In this wise, humane inquiry, Csikszentmihalyi ( Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience ) argues that genetically programmed behaviors that once helped humans adapt and multiply now threaten our survival. These traits include obsessions with food and sex, addiction to pleasure, excessive rationality and a tendency to focus on the negative. A University of Chicago psychology professor, the author also believes we must free our minds of cultural illusions such as ethnocentric superiority or identification with one's possessions. He urges listeners to find ways to reduce the oppression, exploitation and inequality that are woven into the fabric of society. Further, he wants us to control the direction of human evolution by pursuing challenging activities that lead to greater complexity while opposting chaos and conformity. Each chapter concludes with self-help questions and mental exercises designed to help listeners apply the insights of this literate manifesto to their daily lives.
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