Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes

Who is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian-American psychologist known for coining the concept of flow. He wrote the books 'Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience', 'Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life' and 'Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention'.

Born September 29, 1934

Books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Best 148 Quotes by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | Page 1 of 5

“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Action by itself is blind, reflection impotent.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Anyone who has experienced flow knows that the deep enjoyment it provides requires an equal degree of disciplined concentration.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and provides immediate feedback.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Consuming culture is never as rewarding as producing it.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“If a person learns to enjoy and find meaning in the ongoing stream of experience, in the process of living itself, the burden of social controls automatically falls from one's shoulders.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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“If I had to express in one word what makes the creative personality different from others, it would be complexity. Like the color white that includes all the hues in the spectrum, they tend to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“It is better to look suffering straight in the eye, acknowledge and respect it’s presence, and then get busy as soon as possible focusing on things we choose to focus on.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“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.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“It is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book, or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Painters must want to paint above all else. If the artist in front of the canvas begins to wonder how much he will sell it for, or what the critics will think of it, he won't be able to pursue original avenues. Creative achievements depend on single-minded immersion.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“People without an internalized symbolic system can all too easily become captives of the media.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Religions are only temporarily successful attempts to cope with the lack of meaning in life; they are no permanent answers.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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“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.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Since the purpose of business is to satisfy existing desires, or stimulate new ones, if everyone were genuinely happy, there would be no need for business any longer.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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NFTs are the bet that each and every token can be uniquely valuable.”


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“The good things in life do not come only through the senses. Some of the most exhilarating experiences we undergo are generated inside the mind, triggered by information that challenges our ability to think, rather than from the use of sensory skills.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The key to flow is to pursue an activity for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The mental framework that makes science enjoyable is accessible to everyone. It involves curiosity, careful observation, a disciplined way of recording events, and finding ways to tease out the underlying regularities in what one learns. It also requires the humility to be willing to learn from the results of past investigators, coupled with enough skepticism and openness of mind to reject beliefs that are not sup-ported by facts.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The names we use to describe personality traits - such as extrovert, high achiever, or paranoid - refer to the specific patterns people have used to structure their attention. At the same party, the extrovert will seek out and enjoy interactions with others, the high achiever will look for useful business contacts, and the paranoid will be on guard for signs of danger he must avoid. Attention can be invested in innumerable ways, ways that can make life either rich or miserable.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The task is to learn how to enjoy everyday life without diminishing other people's chances to enjoy theirs.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Wealth, status, and power have become in our culture all too powerful symbols of happiness. And we assume that if only we could acquire some of those same symbols, we would be much happier.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Will you ever be anything more than a vessel transmitting the genes and memes of previous generations on to the next?”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The solution is to gradually become free of societal rewards and learn how to substitute for them rewards that are under one's own powers. This is not to say that we should abandon every goal endorsed by society; rather, it means that, in addition to or instead of the goals others use to bribe us with, we develop a set of our own.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity Quotes

“Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it’s dead.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity

“If Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy showed more than their fair share of pathology it was due less to the requirements of their creative work than to the personal sufferings caused by the unhealthy conditions of a Russian society nearing collapse. If so many American poets and playwrights committed suicide or ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol it was not their creativity that did it but an artistic scene that promised much, gave few rewards and left nine out of ten artists neglected if not ignored.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity

“The reason creativity is so fascinating is that when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity

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“To have a good life, it is not enough to remove what is wrong from it. We also need a positive goal, otherwise why keep going?”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity

“Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to. Creative individuals don’t have to be dragged out of bed; they are eager to start the day. This is not because they are cheerful, enthusiastic types. Nor do they necessarily have something exciting to do. But they believe that there is something meaningful to accomplish each day, and they can’t wait to get started on it. Most of us don’t feel our actions are that meaningful. Yet everyone can discover at least one thing every day that is worth waking up for. It could be meeting a certain person, shopping for a special item, potting a plant, cleaning the office desk, writing a letter, trying on a new dress. It is easier if each night before falling asleep, you review the next day and choose a particular task that, compared to the rest of the day, should be relatively interesting and exciting. Then next morning, open your eyes and visualize the chosen event—play it out briefly in your mind, like an inner videotape, until you can hardly wait to get dressed and get going. It does not matter if at first the goals are trivial and not that interesting. The important thing is to take the easy first steps until you master the habit, and then slowly work up to more complex goals. Eventually most of the day should consist of tasks you look forward to, until you feel that getting up in the morning is a privilege, not a chore.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity

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“You'd assume that the smartest people would end up running things; the smarter a person is, the better job they'd be able to do. But as counterintuitive as it may seem, the smarter a person is, the greater the odds of them being less confident in their views, and the less confident they come across as being, the less they're trusted. Democracy, everyone.”

Idiot Brain


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