Cultivating Flow

Remembering Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, discoverer of Flow

Steve Strandberg / The Chicago Maroon

Hi, Dan here. Superorganizers has covered Flow a lot recently, most notably in our profile of Chef Frank Prisinzano, who credits it with saving him. Flow is essential for anyone who wants to live a rewarding life, but it’s often misunderstood. So today we have a guest essay to explain Flow and memorialize its discoverer, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who passed away recently. It was written by MC, the author of Flow State, a daily newsletter that recommends two hours of instrumental music to work to. I think you’ll love it. Enjoy!


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian-American psychologist who developed the theory of psychological “flow,” passed away recently at age 87. You have probably heard of flow, a concept popularized by his 1990 book of the same name. But there’s much to Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced cheek-sent-me-high) ideas about flow that you may not know. Csikszentmihalyi believed that:

  • Flow is available to everyone, even in situations we might not normally expect
  • Flow isn’t merely a productivity tool, it can be a way to live a more fulfilling life
  • Flow isn’t just a state, it’s a way to develop oneself over time

These ideas have greatly influenced our Flow State newsletter. Our moniker “MC” is a nod to him. We wanted to honor the psychologist’s memory by sharing a few of his ideas that influence our work.

Defining Flow

Learn more

This post is for
paying subscribers

Subscribe →

Or, login.

Read this next:

Superorganizers

Amanda Goetz Doesn’t Believe in Balance

The VP of Marketing at the Knot Talks About Blending Rather Than Balancing Work and Life

114 Oct 7, 2020 by Dan Shipper

Superorganizers

How I Got My Brain Back

Using observation, investigation, and productivity methods to understand my depression

108 Nov 16, 2021 by Brie Wolfson

Superorganizers

The Four Kinds of Side Hustles

The CEO of Kettle and Fire breaks down how he thinks about side business opportunities

262 Sep 16, 2020 by Justin Mares

Means of Creation

Community Hangout with Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

Get your questions answered by your Means of Creation hosts

3 Jan 7, 2021 by Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

Masterful Storytelling

Becoming a Better Storyteller

Actionable ideas from an event with Adam Davidson

5 🔒 Nov 23, 2021 by Katie Parrott