Book Freak #22


Optimize Your Flow

Book Freak is a weekly newsletter with cognitive tools you can use to improve the quality of your life. In this issue we present advice from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s classic book about motivation, drive, and determination, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

To become interested in an activity, track your progress
“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”

Seize opportunities to challenge yourself
‘The best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. 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. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen.“

Don’t pursue success or happiness
“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”

Book Freak is one of four newsletters from Cool Tools Lab (our other three are the Cool Tools Newsletter, Recomendo, and What’s in my bag?).