The Psychology of Happiness


What really makes us feel glad to be alive? This classic work of psychology from world-renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is your essential guide to unlocking a happier, more fulfilling state of being.

'[He] has done more than anyone else to study this state of effortless attending' ? Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
'Mr Csikszentmihalyi illuminates the accuracy of what philosophers have been saying for centuries: that the way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism but in mindful challenge' ? The New York Times

'Elegantly written ... it is more relevant than ever' The Times
'Enlightening, thought-provoking, relevant' -- ***** Reader review
'I actually struggled to put it down' -- ***** Reader review
'It will definitely help me structure and control my mind better' -- ***** Reader review
'If you are searching to add meaning to your life, or to gain more enjoyment from the life that you have, reading this book is a must' -- ***** Reader review

Control of consciousness determines the quality of life

Combining over 40 years of ground-breaking research with practical advice, world-renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals the key to optimal experience: flow.

Arguing that the human brain is most happy when engaged in the meaningful pursuit of a goal - anything from sport to learning a language, from enjoyable work to practising music - he demonstrates that the need to concentrate and lose yourself in the moment is the key to finding inner peace, happiness and order in the midst of our chaotic lives.


  • [He] has done more than anyone else to study this state of effortless attending
    Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

About the author

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was Claremont Graduate University's Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. For the past thirty years, up until he died in 2021, he was involved in research on topics related to optimal experience or "flow." He was the author of 18 books, which have been translated into more than 20 languages. Interest in his work outside academia has been shown by substantial articles in Psychology Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Omni, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Focus, Newsweek, and others.

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Sciences. He was a Senior Fulbright Fellow and sat on several boards, including the Board of Advisers for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He appeared on a number of foreign television networks, such as the BBC and RAI (Italian television), and took part in several hourlong segments of "Nova".
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