Reddit Reddit reviews Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

We found 74 Reddit comments about Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
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74 Reddit comments about Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics):

u/RedRedRoad · 24 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Comprehensive List of Books Relating to Music Production and Creative Growth

<br />


On Composition:

<br />

Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies - Dennis DeSantis
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic book. Each page has a general idea on boosting creativity, workflow, and designing sounds and tracks.

Music Theory for Computer Musicians - Michael Hewitt
Amazon Link
Really easy to digest book on music theory, as it applies to your DAW. Each DAW is used in the examples, so it is not limited to a specific program. Highly recommend this for someone starting out with theory to improve their productions.

Secrets of Dance Music Production - David Felton
Amazon Link
This book I recently picked up and so far it's been quite good. It goes over all the different elements of what make's dance music, and get's quite detailed. More geared towards the beginner, but it was engaging nonetheless. It is the best 'EDM specific' production book I have read.

Ocean of Sound - David Troop
Amazon Link

Very well written and interesting book on ambient music. Not only does David go over the technical side and history of ambiance and musical atmospheres, he speaks very poetically about creating these soundscapes and how they relate to our interpersonal emotions.


On Audio Engineering:

<br />

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio - Mike Senior
Amazon Link
In my opinion, this is the best mixing reference book for both beginners and intermediate producers. Very in-depth book that covers everything from how to set-up for accurate listening to the purpose of each mixing and mastering plug-in. Highly recommended.

Zen and the Art of Mixing - Mixerman
Amazon Link
Very interesting read in that it deals with the why's more than the how's. Mixerman, a professional audio engineer, goes in detail to talk about the mix engineer's mindset, how to approach projects, and how to make critical mixing decisions. Really fun read.

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook - Bobby Owinski
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic companion book to keep around. Not only does Owinski go into great technical detail, he includes interviews from various audio engineers that I personally found very helpful and inspiring.


On the Industry:

<br />

All You Need to Know About the Music Business - Donald S. Passman
Amazon Link
This book is simply a must read for anyone hoping to make a professional career out of music, anyone wanting to start their own record label, or anyone interested in how the industry works. It's a very informative book for any level of producer, and is kept up-to-date with the frequent revisions. Buy it.

Rick Rubin: In the Studio - Jake Brown
Amazon Link
Very interesting read that is a semi-biographical book on Rick Rubin. It is not so personal as it is talking about his life, experiences, and processes. It does get quite technical when referring to the recording process, but there are better books for technical info. This is a fun read on one of the most successful producers in history.

Behind the Glass - Howard Massey
Amazon Link
A collection of interviews from a diverse range of musicians who speak about creativity, workflows, and experiences in the music industry. Really light, easy to digest book.


On Creativity:

<br />

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
Amazon Link
This is a must-read, in my opinion, for any creative individual. It is a very philosophical book on dealing with our own mental battles as an artist, and how to overcome them. Definitely pick this one up, all of you.

This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel S. Levitin
Amazon Link
A book written by a neurologist on the psychology of music and what makes us attached to it. It's a fairly scientific book but it is a very rewarding read with some great ideas.


On Personal Growth and Development:

<br />

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Amazon Link
Although this seems like an odd book for a music producer, personally I think this is one of the most influential books I've ever read. Knowing how to be personable, effectively network, and form relationships is extremely important in our industry. Whether it be meeting and talking to labels, meeting other artists, or getting through to A&amp;R, this book helps with all these areas and I suggest this book to all of you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
Amazon Link
Similar to the recommendation above, although not directly linked to music, I assure you reading this book will change your views on life. It is a very engaging and practical book, and gets you in the right mindset to be successful in your life and music career. Trust me on this one and give it a read.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Amazon Link
You know the feeling when you're really in the groove of jamming out and all worries tend to slip away for those moments? That is the 'Optimal Experience' according to the author. This book will teach you about that experience, and how to encourage and find it in your work. This is a very challenging, immersive, and enlightening read, which deals with the bigger picture and finding happiness in your work and life. Very inspiring book that puts you in a good mindset when you're doing creative work.

The Art of Work - Jeff Goins
Amazon Link
A very fascinating book that looks at taking your passion (music in our case) and making the most of it. It guides you on how to be successful and turn your passion into your career. Some very interesting sections touching on dealing with failure, disappointment, and criticism, yet listening to your intuition and following your passion. Inspiring and uplifting book to say the least.


Happy reading!

<br />

u/Ubiquitous_Cacophony · 20 pointsr/Games

I've heard it called tacit knowledge before, as /u/Luckater already mentioned. I've also seen it referenced, assuming you're somewhat good at the game (and getting "in the zone") as a flow state.

u/mysticreddit · 20 pointsr/gamedev

Disclaimer: A down-vote is NOT "I disagree", but this post adds nothing interesting.

First, you'll probably want to read last year's thread:

  • What's the most important thing you've learned about UI design?

    My speciality is Graphics, Fonts, User Experience, and User Interface. I don't have any portfolios / demos (ATM) but I can give some advice. Here are my thoughts &amp; wisdom I've collected over 20 years. (You may notice some of this in the above thread -- I'll try not to overlap too much.)

    IMO, there are 2 levels to UI:

    Low-Level code

    Traditionally, UI was given to the "junior" programmers because it wasn't as "sexy" as the main game development (Physics, AI, Rendering, Audio, Networking). Translation: It wasn't "mission critical", plus you couldn't really 'screw it up'.

    Casey Muratori (Handmade Hero) has an article on UI called Semantic Compression that discusses how to write clean UI code. You'll notice that UI design &amp; implementation using OOP, DD (Data Driven), and/or DOD (Data-Orientated-Design) are pretty boring to most people.

    The best way to understand UI is to

  1. Implement it.
  2. Analyze it
  • What are the strengths?
  • Weaknesses?
  • How rigid is it?
  • How flexible is it?
  • How many hacks did you use?
  • How much did you over-engineer it?
  • How simple it?

    UI isn't just about the parts though -- it is about the sum of the parts. Which leads me to my next point:

    High Level Psychology

    This is a huge topic -- I'll go over the basics.

    0. Purpose of UI

    The zeroth rule of UI is:

  • The sole purpose of UI is to get out the way and empower the user to do what they want.

    Far too many people focus on (useless) Form over Function. A great UI can't save a bad game, but a great game can be hurt by bad UI.

    1. Frame-rate

    First, IMO, if you don't understand the difference between 120 Hz, 60 Hz, and 30 Hz, you shouldn't be doing UI. Go buy a 120 Hz "gaming monitor". Learn about micro-stuttering -- when a solid 60 Hz momentary drops down to 30 Hz for one frame and then back up. I'd recommend starting here: DF Retro: Daytona USA and Why Frame-Rate Has Always Mattered

    Second, if you aren't targeting at least 60 Hz in your UI, you're doing it wrong. Nothing says amateur hour more then crappy 30 Hz -- it tells people you don't a) know, or b) care about the fundamentals. Again, I'd recommend watching these videos demonstrating judder:

  • OWE my eyes @ 24 fps

  • Silky smooth @ 60 fps

    Third, learn about blending, or easing equations. Robert Penner's easing equations are the classic, badly written, buggy, unoptimized ones, but they are good enough to get you started.

