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Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
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Finding Flow Quotes Showing 1-30 of 73
“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.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life.
To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“These examples suggest what one needs to learn to control attention. In principle any skill or discipline one can master on one’s own will serve: meditation and prayer if one is so inclined; exercise, aerobics, martial arts for those who prefer concentrating on physical skills. Any specialization or expertise that one finds enjoyable and where one can improve one’s knowledge over time. The important thing, however, is the attitude toward these disciplines. If one prays in order to be holy, or exercises to develop strong pectoral muscles, or learns to be knowledgeable, then a great deal of the benefit is lost. The important thing is to enjoy the activity for its own sake, and to know that what matters is not the result, but the control one is acquiring over one’s attention.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“It is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Socializing is more positive than being alone, that’s why meetings are so popular. People don’t like being alone. That would be, however, an important skill to learn...”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“But shortcuts are dangerous; we cannot delude ourselves that our knowledge is further along than it actually is.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“it was found that the more often people report reading books, the more flow experiences they claim to have, while the opposite trend was found for watching television.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“The quality of life does not depend on happiness alone, but also on what one does to be happy. If one fails to develop goals that give meaning to one's existence, if one does not use the mind to its fullest, then good feelings fulfill just a fraction of the potential we possess. A person who achieves contentment by withdrawing from the world to "cultivate his own garden," like Voltaire's Candide, cannot be said to lead an excellent life. Without dreams, without risks, only a trivial semblance of living can be achieved.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“The roots of interpersonal conflict are often an excessive concern for oneself, and an inability to pay attention to the needs of others. It is sad to see how often people ruin a relationship because they refuse to recognize that they could serve their own interests best by helping others achieve theirs.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“To pursue mental operations to any depth, a person has to learn to concentrate attention. Without focus, consciousness is in a state of chaos.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“All too often those who extol most loudly the virtues of selflessness turn out to be motivated by greed and ambition.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Even if we don't want to admit it, the ability to overcome most obstacles is within our hands. We can't blame family, society, or history if our work is meaningless, dull, or stressful. Admittedly, there are not too many options when we realize that our job is useless, or actually harmful. Perhaps the only choice is to quit as quickly as possible, even at the cost of severe financial hardship. In terms of the bottom line of one's life, it is always a better deal to do something one feels good about than something that may make us materially comfortable but emotionally miserable. Such decisions are notoriously difficult, and require great honesty with oneself.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“True, most married men are convinced that their lives are dedicated to the family, and from a material standpoint this might be true. But it takes more than food in the fridge and two cars in the garage to keep a family going.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“For better or for worse, at this time science is still the most trustworthy mirror of reality, and we ignore it only at our peril.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“The only path to finding out what life is about is a patient, slow attempt to make sense of the realities of the past and the possibilities of the future as they can be understood in the present.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“When the lifestyle of a social group becomes obsolete, when work turns into a boring routine and community responsibilities lose their meaning, it is likely that leisure will become increasingly more important. And if a society becomes too dependent on entertainment, it is likely that there will be less psychic energy left to cope creatively with the technological and economic challenges that will inevitably arise.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Luckily, the world is absolutely full of interesting things to do. Only lack of imagination, or lack of energy, stand in the way. Otherwise each of us could be a poet or musician, an inventor or explorer, an amateur scholar, scientist, artist, or collector.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Недостаточно просто наслаждаться жизнью, чтобы считать её в высшей степени достойной. Главное - находить радость в том, что расширяет спектр наших умений, помогает расти и развивать потенциал.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Первый историк Запада, грек Геродот, описал в «Персидских войнах», как три тысячи лет назад Атис, царь Лидии в Малой Азии, ввел игры с мячом, чтобы отвлечь своих подданных, когда в результате нескольких неурожаев начались волнения среди голодного населения. Он писал: «План противостояния голоду состоял в том, что один день они полностью посвящали играм, чтобы не думать о еде, а на следующий день они ели и не занимались играми. Таким образом, они провели восемнадцать лет».”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“As many a thinker since Aristotle has said, everything we do is ultimately aimed at experiencing happiness. We don't really want wealth, or health, or fame as such-we want these things
because we hope that they will make us happy. But happiness we seek not because it will get us something else, but for its own sake.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“while personal income in the U.S. more than doubled between i 96o and the 19gos in constant dollars, the proportion of people saying they are very happy remained a steady 30 percent. One conclusion that the findings seem to justify is that beyond the threshold of poverty, additional resources do not appreciably improve the chances of being happy.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Much has been written about what makes families work. The consensus is that families that support the emotional well-being and growth of their members combine two almost opposite traits. They combine discipline with spontaneity, rules with freedom, high expectations with unstinting love.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“Without a consistent set of goals, it is difficult to develop a coherent self. It is through the patterned investment of psychic energy provided by goals that one creates order in experience. This order, which manifests itself in predictable actions, emotions, and choices, in time becomes recognizable as a more or less unique "self.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“If everything was determined
by the common human condition, by social and cultural categories, and by chance, it would be useless to reflect on ways to make one's life excellent. Fortunately there is enough room for personal initiative and choice to make a real difference. And those who believe this are the ones with the best chance to break free from the grip of fate.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“The record seems to suggest that a society begins to rely heavily on leisure-and especially on passive leisure-only when it has become incapable of offering meaningful productive occupation to its members.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“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.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“if we don't take charge of its direction, our life will be controlled by the outside to serve the purpose of some other agency. Biologically programmed instincts will use it to replicate the genetic material we carry; the culture will make sure that we use it to propagate its values and institutions; and other people
will try to take as much of our energy as possible to further their own agenda-all of this without regard to how any of this will affect us. We cannot expect anyone to help us live; we must discover how to do it by ourselves.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
“according to the Greek philosophers, that we become truly human by devoting time to self-development-to learning, to the arts, to political activity. In fact the Greek term for leisure, scholea, is the root from which our word "school" comes from, since the idea was that the best use for leisure was to study.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life

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