Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes Page 4
Books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Sources
- All quotes by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (147 quotes)
- Creativity (6 quotes)
- Finding Flow (20 quotes)
- Flow (95 quotes)
- Good Business (1 quote)
- Other quotes by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (25 quotes)
Best 147 Quotes by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – Page 4 of 5
“It is never a waste to write for intrinsic reasons. First of all, writing gives the mind a disciplined means of expression.”
“It is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel but the ones we think we have.”
“It is true that life has no meaning, if by that we mean a supreme goal built into the fabric of nature and human experience, a goal that is valid for every individual. But it does not follow that life cannot be given meaning.”
“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.”
“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. When we choose a goal and invest ourselves in it to the limits of concentration, whatever we do will be enjoyable. And once we have tasted this joy, we will redouble our efforts to taste it again. This is the way the self grows.”
“It might be true that it is 'quality time' that counts, but after a certain point quantity has a bearing on quality.”
“It’s exhilarating to come closer and closer to self-discipline.”
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“Many lives are disrupted by tragic accidents, and even the most fortunate are subjected to stresses of various kinds. Yet such blows do not necessarily diminish happiness. It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.”
“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person's skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”
“Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”
“On the job people feel skillful and challenged, and therefore feel more happy, strong, creative, and satisfied. In their free time people feel that there is generally not much to do and their skills are not being used, and therefore they tend to feel more sad, weak, dull, and dissatisfied. Yet they would like to work less and spend more time in leisure.
What does this contradictory pattern mean? There are several possible explanations, but one conclusion seems inevitable: when it comes to work, people do not heed the evidence of their senses.
They disregard the quality of immediate experience, and base their motivation instead on the strongly rooted cultural stereotype of what work is supposed to be like. They think of it as an imposition, a constraint, an infringement of their freedom, and therefore something to be avoided as much as possible.”
“One cannot rely solely on games and art to improve the quality of life. To achieve control over what happens in the mind, one can draw upon an almost infinite range of opportunities for enjoyment — for instance, through the use of physical and sensory skills ranging from athletics to music to Yoga, or through the development of symbolic skills such as poetry, philosophy, or mathematics.”
“One of the most frequently mentioned dimensions of the flow experience is that, while it lasts, one is able to forget all the unpleasant aspects of life.”
“Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed, and still kept within the bounds of reason. If a person learns to control his instinctual desires, not because he has to, but because he wants to, he can enjoy himself without becoming addicted.”
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“Over the course of human evolution, as each group of people became gradually aware of the enormity of its isolation in the cosmos and of the precariousness of its hold on survival, it developed myths and beliefs to transform the random, crushing forces of the universe into manageable, or at least understandable, patterns.”
“People who know how to transform stress into enjoyable challenge spend very little time thinking about themselves. They are not expending all their energy trying to satisfy what they believe to be their needs, or worrying about socially conditioned desires.
Instead their attention is alert, constantly processing information from their surroundings. The focus is still set by the person’s goal, but it is open enough to notice and adapt to external events even if they are not directly relevant to what he wants to accomplish.”
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“Our brain accepts what the eyes see and our eye looks for whatever our brain wants.”
“People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”
“Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Sleep, rest, food, and sex provide restorative homeostatic experiences that return consciousness to order after the needs of the body intrude and cause psychic entropy to occur.
But they do not produce psychological growth. They do not add complexity to the self. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create new order in consciousness.”
“Power returns to the person when rewards are no longer relegated to outside forces.”
“Someone who knows his desires and works with purpose to achieve them is a person whose feelings, thoughts, and actions are congruent with one another, and is therefore a person who has achieved inner harmony.”
“Subjective experience is not just one of the dimensions of life, it is life itself.”
“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue... as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
“Surrounded by an astounding panoply of recreational gadgets and leisure choices, most of us go on being bored and vaguely frustrated.”
“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
“The complexity and freedom that have been thrust upon us, and that our ancestors had fought so hard to achieve, are a challenge we must find ways to master.
If we do, the lives of our descendants will be infinitely more enriched than anything previously experienced on this planet. If we do not, we run the risk of frittering away our energies on contradictory, meaningless goals.
But in the meantime how do we know where to invest psychic energy? There is no one out there to tell us, “Here is a goal worth spending your life on.” Because there is no absolute certainty to which to turn, each person must discover ultimate purpose on his or her own.
Through trial and error, through intense cultivation, we can straighten out the tangled skein of conflicting goals, and choose the one that will give purpose to action. Self-knowledge — an ancient remedy so old that its value is easily forgotten — is the process through which one may organize conflicting options.
“Know thyself” was carved over the entrance to the Delphic oracle, and ever since untold pious epigrams have extolled its virtue. The reason the advice is so often repeated is that it works.
We need, however, to rediscover afresh every generation what these words mean, what the advice actually implies for each individual. And to do that it is useful to express it in terms of current knowledge, and envision a contemporary method for its application.”
“The concept of Flow:
The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
“The foremost reason that happiness is so hard to achieve is that the universe was not designed with the comfort of human beings in mind.”
“The gods of the Greeks were like helpless children compared to humankind today and the powers we now wield.”
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“The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself.”
“The mark of a person who is in control of consciousness is the ability to focus attention at will, to be oblivious to distractions, to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal, and not longer. And the person who can do this usually enjoys the normal course of everyday life.”
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“I... a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”
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