Monday, July 06, 2009

Summer Reading

In articles spun off by Say Yes to No, I've been surprised to find myself engaging with business publications, like BusinessWeek, CNBC, American Management's MWorld, and with publications that apply business concepts to church, such as Church Solutions. (You can find links to some of the pieces that have been published to your right.)

I've been taking some time recently to move forward with reading, especially business literature. One of the easiest for me to bring to church work is a book by the professor of psychologist and management, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Csikszentmihalyi's (pronounced something like "Chick Sent Me High--ee") key idea is that at various points throughout the week, we find ourselves in “flow,” where we experience deep enjoyment, challenge matched by our skills, creativity, and sense that time is moving in a different, and fuller way. I believe that "flow" pretty much describes human flourishing, which I think is God's deep intention for our lives. Csikszentmihalyi’s research adds one surprise for many in the U.S.: that human beings more often experience flow when they are working than when they are at leisure.

Here's my takeaway: Goal-setting, striving for excellence, and clear guidelines are critical to work enjoyment and to life. In fact, even though I'm on vacation, I may be happier when I return to work.... Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one

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