    2. S:N:~N

    The secret to good UI is understanding the S/N/~N ratio -- Signal:Noise:Anti-Noise.

    What are these?

  • You've probably heard of Signal -- that is the actual text or UI elements that the user can interact with. You could think of this as: Function.
  • The Noise is all the non-interactive stuff. "Fluff" such as backgrounds, etc. You could think of this as: Form.
  • What you probably haven't heard of is "Anti-Noise". You could think of this as Whitespace. Without whitespace all the signal and noise would overlap!!

    IMO, it is the contrast between signal-and-noise that makes for good UI. What do I mean by that? Here is an example -- a plain data table.

    |no background contrast|makes it hard to read|
    |Everything blends in|... yuck|

    The problem is TOO much signal effectively becomes noise. Hmmm.

    Compare and contrast, literally, with a table that has alternative background colors for even &amp; odd rows. We have effectively added in Anti-Noise. We have used "pacing" or "flow" to the signal so that it is no longer monotonous. I'll add a link about flow in a minute.

    This is the kind of thinking that entails good UI:

  • How can you present information to the user without overloading them?
  • How can you make the non-obvious intuitive?

    To learn about UI you'll need to play games. Start breaking the UI down.

  • What feels natural?
  • What feels "hard" and takes longer then it should?
  • What would I change? Why?

    3. Flow

    Most games have a crappy UI because the user's experience from their POV was never a focus -- it is, sadly, usually an afterthought.

    I'm not talking basic widgets such as:

  • Text entry
  • Radio buttons
  • Drop drown menus
  • "Flashy" 3D menus
  • etc.

    I'm specifically talking about "Flow" -- what is the psychology of the gamer. That is, what are they thinking and feeling when:

  • Your game starts up?
  • How many useless splash screens do they have sit through before they can get to the main menu? Why do they have to watch them ... every .. single ... bloody .. time at startup???
  • How many clicks does it take for them to actually get back into their game from a save game.
  • How many unskippable cut-scenes do you make them sit through? Why do you not respect their time???
  • Are things laid out logically and consistently?
  • Does your game have a HUD?
  • If so, is it cluttered?
  • Are users able to re-arrange it to their needs?

    World of Warcraft was of one first triple AAA game to take UI serious. That was the pivotal, historical, moment when games progressed from stage 2 to stage 3.

  • Hardware -- Can the raw hardware do what we envision? Mobiles have more then enough "horsepower" these days.
  • Software -- Can we implement the algorithms? Yes, we've "solved" most of the "hard" problems like photo-realistic rendering, "good" AI, good physics, minimizing lag, etc.
  • User Experience -- UI is not only about empowering the user -- but about the converse: What can we do to not piss off the user? i.e. Why do we make them click 4 times when 2 will do?

    IMO UI really is the last frontier in game development. It is about the level of polish that takes a good game and helps turn it into a great game.

    Hopefully this has given you some ideas to explore, to research, to learn about !
u/[deleted] · 18 pointsr/leagueoflegends

You might be interested in this book called Flow,

It is 90% fluff but the 10% is really worth it. Just explains how the structure, feedback and difficulty of things like video games creates a perfect framework for getting in the zone.

I guess I'll just spoil the book ands ave you $10,

Basically, if you ask people when they are happiest they might talk about days off or sitting around on the beach but the studies in the book demonstrate people are happiest when they are engaging in work that is appropriately challenging and rewarding, what they term flow.

To reach this, there are 3 basic ideas

Properly defined structure, such as rules to a game and definition of winning and losing.

Proper feed back, whether doing good or bad it helps to have a constant re-enforcement.

Proper challenge. If an activity is too easy, it is boring, too hard and it is frustrating.

To me, humans evolved to seek this state of mind. Video games just scratch that itch in a way that real life has a hard time competing with.

u/LieutenantJesus · 15 pointsr/reactiongifs

The times you're doing well, you're probably falling into a flow state and kicking ass. I found I was able to do really well playing CS:S right after a run back in highschool. I experience the same thing in Rocket League, where I'm able to read my opponenets really well and make great plays one hour, and that skill degrades over the next day or two until I take a break. When I come back, I clean house for an hour or two and then the decline begins again.

[Check out this article on flow states.] ( Something I found very frustrating was how "random" I seemed to do well, and how the next day, I'd do WORSE. This still happens to this day, and this article touches on some of the mechanics behind that phenomenon.

If this is intriguing to you at all, I'd suggest you pick up the book "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I'm still working my way through it, but it's considered one of the best books on the subject to date.

u/gravityrider · 14 pointsr/MTB
u/aiguilledumidi · 8 pointsr/brasil

Tenho TOC, o que mais me incomodava eram os pensamentos intrusivos, as vezes eu via claramente eu matando as pessoas, mesmo da família, eram pensamentos bem gráficos, não só pessoas como animais também. Tenho tiques também, seja de olhar pro relógio e ver alguns números, ou colocar e tirar e colocar e tirar e colocar e tirar a chave do buraco da porta ou do carro, apagar e acender luzes, movimentos com os olhos, e mais um monte de coisa, inclusive escrever, apagar e escrever de novo, se for a mão, eu reescrevo em cima, meu caderno sempre foi cheio de palavras com a escrita grossa devido as repetições. Pensamentos que me via agarrando as pessoas e tascando-lhes beijos calientes, mesmo com minha vó, era só eu conversar com alguém que aquele pensamento vinha, podia ser meus pais, meu professor, qualquer pessoa que eu conversasse, o pensamento vinha. Ou até mesmo os pensamentos sexuais, seja na rua, seja onde for, eles apareciam, era só ver um rabo de saia e lá estava meu pensamento.

Uns 2-3 anos atrás comecei a me interessar como funcionava a mente, comecei a ler sobre Flow, porém não terminei, o livro é cheio de explicações que eu não entendia nada. Depois fui indo mais pro lado da meditação e mindfulness, comecei a ler sobre também, li esse que me abriu bem a cabeça em relação aos pensamentos e medos (muita gente pode falar "AH MAS É AUTO AJUDA", eu sei, mas pra quem ta na merda, qualquer coisa pode ajudar) hoje leio esse livro, é voltado tanto para pacientes como para terapeutas, ele explica bastante coisa sobre ansiedade, medos, tem exercícios também, fala bastante de mindfulness que seria atenção plena, tem bastante livro sobre isso, estou nele há um bom tempo já, mas quero ir até o final.

