All posts under Csikszentmihalyi

308/365 A loss of consciousness of the self

So loss of self-consciousness does not involve a loss of self, and certainly not a loss of consciousness, but rather, only a loss of consciousness of the self. What slips below the threshold of awareness is the concept of self, the information we use to represent to ourselves who we[…]

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307/365 A feeling of contentment

Pleasure is a feeling of contentment that one achieves whenever information in consciousness says that expectations set by biological programs or by social conditioning have been met. The taste of food when we are hungry is pleasant because it reduces a physiological imbalance. Resting in the evening while passively absorbing[…]

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294/365 Its own independent course of action

To begin with, and just to clear the air of any suspicion that in talking about consciousness we are referring to some mysterious process, we should recognize that, like every other dimension of human behavior, it is the result of biological processes. It exists only because of the incredibly complex[…]

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292/365 Pain and pleasure

We must also become independent from the dictates of the body, and learn to take charge of what happens in the mind. Pain and pleasure occur in consciousness and exist only there. From “Flow: The Psychology of Happiness” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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291/365 Order in consciousness

The optimal state of inner experience is one in which there is order in consciousness. This happens when psychic energy—or attention—is invested in realistic goals, and when skills match the opportunities for action. The pursuit of a goal brings order in awareness because a person must concentrate attention on the[…]

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290/365 Nothing else matters

From their accounts of what it felt like to do what they were doing, I developed a theory of optimal experience based on 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[…]

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289/365 Cultivating happiness

Happiness, in fact, 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. Yet we[…]

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260/365 The meaning of life is meaning

In this sense the answer to the old riddle “What is the meaning of life?” turns out to be astonishingly simple. The meaning of life is meaning: whatever it is, wherever it comes from, a unified purpose is what gives meaning to life. From “Flow: The Psychology of Happiness” by[…]

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258/365 Emancipating oneself from social controls

The most important step in emancipating oneself from social controls is the ability to find rewards in the events of each moment. 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[…]

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