Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1992

The Gist

The book is about being in the zone! Total involvement where the challenge only just exceeds our abilities and so we reach a state of fulfilment. 

What’s Good

A model for happiness based on a simple easily understood concept which applies to all of us. The author interviewed hundreds of people about their ‘optimal’ experience and when they felt most fulfilled.


One of the conditions for experiencing flow is immediate feedback which can be acted upon. Controlling the activity – whether its sport, cooking, a musical performance or any other challenge – and believing in your ability to do so is vital. When you’re in ‘flow’ time flies by and you become intensely focused. 

Something to Try

The author argues that if you constantly examine and process your feelings when under threat or experiencing trauma, you will cope poorly. Look for unexpected opportunities in every moment. Set goals and advance towards them.