Cheguei a ler um livro sobre TOC mesmo, depois de ler os outros, esse chegou em hora certa para mim, como eu já sabia mais ou menos como o TOC agia em mim, eu lia as coisas e pensava "po, o cara em tal livro tinha falado disso", só que eu não conseguia ver como usar aquilo no TOC, eu recomendo MUITO esse livro pra quem tem TOC.

Hoje faço tratamento com fluoxetina (luvox 150mg) e psicoterapia, eu comecei a fazer e não estava em crise, já estava tomando o remédio há uns 3 meses, a terapeuta mesmo diz que hoje eu estou super bem, e eu mesmo percebo isso (eu também tinha fobia social). Acho que o auto conhecimento é super importante quando você se trata de um distúrbio mental, pra saber como como ele funciona e poder reagir a ele.

A minha terapeuta fala bastante de não se deixar levar pelos pensamentos, de estar sempre presente. Eu quando começo a pensar em coisas que sei que não são reais, ou são dúvidas do TOC, eu falo pra mim mesmo que aquilo não é real e é fruto do TOC. O que me ajuda bastante também é identificar o que é TOC e o que não é, assim eu sei quando devo me preocupar com alguma coisa ou não.

Se quiser conversar mais só mandar mp.

TLDR: Contei minha trajetória na minha guerra contra o TOC, recomendei livros e como faço pra evitar me levar pelos pensamentos.

u/johnfn · 8 pointsr/AdvancedProduction

As much as I want to agree with this, I've always found the whole dictum of 'discipline' to be kinda... lacking. Let me tell you an anecdote.

if I'm good at anything in my entire life, it's probably programming. I've been doing it for 15 years or so. I've made popular games, websites, worked for multiple companies, gainful employment, open source projects with hundreds of thousands of downloads, blah blah blah. Not trying to brag, just trying to get across the point that I am indeed competent.

Anyways, I hear people on Reddit saying that you need discipline and that you should just force yourself to do it even if you don't want to. Thing is, did I use discipline to get as good as I am at programming?


I do programming because I enjoy it. Programming is one of the most fun activities that I do. Heck, I was programming just now (at 2AM) before I switched over to Reddit to troll some people - err, I mean respond to your post. :) Just doing some fun little side work, and enjoying myself. There's nothing disciplined about what I was doing. I didn't force myself to open up my IDE. I just did, because it's fun. This is 100% the essence of what makes me a good programmer.

And so when I see everyone on Reddit saying that discipline is the way to enlightenment, I get sad. Because if I had followed that ideology instead of doing the stuff that I enjoy, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Humans aren't robots. If you take a guy and force him to do with discipline an activity he isn't really enjoying, he's still not going to enjoy it. He'll feel bad that he doesn't like it, and he'll get distracted and disappointed in himself for getting distracted, and etc etc.

If you take a guy and let him do an activity he wants to do, you won't have to force him or make him disciplined. He'll just do it automatically and get good at it.

The great thing about it is that you can really learn to enjoy almost any activity by learning how to get into flow state while doing it. There's been a couple of good books written on it.

Now if Reddit had chosen to focus on flow, rather than discipline, as the way to get good and steady improvements, then that would have been awesome! But they didn't, and that makes me disappointed. Not to write off discipline entirely, as it's important to know that not every time you do something is going to be as amazing as the first time. And discipline can sometimes lead to flow states.

The problem is that Reddit seems to celebrate 'forcing yourself to work'. That, to me, is incredibly dumb. If you're not enjoying your work, that means that something about your workflow is incorrect and needs to be fixed. It's like trying to continue to drive with a flat tire. Eventually you could cause damage if you don't figure out what's going on.

Anyone who does that is going to get rapidly surpassed by people that don't need to force themselves to do anything because they do it for the love of it.

u/_ajp · 8 pointsr/MTB

Yes, exactly. Like any sport such as tennis, or any hobby for example where you feel connected to the device. It's called "flow" and a great book on the subject is this:;qid=1540489702&amp;sr=8-2

u/smoktimus_prime · 8 pointsr/spikes

&gt; I really don't want to give up on standard, as I really enjoy this game, but should I compromise my personal feelings in order to achieve better results?

Eh, if you're not into the deck you are playing, you will always put up subpar results because you will not achieve a "flow state". Flow ( is essential for maximum performance in any game or sport.

I'd suggest that you just scour more videos, articles and mtgtop8 results until you find something that appeals to you. Proxy/use tappedout. What appealed to you most about Jund decks of last standard? They don't play the same, but there's a number of competitive Walker builds out there, and IMO Nissa seems criminally underplayed rightnow after making a big splash before rotation.

I have also been struggling to find a deck I like until I settled on Mardu Midrange very recently and am really enjoying it.

u/PlumpFish · 7 pointsr/Discipline

You are not alive so that you may entertain yourself as much as possible and then die. You are meant for more. The search for more- discovering, then rediscovering why you're here, what your gifts are, this will last your whole life.

Discipline helps you accomplish something. But you need to figure out what to accomplish. The good and bad news is nobody knows. This is yours, and everyone's internal journey.

Use your gifts, involve other people. Are you a good singer? Sing for others. Are you a good cook? Cook for others. Are you strong? Help people move. Are you smart? Create an app, invest wisely, cure a disease. Are you really good at shooting a rubber-band from your fingers? Make youtube videos about it. Perform for sick kids in hospitals. It doesn't matter how big or small your gifts are. Share them.

I will give you an example from my life. I'm in my early 30's. I'm a good writer and speaker. My goal in life is to help others feel less alone. My strong social senses are insight and empathy. I like making others laugh, I like challenging regularly accepted ideas and tinkering with fringe ideas. So- I write friends letters, emails, Facebook messages to connect with them. I write funny personal essays and read around my city/online. I exercise to be confident/attractive (enough) to the opposite sex. I volunteer at Special Olympics coaching soccer. I seek out people going through hard times and connect with them, look them in the eyes and allow them to be who they are. I volunteer at the skid row mission. All of this helps and strengthens my soul. But for money, I program. I chose programming because I can enter Flow states during it, so even though it's work and can often suck, it can be really rewarding. Read Flow and design aspects of your life around it: It's taken me my entire life to figure all of this stuff out about myself, and I'm still learning and growing. One day I may hate all of this.

Let me give you some examples of where I lack discipline: I wanted to write a book 5 years ago. I started it, never finished. Discipline will help me finish it, but knowing myself was what allowed me to know I had the ability to write and something worth saying. Also, some days I just play video games for 10 hours. I ignore everything. Discipline helps limit/reduce those days.

