Buzzword Bingo: Flow

related: engagement, flowchart, happy

Flow = Mental state reached when our abilities are matched by the challenges before us.

The involvement is so complete that we lose sense of time and often ourselves. The psychology of optimal experience was pioneered by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced: "cheek-sent-me-high-ee), the architect of 'flow.'


challenge vs skill
graph of flow

recommended viewing - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: "When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life."



Mihály Csíkszentmihályi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow, Harper, 1990 ($14.00, 303 pages)
- The psychology of optimal experience
external image 0060920432.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg


Quality of Life Research Center
• mentoring and the transmission of knowledge in intergenerational relationships
• contributions of art and aesthetics to the quality of life
• challenge and enjoyment in internet chess

New Indie Videogame - Game designer Jenova Chen likes to keep things simple. His games don't have scores, levels are amorphous, and the gameplay is uncomplicated, often requiring only the movement of the character. He designed Flow, a game that has players control a microscopic organism exploring the depths of a vast prehistoric sea.


Try to be surprised by something every day.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention


Can flow be collective?
How do we motivate groups of people toward collaborative flow?

Challenge vs skill