For better or worse, our future will be determined in large part by our dreams and by the struggle to make them real.— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The most courageous Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake.
The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.
If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.
A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.
Half a century ago, the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote that happiness cannot be attained by wanting to be happy - it must come as the unintended consequence of working for a goal greater than oneself.
If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable.
To keep enjoying something, you need to increase its complexity.
And it has become a kind of a truism in the study of creativity that you can't be creating anything with less than 10 years of technical knowledge immersion in a particular field.
Contrary to what most of us believe, happiness does not simply happen to us.
It's something that we make happen, and it results from doing our best. Feeling fulfilled when we live up to our potentialities is what motivates differentiation and leads to evolution.
There are two main strategies we can try to improve the quality of life.
The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.
Flow is hard to achieve without effort. Flow is not 'wasting time.
Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives.
..most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity...when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.
Entropy is the normal state of consciousness - a condition that is neither useful nor enjoyable.
Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others.
When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
For original ideas to come about, you have to let them percolate under the level of consciousness in a place where we have no way to make them obey our own desires or our own direction. Their random combinations are driven by forces we don't know about.
One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself.
To be creative, a person has to internalize the entire system that makes creativity possible. Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals.
Attention is psychic energy, and like physical energy, unless we allocate some part of it to the task at hand, no work gets done.
A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity...one must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul.
Act as if the future of the universe depends on what you do, while laughing at yourself for thinking that your actions make any difference.
A business is successful to the extent that it provides a product or service that contributes to happiness in all of its forms.
But it is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book, or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.
Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to.
Some individuals have developed such strong internal standards that they no longer need the opinion of others to judge whether they have performed a task well or not. The ability to give objective feedback to oneself is in fact the mark of the expert.
Flow is the process of achieving happiness through control over one's inner life. The optimal state of inner experience is order in consciousness. This happens when we focus our attention (psychic energy) on realistic goals and when our skills match the challenges we face.
Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it. "He who desires but acts not," wrote Blake with his accustomed vigor, "Breeds pestilence.
It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.
Knowing oneself is not so much a question of discovering what is present in one's self, but rather the creation of who one wants to be.
The rules themselves are clear enough, and within everyone’s reach.
But many forces, both within ourselves and in the environment, stand in the way. It is a little like trying to lose weight: everyone knows what it takes, everyone wants to do it, yet it is next to impossible for so many.
When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.
For a person to become deeply involved in any activity it is essential that he knows precisely what tasks he must accomplish, moment by moment.
To be successful you have to enjoy doing your best while at the same time contributing to something beyond yourself.
Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.
.. Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
However, a good life consists of more than simply the totality of enjoyable experiences. It must also have a meaningful pattern, a trajectory of growth that results in the development of increasing emotional, cognitive, and social complexity.
Even without success, creative persons find joy in a job well done.
Learning for its own sake is rewarding.
People generally report higher levels of stress, depression, and tension after watching TV. It seems that TV's main virtue is that it occupies the mind undemandingly.
Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.
The ability to take misfortune and make something good come of it is a rare gift. Those who possess it are ..said to have resilience or courage.
Sir John Templeton: "My ethical principle in the first place was: 'Where could I use my talents that God gave me to help the most people?'"
Optimal experience is that rare occasion when we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.
The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times.
..the best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to it's limited in voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
The more a person feels skilled, the more her moods will improve;
while the more challenges that are present, the more her attention will become focused and concentrated.
It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly.
Shift often from openness to closure.
Develop what you lack.
Take charge of your schedule. Make time for reflection and relaxation.
To live means to experience-through doing, feeling, thinking.
Experience takes place in time, so time is the ultimate scarce resource we have. Over the years, the content of experience will determine the quality of life. Therefore one of the most essential decisions any of us can make is about how one's time is allocated or invested.
We can transform reality to the extent that we influence what happens in consciousness and thus free ourselves from the threats and blandishments of the outside world.
If you're alone with nothing to do, the quality of your experience really plummets.
It is as if evolution has built a safety device in our nervous system that allows us to experience full happiness only when we are living at 100%-when we are fully using the physical and mental equipment we have been given.