Summary "Finding Flow"

585 Words3 Pages
Cassandra Schultz
Professor Bodi
ENG 112
13 September 2015
Achieving “Flow”
[]In “Finding Flow” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explores the idea of what it means “to live” (544). Csikszentmihalyi compares living with his idea to flow. Throughout the “Finding Flow” excerpt, Csikszentmihalyi discusses the idea of flow is to have a clear and concise goal, provide immediate feedback, and to balance skills and action opportunities (548). Csikszentmihalyi discusses a study he and his students conducted on employees of a factory that assembled railroad cars. Csikszentmihalyi goes on to describe the workplace as “a huge dirty hanger where one could hardly hear a word because of the constant noise” (545). The general morale and attitude of the employees
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Immediate feedback is another characteristic of “flow”. It is evident after each move whether or not the choice was positive or negative. Csikszentmihalyi gives examples of a surgeon being able to see if the cuts he made avoided cutting arteries or if the was a huge bleed. Csikszentmihalyi explains that often in everyday life the outcome is unclear but in flow activities such as the surgery the outcome is straightforward and clear to see because of the concentration needed. The challenges and skill level are also balanced in flow activities. If the challenge is above the knowledge level it can create anxiety. On the opposite end, if the challenge is too low for one’s skill set boredom often takes over. This is where the balance comes in. Flow is an opportunity for learning. Csikszentmihalyi reports that flow is often achieved when a person is participating in their favorite activities. He goes on to describe that flow can also be achieved during almost any activity as long as the elements are present.
Providing a clear end goal, immediate feedback and a balance of skill and action opportunity are the basis for Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow. With these elements it is possible to improve quality of life. Every person has a different idea of what makes a good life and with implementing the ideas of flow the opportunity of quality of life improves.

Works Cited
Rosen, Laurence Behrens: Leonard J. "Finding Flow."Writing and
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