The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


In Circulation

In his book, Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience, well-known author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi summarises the nature of happiness based on years of his own research work. Presented as a sequel to this book, The Evolving Self looks beyond happiness and states that if people wish to grow as individuals and as a part of society, they must also become more conscious i.e. they must know themselves better. In order to clearly explain such a deep philosophy, the author has divided the book into two parts.

The first part, The Lure of the Past, focuses on genetics and the culture that people follow and how these two have brought them to the level they are in today. According to Csikszentmihalyi, genetically programmed behaviour helped people grow during earlier times. Today, however, these kind of behaviour patterns have only become obsessions which are leading people on to a downward spiral. In the second part of the text, The Power of the Future, the author speaks about the evolving human nature which has made society a more complex place.

Succinctly put, Csikszentmihalyi points out that people can lead a good life only when the society around them is good. And today, the social system is anything but that. The author states that only when creativity, enthusiasm and commitment levels are strong can the social system of the present time change in a positive way.

A book that is said to have ‘momentous implications for the future’, The Evolving Self was published by Harper Perennial in 1994. This reprint edition is available in paperback.

What will you learn from this book

  1. The Nature of the Self: Csikszentmihalyi discusses the self as a complex and dynamic entity that evolves over time. He emphasizes the importance of understanding how the self changes and adapts in response to various internal and external factors.

  2. Autonomy and Identity: The book explores the role of autonomy in shaping individual identity and personal growth. Csikszentmihalyi discusses how autonomy allows individuals to express their unique identities and pursue their passions and interests.

  3. Flow State: Csikszentmihalyi introduces the concept of flow, a state of deep immersion and engagement in an activity. He discusses how experiencing flow can contribute to a sense of fulfillment and enhance the development of the self.

  4. Challenges and Growth: The book emphasizes the importance of confronting challenges and overcoming obstacles in personal development. Csikszentmihalyi discusses how facing challenges can lead to growth and development, ultimately shaping the self.

  5. The Role of Culture: Csikszentmihalyi explores the influence of culture on the development of the self. He discusses how cultural values, norms, and expectations shape individuals' perceptions of themselves and their place in society.

  6. Purpose and Meaning: The book delves into the search for purpose and meaning in life and its significance for the development of the self. Csikszentmihalyi discusses how finding purpose can contribute to a sense of fulfillment and well-being.

  7. Creativity and Innovation: Csikszentmihalyi highlights the role of creativity and innovation in personal and societal progress. He discusses how creative expression can facilitate self-discovery and contribute to positive change in the world.

  8. Social Relationships: The book examines the importance of social relationships in shaping the self. Csikszentmihalyi discusses how interactions with others influence individuals' identities, values, and beliefs.

  9. Personal Agency: Csikszentmihalyi emphasizes the importance of personal agency in shaping the self. He discusses how individuals' choices and actions play a central role in their self-development and overall well-being.

  10. Continual Growth and Learning: The book underscores the idea that self-development is an ongoing process that continues throughout life. Csikszentmihalyi encourages readers to embrace opportunities for growth and learning, fostering a sense of curiosity and exploration.

Language English
ISBN-10 0060921927
ISBN-13 9780060921927
No of pages 384
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher HarperCollins
Published Date 01 Sep 1993

About Author

Author : Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

5 Books

Related Books