Books That Inspire 2005

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

We are all constantly faced with challenges—some difficult, some tedious—but few of us realize that the way we meet these challenges profoundly impacts the pleasure of our experience. According to Csikszent-mihalyi (pronounced “Chick-sent-me-high”), the key to optimal experience is found through a balance between one’s challenges and one’s skills. Too much challenge generates anxiety, too much skill creates boredom, but when in balance, we may enter a state of optimal experience called flow.

This book is invaluable because it offers a relatively simple method for turning a mundane existence into a more sublime state of being. When we are in flow (or in the zone, as athletes refer to it), time dilates (hours seem like minutes) and our actions become more effortless, efficient, and enjoyable. Our lives become more ordered and complex, and best of all, we are able to take more pleasure in the simple nature of our existence.
Claude Miller
Assistant Professor