While Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi can be considered as the “handbook of happiness”, or as Csíkszentmihályi calls it “the psychology of optimal experience”, I personally got a lot out of it on the topic of working in a state of flow for increased productivity and performance.
Especially for people engaged in businesses and entrepreneurs I feel like this book is extremely valuable because it helps us understand how difficult and important it is to create structure in and meaning to our work so we end up in flow experiences. While there are structures in corporations that guide our behaviour and actions, we have to create them from nothing when starting our own business. This is more tricky than it seems at first and Flow manages to give inspiring and helpful thoughts on how to get there.
In his 2004 Ted Talk Mihály Csíkszentmihályi gives an overview on flow experiences and mentions how others describe them. An excerpt of what one of his interview partners – a leading composer back in the 70s – was saying about the flow in composing music seems to be a good summary of what all of us experience in one way or another in various kinds of activities.
You are in an ecstatic state to such point so that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I have experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching it in a state of awe and wonderment. And (the music) just flows out of itself.
For me it might be playing games like Badminton, Golf or Tennis where my identity slowly disappears from my consciousness because I am so deeply occupied by the exercise. For others it might be playing an instrument or painting a picture. For all of us running projects, campaigns or companies, building setups where we can excel in full focus mode and enjoying the optimal experience can only be beneficial: on the one hand it helps us enjoying the process to the most, on the other hand it will help us getting to peak performance.
If you want to learn to control your consciousness, Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience will be a good starting point and I can highly recommend reading the book.
My one-line pitch is: I am a business addict. In my early 20s, I graduated in Business Administration with a major in Entrepreneurship. Recently, now in my early 30s, I successfully completed a program on Venture Capital and Private Equity.
While formal education certainly does not hurt, I do not think that it is essential for entrepreneurial success. I have a strong opinion on gaining experience in projects or companies by having "own skin in the game". There are just so many skills a business school or university cannot teach us.
From 2008 to 2013 I enjoyed a professional career in playing some of the world’s most popular card games. Yes, these are skill games and you can even make a few $$.
While playing millions of poker hands (mostly online, but towards the end also offline in casinos) I worked as a content video producer and coach for the biggest online poker school. Beyond that I also offered private coachings to players around the world. My blog posts and strategy videos had > 1,000,000 views from platform members. Even though I quit contributing to the blog in 2013 it still is #1 in terms of all-time views on the English site.
At the end of my career I wrote a book (The Education of a Modern Poker Player) with JB, who is a math professor in Nottingham, UK, and Manu, who - fast forward three years - is now the BO$$ of Adefy. As JB tricked me into writing a book with him, I tricked Manu into moving to Vienna in order to join forces with us and work on our united mission.
Things are moving at an enormous pace and we are living in exciting times. My way of experiencing and influencing our world is mainly through my entrepreneurial lenses. Especially since 2013 I dived into full-time business mode and I don't see that changing anytime soon. For my passive stakes I try to mostly invest in companies that generate a positive and sustainable impact, mostly in the energy industry (consulting, renewables, energy efficiency). While I might be below average in many skills, I consider mindset, adaptability, competitiveness and work ethics my biggest strengths.
Interested in: Poker. Venture Capital and Private Equity. Renewables. Energy efficiency. E-mobility. Performance Marketing. Finance. Management. Investing.
Hobbies: Golf. Tennis. Badminton. Reading. Racing. Snowboarding.
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