The book’s premise is to explain how to induce happiness. It goes by the theory that there are certain things that people do that can make their life more meaningful. His most important message was how to induce “Flow” which is the art of losing oneself completely in what ever activity one is doing.
He did research by having people wear beepers and when ever they contacted the person they was supposed to stop and record what they was doing and how they felt. From this he figured out what made people the happiest.
I found some very useful information in this book. I am not sure if it is just me but the sentence that stood out the most was the one on how chess players who is supposedly the epitome of flow exercised to better their concentration. I couldn't help but wonder if it would work for reading also.
The second thing that stood out was that in order to keep gaining satisfaction for our activities we have to keep it interesting and challenging. If something becomes to easy we wont have the same satisfaction as we did when we first started an activity. This makes sense when one thinks about it. How many times have we started something then became bored with it then did not want to do it anymore? I know I have done that many times. We have to find new ways of doing something to keep the excitement.
It also focused on mental activities as ways of warding off boredom in the situations we find ourselves in without any physical activities. I know I could never do this. The very thought of being caught without a book is enough to induce anxiety. There are some people that apparently can do this.
He provides a number case studies so we can see each concept in action. I was somewhat fascinated. He makes his case very well. I came away eager to try some of the concepts in the book.
The writing can be dull at times but i think that is more of his being a scientist than his writing ability. It is well written and understandable so that the lay person can understand how to implement the concepts.