention we have confusion and can not focus. 
If c16s is focused and ordered than anything we do can be enjoyable 
and we can accomplish what we want to achieve. 

Flow is based on "autotelic" experiences, those who are worth having for its own sake not for any other reason. Word autotelic is based on Greek words auto meaning self and telos meaning goal.
When in an autotelic experience, your c16s is in harmony and focused. 
It is important since it is when we feel most alive, when we are most completely ourselves. 
The more we can have such experiences, the better off we are. 
Autotelic people are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity.

Characteristics of "complex personalities", those who can get flow not only from select activities but from everything around them.
  • clarity of goals and clarity of feedback; knowing what you want to do in life and moment to moment
  • center, ability to focus, knowing how to avoid distractions and become one with what you are doing, have all of your attention, c16s under your conrol
  • choice, know that there is a variety of options, that you are not forced to do by events around you; you are doing it not because you have to do it but because you want to do it.
  • commit yourself, care for what you are doing, even for trivial things
  • challenge, you increase level as you muster previous challenge, always looking for more exciting

Flow (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Autotelic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A thing which is autotelic is described as "having a purpose in and not apart from itself". The word comes from the Greek αὐτοτελής autotelēs from αὐτός autos, "self" and τέλος telos, "goal"."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic

bool review:
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | PhilosophersNotes - OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson
"the flow state is (hint: get fully engaged in an activity that matches your skills with your challenge) and we’ll look at some other Big Ideas on controlling the contents of our consciousness to get out of anxiety and boredom as we create more flow experiences in our lives"

Takeaways from Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Corey Breier

video: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - YouTube

  • "chose what to focus on"
  • "do what you know"
  • skill / challenge axes:
    • flow: skill = challenge
    • boredom: skill > challenge
    • anxiety: skill < challenge

TED: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness - YouTube

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness - YouTube

Living in flow - the secret of happiness with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi at Happiness & Its Causes 2014 - YouTube


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