What is flow?

Learn about: What is flow? from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD,...
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What is flow?

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About 40 years ago, working with artists and physicians, I noticed how they can get completely lost in what they are doing. They forget that they are hungry or sleepy. They forget their problems because they are so involved in what they are doing. This experience I call the flow experience because people felt like they were carried away by something like a river carrying them. It's effortless and spontaneous. I spent the last 40 years studying this in different jobs like computer programmers or surgeons or teachers. I'm trying to look at how to apply it more in everyday life.

Learn about: What is flow? from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD,...

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD

Psychologist & Researcher

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was born in Italy of Hungarian parents. He came to the United States at age 22, became a psychologist, taught at the University of Chicago for 30 years and was Chairman of the Department of Psychology. Since 1999 he has been a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. Of the 13 books he wrote or co-authored, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience is the best known; it has been translated in 29 languages. He and his wife Isabella spend the summers in Montana, where the rest of the family comes to visit and hike in the mountains.

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