Happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, thus, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. 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. Therefore, happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Indeed we all have experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that this happens, 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.
Although Csikszentmihalyi acknowledges there are psychological and neurological impediments to experiencing "flow," he attacks 20th-Century Western culture for fostering the belief that happiness and fulfillment are materially rooted and outside the self.
"So my reactions have probably made clear that I found this book captivating. I will be re-reading it every year or so, I expect.
Flow” is much more than just a practical guide for leaders -- it’s essential.Rather than being idle, doing what you love is a pathway to greater meaning, happiness, and a self of higher complexity.Csikszentmihalyi says that it is best to think about the universe in terms of order and chaos (entropy). That healthy human beings ﬁnd order pleasing is a clue to its intrinsic value, and to its role in the creation of happiness.The bringing of order to consciousness, “control of the mind,” is therefore the key to happiness.
The author claims that flow is a major key to happiness. A person in flow is a happy person, and thus directing one's life on a path to being in flow as much as possible is desirable. Clearly, flow is possible not only in computer programming. In fact, one of the author's goals is to explain how a person can and should find flow in practically every activity he's engaged in. More specifically, flow can be achieved in both physical and mental activities, both with people and alone, and both at work and during leisure. The book covers all these topics, based on interviews and research the author and his group conducted with thousands of individuals world-wide. The research quite literally asked people what made them happy and dissected their answers to common "clusters".”
“Csikszentmihalyi is fairly explicit about the nature of the activities that are most conducive to this sort of growth. They offer an opportunity for deep concentration, a sense of control and satisfaction, behavior that is goal-directed and bounded by rules, and the disappearance of concern for the self. When these conditions converge, we experience what the author calls "flow. A "flow" experience, unlike the passive experiences of shopping, watching television, taking drugs (all of which tend to numb or distract us from our feelings), generally leads to that "greater complexity of consciousness," continually expanding our sense of who we are. And it feels good, for we become the architects, not the recipients of our life's meaning.” Los Angles Times
Finding the work you were “born to do” isn’t just about discovering your passion. Those who jump out of bed excited to go to work every morning don’t just have jobs that turn their passions into paychecks. They have jobs where they also can lose themselves for hours in the flow
Achieving ultimate happiness means owning it. Too often we allow other people or situations to control our quest for happiness; a disobedient son, a losing battle against weight gain or feelings of loneliness. But the key is how well you control the impact of those disappointments have on your overall happiness.
Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life, unveiling an electrifying new theory of what makes a good life—for individuals, for communities, and for nations. In a fascinating evolution of thought and practice, Flourish refines what Positive Psychology is
We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy. Rather than indulging in whatever strikes our momentary fancy, we take responsibility for the welfare of our future selves. In fact,
Positive psychology is the study of what Robert F. Kennedy calls, “the things in life that make it worthwhile.” In this regard, however, imagine that someone offered to help you understand human beings but in doing so, would teach you only about their weaknesses. As far-fetched as this sounds, a similar
People often end up feeling that their lives have been wasted, that instead of being filled with happiness their years were spent in anxiety of boredom.
Intentions are also bits of information, shaped either by biological needs or by internalized social goals.
Unless one learns to tolerate and even enjoy being alone, it is very difficult to accomplish any task that required undivided concentration.
Listening to music wards off boredom and anxiety, and when seriously attended to, it can induce flow experiences.