I want you to think about the idea of production and consumption. When you watch TV/Youtube, you are consuming. Reading a book, consuming. Eating pizza, consuming. If you make your parents spaghetti, you're producing. Paint a picture, producing. Arrange flowers into a bouquet and then give them to someone, producing. Find a good balance in your life between these things. Everyone is different. The fact that you wrote this post makes me think you're a little high on consumption and a little low on production. Decide how you're going to change, then use discipline to execute those changes.

u/pickup_sticks · 7 pointsr/intj

Sounds like you're in a flow state, which is awesome. A couple books you might like:

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

u/proper_vibes · 7 pointsr/ZenHabits

Yes, and I was completely baffled to see the link gives no reference or credit to the man who has done much of this research. Just because his name is damn near impossible to spell is no reason not to credit the author. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Flow

u/Meeseekslookatmee · 6 pointsr/Stoicism

Whenever I see posts like this I recommend this book (not necessarily stoic). It's basic premise is that its all in your head and with the right attitude you can find enjoyment (even fulfillment) from something as mundane as folding the laundry.;amp;qid=1557777574&amp;amp;s=gateway&amp;amp;sr=8-1

u/msleeduon · 5 pointsr/atheism

Ya know, you can have what he has without the woo.

  1. Start a meditative practice. There's nothing mystical about the benefits of meditation.

  2. Try to approach everything you can on as best faith terms as possible. Optimism and pessimism are actually learnable traits. Pessimists are more realistic (there' research to demonstrate that, but I don't care enough to find the link at the moment) but optimists are happier and do better. Honestly? Be an optimist.

  3. Develop a pace by which you do everything. A rhythm. Concentrate on trying to keep that steady pace in everything you do, from getting up to brushing your teeth to going to work to dealing with the kids. It makes it easier to get into a flow of life.

  4. Establish your flow. Learn to get into that relaxed state of mind where working on something feels like a pleasure.

  5. One of the best exercises we can ever do: write down on the left side of a piece of paper (with several lines of space between each one): work, friends, romantic relationship, hobbies, career, community service. On the right side next to each, name some goals. Now take all of those goals and ask yourself, "what positive qualities would I need to achieve these goals? Patience? Courage? Sacrifice? Compassion?

    Now take those qualities you've focused on, and find 2-3 ways of applying them in your life every day. Bonus: keep a journal. Right it down. Over time, you train yourself to become the person you want to be.

    You can do what your friend did without sacrificing your intellectual integrity.
u/housefromtn · 5 pointsr/SSBM

Squid and Dr. PP both recommend the art of learning, and the inner game of tennis and they're both godlike so I'd take their advice. Flow is really good too.

Something cool you could do is get into chess. I only played chess seriously for a few months really, but I feel like it gave me another angle to think about tactics and strategy in. Chess is really fun and it'll give you that same competitive brain feeling melee does without killing your hands.

/r/chess has lots of guides about how to get into the game and stuff. There's lots of cool websites now like where you can do tons of tactics training puzzles that are really fun and make the learning curve for beginners a lot less steep than it was back in the day when chess books were the only option(which are great, but it's really hard as an absolute beginner to sit down with a chess book and actually make it through it).

If you're already like 2100 fide rated or some shit then just ignore this lol.

u/melvinkoopmans · 5 pointsr/sleep

During sleep you're in an altered state of consciousness which prevents you from being aware of your surroundings. It seems like your perception of time is much influenced by different types of sensory information (such as vision, sound, hearing). Since you're no longer consciously aware of that information from the environment, there is no way for the brain to determine the time between constituent events.

Alterations of the perception of time also occur when people are intensely focused on a task, which makes it seem like time is speeding up. Psychologist call this mental state *flow*, which is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time. If you find this interesting I highly recommend Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

What is also interesting, is the fact that a lot of people report time distortions after taking psychedelics or cannabis. This probably also has to do with a different awareness of the order of events which in turn distorts the perception of time. For instance people experience dilation of time; the feeling that time has slowed down. This commonly occurs during intense hallucinogenic experiences and seems to stem from the fact that during an intense trip, abnormally large amounts of experience are felt in very short periods of time. People also experience the opposite effect, speeding up of time. This commonly occurs under the influence of certain stimulating compounds and seems to at least partially stem from the fact that during intense levels of stimulation, people typically become hyper-focused on activities and tasks in a manner which can allow time to pass them by without realizing it.

And what is even more bizarre is the experience of time reversal, reported in many psychedelic experiences. This is the perception that the events, hallucinations, and experiences that occurred around one's self within the previous several minutes to several hours are spontaneously playing backwards in a manner which is somewhat similar to that of a rewinding VHS tape.

It's a fascinating complex subject, full of unanswered questions ;)

u/chexee · 4 pointsr/financialindependence

Not sure why this hasn't been mentioned yet: if you are unhappy and bored at work, being FI might also prove a challenge. Financial independence in itself will probably not be fulfilling. You'll need to create your own meaning now.

Use this as an opportunity to figure out what you care about and explore your passions. Knowing this will prepare you for FI and life in general :)

I'd highly recommend this book:

u/officegrappling · 4 pointsr/bjj
u/xOrder69 · 4 pointsr/DecidingToBeBetter

I suggest you read this book and make the commitment to start working on yourself. In the end you are the only person who can do anything about your situation.

u/americaeverything · 4 pointsr/financialindependence

I've been reading books on productivity for a long time, after reading about the concept of "flow" for the (seemingly) millionth time I went ahead and bought the book. I'm about 100 pages in (started it three days ago) and it's rapidly changing the way I look at life and work. Every situation is different, but on the long journey to FI it's 100% worth looking at a change now to make the rest of the journey more enjoyable. A lot of people on this sub will express a similar sentiment as the previous sentence, "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" seems to flesh out the nuts and bolts of how we'd go about doing that.

"Anyone have some cheese to go with this whine??"

No cheese necessary, the daily thread is a perfect place to vent :D

u/shafq123 · 4 pointsr/Existentialism

i agree with many of your thoughts

the idea that happiness/success is the "unintended side effect" of pursuit has stuck with me ever since i read it

i think your definition of happiness is more correct as a definition as pleasure, and interestingly, if you look at the neurotransmitters involved (seratonin for happiness, dopamine for pleasure) it seems to fit this distinction

This is a good image to explain what I'm trying to talk about

Another thing to add to your readings, if you haven't come across it yet, is Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

u/ScotchDream · 3 pointsr/JordanPeterson

&gt;Finding work that is meaningful is crucial for me.

The work isn't meaningful. You make it meaningful by the way of doing it. Wanna learn how? Read this.

u/thegreatcollapse · 3 pointsr/gamedev

The suggestions from /u/random (wow that username!) are both great books and you should also check out Ralph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Though not specific to game design, you might also be interested in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

u/HungarianHoney · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

Have you read the book? I had a psychology professor assign it for reading back in the day and I was always grateful to have been introduced to this concept. It's good to be in a flow state of mind.

