Main question in the book is, what really makes people enjoy their lives. It looks this subject from so many different points of view, that I can say that it's extensive look on motivation and being happy. It is based on professor Csikszentmihalyi own studies, but it does refer to many other studies as well.
I guess it's not really a spoiler to tell, that flow is the state that makes people enjoy what they do and at the end also enjoy their lives more. This book explains what the flow state really is and how people often achieve it. I'm not even going to try to explain how flow state could be achieved, but I want to quote one line from this book to give some hint on it: "However, enjoyment, as we have seen, does not depend on what you, but rather on how you do it."
Style of the book is bit on scientific paper side. Even though reference markings have been wisely centralized to pages at the end of the book, book explains things so thoroughly that I at least sometimes got bit bored on all the background information. I bet the writing style comes from long and successful career and many publications in university research. Or then this book is more to fellow researches and not casual psychology readers as I am.
It isn't an entertaining book as such and also it's not really easy to read. However, it's a book explaining important aspects of enjoying one's life and motivating yourself to any situations and challenges ahead. So it's an important and interesting book.
I read the book mainly in trains and buses when traveling to work and I recommend this not to be read like I did. This book requires concentration and longer reading sessions. Maybe long flight or rainy Sunday would be perfect moments for this book.
If you just want to understand motivation better, maybe you could read Daniel Pink's Drive, but if you want to understand why you love the things you love, and why some people enjoy their doings more than others, read this book. It's bit like flow, it requires work and concentration, but it rewards with enjoyment when you just get started.
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen