Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihali is a great book and one of my favorites.
Over the last few days I have been posting on this and a great follow-up book called Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning, also by Csikszentmihali.
Creating Flow at Work
Here are a few juicy quotes from Good Business about how to create flow at work:
“Our jobs determine to a large extent what our lives are like. Is what you do for a living making you ill? Does it keep you from becoming a more fully realized person?”
“Today business leaders are among the most influential members of society. While they are all trained to generate profits, many of them are oblivious to the other responsibilities that their new societal leadership entails. In this book, visionary leaders will explain what they consider to be their duties and how they go about fulfilling them. In the process of examining their philosophies and their practical applications, we will focus especially on how leaders and managers and even concerned employees of any organization can learn to contribute to the sum of hapiness, to the development of an enjoyable life that provides meaning, and to a society that is just and evolving.”
“We are all born with a bundle of aptitudes, most of which we are not even aware of having. According to some, the highest level of hapiness – self-actualization – is being able to express all the potentialities inherent in the organism. It is as if evolution has built a safety device in our nervous system that allows us to experience full happiness only when we are living at 100%.”
“Contrary to what most of us believe, happiness does not simply happen to us. It’s something that we make happen, and it results from our doing our best.”
“The goal of management is to create value through the labor of people working together for a common cause. There are many ways to accomplish this, including slavery and bribery, but here we shall focus on the best way to manage people, which is to create an environment where employees actually enjoy their work and grow in the process of doing it. From the viewpoint of the firm such a workplace is ideal because it attracts the most able individuals, is likely to keep them longer, and obtains spontaneous effort from their work.”
Don’t ya just want to dig into this book! It’s great stuff and I highly recommend Csikszentmihali’s books for anyone in a leadership role (work, community, home).