That's why I aerial dance and rock climb and ski. With these activities you'd better "flow"..... or you could die.

u/RainbowNowOpen · 3 pointsr/programming

Great share. Thanks.

I recommend anyone interested in the idea of being "in the zone" and its importance read up on the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He is the father of the concept of "flow" in psychology and the book to read is called Flow from 1990 (but it's truly timeless stuff).

u/NotFromReddit · 3 pointsr/DecidingToBeBetter

I don't know his specific situation. For option 1, read this book: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Learn how to enjoy anything. You don't have to read the whole thing; Just cherry pick the chapters that seem applicable to you.

u/PuffAngel · 3 pointsr/40something

If you have Netflix there's a documentary called Happy that's all about this. Very informative. We're hard-wired to search for the next thing. Once our basic needs are covered we still feel like something is missing. I don't think it's necessarily a midlife thing except that's usually when people notice it I suppose.

People who are happy in their life have what's called flow. Dunno if you're a reader but the book I'm currently reading explains it better than I could.

Hope that helps :)

u/MihalyOnLife · 3 pointsr/bjj

Flow is just something that happens when preparedness and skill level is closely tracking difficulty level. Ever read [this?] (

I don't want to promote myself as a definitive cheerleader because honestly this is just a username I chose semi-randomly when I joined Reddit like most people do, but the concepts are really interesting because the implication is that being under-challenged and over-challenged do not lead to flow. Which can serve as a kind of guideline on both how to roll (and who to roll) and more generally, on how to live your life--pursuing challenges not just because you think you're supposed to, or because there is some great reward at the end, but because the process itself will tend to be more engaging and kind of meditative if you do.

u/ER10years_throwaway · 3 pointsr/financialindependence

Amazon links are totally cool...we just discourage affiliate marketing in this sub.

Here's your link:


If I'm not mistaken, that "UTF8&amp;qid=" in an Amazon link means that the URL has an affiliate account code built in. Thought since you posted the link it might be your affiliate account.

BUT...somebody else please chime in if I'm wrong about the code. Been a while since I dabbled in Amazon affiliate marketing, and I'm sure there have been changes.

u/__Taixx · 3 pointsr/collegeinfogeek

I want to read it too! Of course like the other person said, the book won't change your life, but what you do with the knowledge the book offers you. If you're interested in self help books you might also be interested in Flow by by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He's one of the people that helped setup positive psychology. I'm still in the beginning, but I already had a major break through before chapter 1! Highly recommended.

u/LimePunch · 3 pointsr/CruciblePlaybook

It is, and the harder you try to get into the zone the further away you get.

There's about 20 years of research on the concept of flow, I would highly suggest reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's seminal novel Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience if you're interested in how it actually works.

u/dexulinu · 3 pointsr/Meditation

What you are describing is called "Flow" and there are several books on this topic, the most important one is this one:

u/Numero34 · 3 pointsr/Eco_Fascism

I'm pretty analytical and one aspect of meditation that is understated or perhaps not understood as well as it should be, is it's connection to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow theory.

In Mihaly's Flow, he states this interesting fact:

&gt;At this point in our scientific knowledge we are on the verge of being able to estimate how much information the central nervous system is capable of processing. It seems we can manage at most seven bits of information—such as differentiated sounds, or visual stimuli, or recognizable nuances of emotion or thought—at any one time, and that the shortest time it takes to discriminate between one set of bits and another is about 1/18 of a second. By using these figures one concludes that it is possible to process at most 126 bits of information per second, or 7,560 per minute, or almost half a million per hour. Over a lifetime of seventy years, and counting sixteen hours of waking time each day, this amounts to about 185 billion bits of information. It is out of this total that everything in our life must come—every thought, memory, feeling, or action. It seems like a huge amount, but in reality it does not go that far.

After understanding this, I realized that the benefit of meditation, when it comes to increasing your ability to focus your attention, comes from decreasing the unnecessary clutter/chaos of your wandering mind that ends up wasting your available processing power.

Philosophically I would say that this sort of mindset of developing/controlling your focus and attention is also strongly connected to Stoicism, where the life worth living is one lived virtuously and not getting hung up on things that are out of your control.

u/SpaceEnthusiast · 3 pointsr/DeadBedrooms

He sounds like a man who is really struggling with who he is. It's not only that he's depressed but right now he probably doesn't see anything good for himself in this world. He probably feels awful about himself. When you are unhappy with who you are, you will have a tough time to be happy with someone else.

There is a great book called Flow and I think it's an absolute must for him (and for you perhaps). Reading the book and internalizing what I read really helped me break a bad cycle of depressions.

u/jcruzyall · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

My best work in technology usually happens when I'm not grinding away at something, but when I have time to step back and see the bigger picture and think about alternatives and what I'm really trying to accomplish in code, process, or architecture. Once you know that, it's easier to look away for a little while rather than trying to grind through every problem purely through spending time at the keyboard. Also, it's taken me a while to accept that I have physical and mental limits - we all do - that I can push at times, but can't push indefinitely without breaking myself or something else. The book "Flow" gave me a lot of useful perspective about how to structure thinking and working time to do the most good while doing the least damage.

u/noloze · 3 pointsr/investing

I'll give you some books to use as a starting point. You want to start out as generally as possible and then follow what interests you. Someone can give you a list of top books, but if they don't fascinate you enough to really dig in deep and reflect on them to sate your own curiosity, you'll just be scratching the surface. I don't care what it is, you can make money anywhere in the markets. So starting generally will help you find out what direction to go.

So, that said, these are the ones I'd recommend starting out with

Some less conventional ones I really liked

Chaos theory describes some properties that pop up again and again in markets. I really liked this one.

I also highly recommend finding a few good books on behavioral investing, just to get acquainted with the common mistakes investors make (how you can avoid them, and how you can exploit them). I don't have a lot here because the books I read are outdated and you can find better. So one example:

But in general reading about psychology will help you understand the world better, and that's always a good thing.

u/infinityedge007 · 3 pointsr/taoism

A good description of wu wei from a non-Taoist, western perspective is the Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.

From the wiki:

&gt; In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."[12]

u/Panic_Mechanic · 2 pointsr/booknfto

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
This book is by a Hungarian-born American psychology prof on his work of what is most popularly known as "being in the zone".

u/Stolichnayaaa · 2 pointsr/whatstheword

I have heard the term "zen" used as a shorthand for this feeling. But that is broad.

