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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

If you are in any competitive sports, read this book. If you play golf, tennis, or any other such sport as a hobby and you want to do better, read this book.

Flow refers to a state where you are totally absorbed in what you are doing. You lose self-consciousness. The one sure way to fail at a competitve endeavor is to be concerned with how you appear to others or how you are being evaluated. Your mental energy is drawn away from the competitive endeavor and what you need to be focused upon. You want to be in the flow. Not worried about your ego.

As Csikszentmihalyi says if you are playing a game of tennis and suddenly you start thinking about how you are doing overall, your concentration is broken. It will become really hard to win. You want to only focus upon each serve or return shot as you are making it. Not the one before or the next one. Not how great or how poorly you are doing.

You want this to happen naturally. You don't want to be saying to yourself, "I want to concentrate on each shot. I want to concentrate on each shot." You just want it to happen. The experience becomes, as Csikszentmihalyi calls it, an autotelic experience. What you are doing becomes an end in itself. And the best part of being in flow is that when you are in it, you will be enjoying yourself.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience is one of the best books ever if you want to understand human performance and what separates those who win from those who lose.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

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