Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian psychologist. He is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic.
Flow is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.
Cskikszentmihalyi, 1990, p.4
He identifies a number of different elements involved in achieving flow:
- There are clear goals every step of the way.
- There is immediate feedback to one’s actions.
- There is a balance between challenges and skills.
- Action and awareness are merged.
- Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
- There is no worry of failure.
- Self-consciousness disappears.
- The sense of time becomes distorted.
- The activity becomes an end in itself.