Another term may be the neologism "flow" as described in this book:

u/STICKballWIZARD · 2 pointsr/zen

Flow is quite literally one of the few sensible and truly useful things I've ever encountered. The denizens 'round here don't take kindly to it. Please, check out the original book Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It's the most elegant and objective description of psychology and humanity I've ever seen.

u/Mattximus · 2 pointsr/DecidingToBeBetter

I also recommend Flow

u/Pu_Pi_Paul · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Learn how to Flow. Pretty much the author says, when something requires the right amount of 1) difficulty and 2) creativity, you flow. One result of flow, besides life fulfillment, is time seems to travel faster. How cruel really

u/shroomtat · 2 pointsr/intj

When you realize that you are allowed to write off the negative spiral read the solution, Flow.

u/zzzyxas · 2 pointsr/TumblrInAction

Empathy plus economics.

I'm nonreligious, but my parents required me to attend church every Sunday growing up, regardless of my belief. I suspect that the pastor may have not believed entirely, because regardless of how much I believed in God, I could always take something away from his sermons. This (plus, perhaps, natural disposition) left me extremely empathetic to the plight of the less fortunate. I'm not sure how I'd be if I'd been brought up differently, but I certainly remember feeling strong emotions about reducing suffering in that Sanctuary.

What happens when you reduce the price of something? Well, it depends. There's a whole song and dance involving indifference curves and maximizing a utility function, but coming at it intuitively: it might be such a better bargain that I spend more money on it. Or, I might buy more of it in total, but since the price is reduced, this means I'm spending less money on it. Or, it might be a Giffen good, meaning that I buy less of it, since I can now afford to buy other things that I want more. Because of my background, my reaction to finding out there's incredibly effective charities with funding gaps means I have the first reaction.

I should probably also mention [flow](, since Csikszentmihalyi's book has lead me to believe that maximizing happiness tends to be very inexpensive. Biggest example: I don't own a car because I prefer biking to driving. The biggest difference between what I do and frugality is that my not spending money is a result of happiness-maximizing, which means it has exceptions. In particular, I play a classical instrument which costs about as much as a used car, if I performed more, it'd cost as much as a new car. But, beyond that, I spend almost nothing because doing things that cost money incurs a utility penalty, since I tend to find them less fun than freer stuff.

Oh, and the 10% comes from this blog post. When I reach extremely high levels of financial security, that number will likely increase to 50%, because of how charitable deductions work in my country.

tl;dr: after seeing how much good the best charities could do for so little, my natural reaction was to throw large amounts of money at them. As a bonus, it's literally impossible to make me feel guilty for not giving money to anything else or not being politically active.

u/Tall_for_a_Jockey · 2 pointsr/Advice

Meditate. Read this then practice it.

u/PAD88 · 2 pointsr/getdisciplined

There's a concept in M. Csikszentmihalyi's book titled Flow.

He puts in the visualization of an infinite, dynamic curve that one places oneself on in order to achieve a "Flow State". Make the journey into whatever you're working on difficult enough to be challenging but no so much that it becomes continuously anxiety-inducing.

It's a really great read if you'd like to look into the science and some discussion on this concept:

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

u/artranscience · 2 pointsr/bjj

A quick addition to what I mentioned elsewhere here: I really like two books that are highly relevant to this discussion: Mastery, by George Leonard, which is a short but thoughtful read about dealing with the ups and downs of a difficult, long-term learning process (viewed through the lens of Aikido), and, much more generally, Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which explores the importance of and process for finding depth and focus in skill-based activities.

Basically, both of them dive heavily into why it is more important - even for performance - to focus on the process rather than the goal.

u/HuShang · 2 pointsr/starcraft

I think what you're talking about is flow. It's this zone between something that is too easy and too difficult. It's where you get 'into the zone' and just focus.

u/Perfect_Wave · 2 pointsr/math

As someone said it's called a flow state:

Some cool books on it:;amp;qid=1462376699&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=rise+of+superman

I've read The Rise of Superman, but not the second book I linked. Definitely recommend The Rise of Superman if you're interested in extreme sports.

u/Mulien · 2 pointsr/Physics

I replied to someone's comment above about notebooks, so see that instead of me copying it here!

Getting immersed in projects is really fantastic, if you are interested in more about that feeling I would recommend reading some books about it (I feel like a bit of a traitor for linking a psychology book in a physics thread of all places!). But, like anything, you can improve at getting into that state, and be able to pursue it better.

And yeah, my comment about the CS people is definitely a bit idealistic haha. You might need to bother a dozen people before one will be willing to spend a bit of time with you, but that's okay.

u/zstone · 1 pointr/IAmA

Watch youtube reaction videos, you'll see tons of it. Look at all of those stress / deep thought signs (touching your face, fingers through hair, stroking chin) and then watch a poker game.

I remember as a teen my mother was constantly telling me not to roll my eyes so much, that it was very rude. Thing is, it's not a gesture I ever perform intentionally, I didn't even know I was doing it. There is a really interesting exercise you can do involving paying attention to your body; this type of stuff happens way more than you realize, you perform at least some of these gestures subconsciously. The next time you notice a physical sensation (clenched fist, sore jaw, walking slower or faster than normal, more/less muscle tension than normal, different posture than normal, looking down often instead of looking forward like normal, etc ad nauseum), stop and take note of what you were thinking/feeling, as the two are often correlated.

There are only a few books on intuition and subconscious action that I personally know of that aren't at least quasi-metaphysical; if you aren't into the new-age scene, check out Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, or Flow by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. If you don't mind people who spell "magick" with a K (to separate themselves from illusionists / stage magicians), check out Undoing Yourself by Christopher Hyatt, or anything from the Fourth Way school (I find PD Ouspensky's book of the same name to be the most approachable).

TL;DR you yourself probably perform many of these gestures subconsciously, without even realizing it.

u/p00psicle · 1 pointr/motorcycles

I read it on vacation and found it a bit too serious for that setting. As far as philosophy goes I preferred a book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. I found it had similar values but was much easier to read.

u/honeybadgerbudgeting · 1 pointr/financialindependence


This book completely changed how I see life. I've read a lot of self help books in my day, and this is the book that has finally allowed me to start actually applying the lessons I've learned in the rest of the genre.

Over the course of four or five months I've managed to start at 20 minutes and build out to an hour and a half daily of "flow activities". "Engineering flow" is a very real skill that takes time to learn and implement, but it's fucking worth it.

10/10 will be buying that book for a loved one this week :D

u/KilluaKanmuru · 1 pointr/TheMindIlluminated

John Vervaeke on YouTube is great. Check out his videos. I especially like his series: Awakening from the Meaning Crisis.

u/batfan007 · 1 pointr/Meditation

Thanks for posting.

Article didn't do much for me.

For anyone interested in how to actually use flow, in a consistent trainable repeatable manner, rather than in the usual airy fairy "oh we don't know how this happens" manner check out these two books:

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Prasara Yoga: Flow Beyond Thought by Scott Sonnen;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1418816359&amp;amp;sr=1-2-spell&amp;amp;keywords=scott+sonnen

The first book is more the mental side, the second book more the physical side, both are great reading.

u/fernweh · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

if you want more literature, check out out this book. it's a little hard to read but talks a lot more about flow

u/denim_skirt · 1 pointr/Guitar

It's not specifically about music, but the book Flow by Csikszentmihalyi is about this type of "optimal experience" - the idea that sometimes we're more present and effective and observant and stuff. It's pretty interesting stuff imho.

I worked in bookstores for years and people would come in sometimes like 'do you have this book, uh, "flow"' and the answer was always 'only if you can spell that author's last name.'

u/Apotheosis276 · 1 pointr/SSBM

That sounds cool and all but I don't think you're really getting to bottom of what's happening when you say stuff like "on-the-fly adaptation can become one and whole as part of the subconscious flux." The act of adapting during a match, a verb, becomes part of what, now? A subconscious flux, what is that? "Flow" is a state of mind, we are trying to understand, describe, and be able to reproduce this "optimal experience."

Galeway and even Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the guy that popularized the concept fell short, as Flow reads like a self-help book.

Anyway, cognizance is directly opposed to subconsciousness. They cannot "become one," since by definition subconsciousness is not being conscious or cognizant.

You are also not going to have "cognizance" at the speed of subconsciousness. Conscious thought takes time, and that slows you down. Speed of decision-making is directly tied to the consciousness of an action. Action is a part of a complete reaction, and quick, effortless reactions gives you that thrilling feeling.

On the one hand, you need reasoning, conscious thought, to solve complex problems, but on the other, you need reaction speed and fine motor control. But, you can't have both. So, the only way "self 1 and 2" working together makes sense is if you are constantly switching between them. Or, if you are riding back and forth along the sliding scale between thinking a lot and thinking next to nothing if that is the subconscious/conscious dichotomy's true nature.

This "self 1 and 2 switching" is different from both Galeway's "inner game" and Csikszentmihalyi's "flow" paradigms, as they focus on primarily on activities where you need to consciously adapt very little. Because in reality, that breaks flow. But in Melee and many other competitive games, conscious adaptation is necessary. If you're in the zone and you're fucking LOSING, do you really want to stay in that mind state? No. You want to identify the problem, solve it, and get back in the zone as quickly as possible.

If you want a spiritual-sciencey metaphor summary, you want to relieve the inertia that resists your atemporal transit. You want graceful hardware and software interrupts. You want to be able to repeatedly jump in the lazy river, adapt to the current, and jump back out, walk to another point of the river, and jump back in without it, like, feeling weird, or something. I don't know.

u/JesusListensToSlayer · 1 pointr/AskMen

A lot of people are suggesting self-help books, which isn't a genre I recommend to anyone who is genuinely interested in learning about himself and the world around him. You'll be limited to simple paradigms and formulaic models. The world is not simple and no one really understands it that well, so any book that claims to break it down into a a few categories or a comprehensible graph, must be taken with a grain of salt. You will never see lasting personal growth if you latch on to a pop-psychology formula. Maybe you already know this, I'm mostly reacting to the comments. There is no "one book," but maybe you're just looking for a place to start.

I really like The Lucifer Effect for exploring how some people become evil. This is the guy who did the Stanford Prison Experiment in the 70's.

And since I don't really know what you're looking for, Flow is just awesome for getting motivated to be useful.

u/wholeyoghurt · 1 pointr/trees

OK, now I am flying.


Let us go on a journey, then, shall we?

Let us get a nice soundtrack first.

I recommend something relaxed, but heady.

Try PsyAmbient / Deep Trance Mix - "The Final Dimension" or Epicuros Interstellar (Chillout) on for size.

The journey

On this journey, I will introduce you in two sections.
These sections are Physics and Self improvement and understanding
The most preferred route will be first Physics, then Meditation.
After that we recommend the other way around.

After that, and I stress AFTER THAT,
You either retry, OR if you feel you have an understanding, try the other order.

AFTER THAT, again, I am serious.
You can try to intersperse them. Reading all of physics, one chapter of each a week, contemplating on their significance for each other.
But I can promise you will go back to the prior level more than once.

Gravity and Magnetism

Let us take a look at gravity and magnetism.


Google for [source of magnetism],
Look at the very first link provided:
Sources of Magnetism

That read is a trip, enjoy.


There are several sources of magnetism, but none of them have to do with mass.
There are ridiculously strong, small magnets.

Let us take a look at their strength

The magnetic force is much stronger than gravity.


You can go on and learn about [gravitational waves] (
or and now it gets juicy after learning about gravity, go into the actual research, not the scifi esoteric crap, but real research on anti gravity.

Meditation, Fitness, Productivity, Creativity, and Happiness

With the head full of ALL that, we take a completely different direction, and go into our selves.

u/Offish · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I found an antidepressant that worked for me (I had to try a few, figuring out what drug will work for a particular person is a bit of a guessing game). That helped me regain some perspective on life and remember what it feels like not to be depressed and hopeless all the time.

Then I started changing some habits. I exercised more (both weightlifting and cardio) and found that it improved my mood even more than my health. I ate better, fewer refined sugars, more vegetables, etc. I worked to incorporate things I really enjoy into my normal routine. I like to read, so I made sure I took the time to do it even when busy with other things. My mood is better when I'm with friends, so I made more of an effort to get out and be social. I watched less TV, which tends to dampen my mood.

A lot of people are depressed for a reason. Even if a big part of the problem is how you respond to certain kinds of pressures and disappointments, you can make things easier on yourself by looking for things in your life that make you depressed. Is your job demoralizing? Look for ways to make it better or try to find a new one. Are you in a relationship that's giving you more stress than happiness? Maybe you should address some of the things that make you unhappy with your SI, or get out of the relationship altogether. Big changes can be stressful, which can make some people depressed, but they can also be empowering and remove unhealthy elements from your life. It takes some self-knowledge and serious thought to know which is which, but it's worth it.

After making the lifestyle changes, I started to think about my mental habits. I learned through research that cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of "talking cure." I'm more comfortable working things out by myself, so I bought self-help workbooks based on that method (e.g.).

I started researching the science behind neuroplacticity, or the degree to which your brain can physically adapt to habits of thought, and learned that what seemed to be hardwired can actually be changed through effort and practice. That was empowering, and motivated me to change the way I think about things.

I read books like Flow and The Chemistry of Joy, in order to understand better what being happy looks like in practice.

I used the antidepressants as a crutch to help stabilize me while I got my life together, and to keep me from falling into the crippling despondency that goes with my depression. After I had built some healthier habits, both mental and behavioral, I decided to get off them to see if I could sustain myself without them. Remember that getting off of most antidepressants can bring on extremely painful withdrawal if done too quickly. Taper down slowly with the help of your doctor. Remember also that there's some evidence that after going off of a drug, it can be less effective when you go back on, so focus on improving your mental outlook and habits for a while before jumping off your meds. I still have bad days, but I'm better equipped to cope with them now, and I don't get caught in depressive cycles the way I used to.

Finally, remember that just like everyone responds differently to different medications, everyone will take different things out of the books I mention and the techniques that worked for me. Look around and see what appeals to you. The important thing to remember is that you can change your mental health with practice, and it's not as hard as it seems when you're depressed.

I wish you the best of luck.

u/Sealestr · 1 pointr/darksouls3

If anyone wants to know more, I suggest reading Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by the same person Wired interviewed. It's an excellent book.

u/BorisMalden · 1 pointr/AcademicPsychology

In addition to the names already mentioned, I'd check out Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

u/bluesatin · 1 pointr/psychology

I read a couple of books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi recently that is based around the concept of Flow (being in the zone) and he argues that the most happy people are is when they're in flow; it stops you thinking about yourself and you sort of lose a sense of self/ego.

I believe the book I read was Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, it be something that interests you.

u/cobra100 · 1 pointr/golf

Training a Tiger

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

u/hookdump · 0 pointsr/Stoicism

Thank you for taking the time to discuss this intelligently. Btw, I 100% agree with your last sentence. We should take everything we read with a grain of salt, and use our own critical thinking instead of getting married to certain authors or ideologies. I appreciate that you think this way.

Anyway, back to topic.

I happen to agree with 90% of what you wrote. The place where we diverge, I think, is this:

&gt; your original post seems to be implying that because we can't control something 100%, we can't control it at all, and thus we should start daydreaming about how to scrap for food in the streets.

That's not the point I tried to convey. This will be a bit lenghty, I'll include a "Too Long, Didn't Read" summary in the end in case you don't wish to read this whole thing.

The point is that when you cannot control 100% something, there is absolutely no point in having the slightest attachment to that thing per se. You can still work on it and influence it, sure, but if you develop a clear understanding of its possible outcomes and realistic expecations, you will be free from unnecessary suffering.

Let me give you a simpler example: Tennis.

A friend of mine used to have lots of trouble playing tennis. He'd play really well... until he made a mistake. Then he would start thinking "I shouldn't lose against this guy, he is a newbie... what will others think of me if I lose this match? I cannot lose!". Then he'd spiral down out of control in a tornado of anxiety. Quickly losing focus. Quickly making more mistakes. Thus generating more anxiety. Boom. Instant loss + misery + depression.

What was his mistake?

You might think "Caring about what others will think"... but in my opinion that's just a side effect of something more fundamental.

Can you spot the mistake? (saying "mistake" is kind of subjective, I am referring to the cause of his anxiety)

I talked to him, and explained that focusing on winning was foolish. Because while he can influence the outcome of the game... it's not 100% under his control.

Does this mean he should go to his next Tennis tournament wearing a Pikachu costume and throw all balls to the referee's face?

No. He should still play as usual.

The shift I suggest is the reframing of the goal.

I suggested him to focus on giving his very best. To play like fucking crazy, to have laser-like concentration, to push his physical limit until he cries if necessary. To GIVE-HIS-BEST. That's all.

—What about the result? What if I lose?—he asked me.

And I responded:

—I don't give a shit. For all I care, go ahead and lose your next 100 games. Just give your best. Don't you see? That's a smart goal. Something you can fully engage with, a challenge that's not too easy, but achievable every single time. It's conducive to Flow.

He immediately understood. But that's not enough. He played a couples games, and he forgot our whole conversation. Still failing miserably. I coached him some more. I taught him a bit of basic meditation/mindfulness to help him put this stuff into practice, to help him shift focus from his current mindset to the one I was suggesting.

And one day... oh boy... one day he called me extremely excited.

He no longer cared about winning. Not because he agreed with my coaching, but because he experienced it. He made a mistake. And the only thing in his mind was focusing on the ball in the next play. That was all. Complete, deliberate focus on the task at hand. Giving his best.

That's why reframing things in terms of "things you can control 100%" is extremely important. That's why "things partially under your control" have the potential to distract you from this lesson my friend learned.

Things partially under your control are confusing.

Sure, you can enjoy a win.

Sure, you can enjoy your merit on having bought a house.

But this enjoyment has nothing to do with this discussion. Even more so, that enjoyment will feed your potential suffering in the future when you lose a game, or you lose your house.

To wrap up and circle back: (TLDR)

I'm not implying you should resign to becoming homeless and daydream about how to scrap food in the street. I am suggesting that you develop a mindset so that money never worries you unproductively, so that fear and anxiety don't control your life.

Fear is useful for a zebra running away from a lion.

Fear is useful for a human running away from a school shooter or a murderer. Adrenaline will numb you to physical pain, and will make you run faster than you ever imagined possible.

But fear is absolutely stupid and useless within the context of modern life. What you need in modern life problems is rational thinking, mental clarity, and peace and mind. Most of the times fear and anxiety will accomplish nothing for you; on the contrary, they will maim you.

Elaborating on the subject of chronic stress in modern life would be extremely lengthy, but if you're interested in this, I highly recommend the book "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" by one of my favorite neuroscientists: Robert Sapolsky.

Feel free to ask any other questions or challenge what I said. By no means I claim to have "the truth". I just share what I gained from Stoicism and what worked for me. I live a life virtually free from suffering, so I'd argue I have a clear understanding of this stuff. But I acknowledge not every idea works for everyone.

edit: I have much more to say about this but I tried to keep it brief. :P

u/The_Eleventh_Hour · -1 pointsr/MGTOW

Seems to be fake - the profile ID doesn't come up, nor does the name. There's no proof of this anywhere else, is there?

Even if so - who cares? This is the reason this sub gets a bad reputation, because of garbage posts like this.

I mainly lurk here (and get criticized for subscribing, which I find hilarious) but felt compelled enough to comment on this, considering I see it so often.

When you want to claim you're a man going his own way, and that you want nothing to do with women, you only show just how much you still care about them by harping on the bullshit they do all the time. It's a circle-jerk, and anyone who doesn't see that is deluded in the fog of pack mentality.

Take a step back and think for a moment, because this isn't meant to be an attack on the user who posted the thread, or any individual. It's about the general atmosphere of this subreddit, this community, this brotherhood, whatever the fuck we decide to label ourselves as (except a fucking movement, christ).

Don't give them the cerebral real estate by dwelling on how they can be, on their nature; it only weighs you down. The point of being "MGTOW" at its core is doing your own thing. Turn this sub into a discussion about interesting things that you do with your time, see who has the same hobbies as you, motivate one another in your endeavors, in your pursuits which have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

In other words - take care of yourselves. Focus on the good things. Positive psychology is a thing. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term and wants something good to read in the layman tongue (popscience books), check out:

Learned Optimism

Other books that I believe could help encourage or inspire people in this thread are:

Mindfulness In Plain English


The Brain That Changes Itself