Flow, the Secret to Happiness: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

In this TEDx Talk (18.56mins) Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes us really happy?” He refers to the research that money Flowcannot make us happy and looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

He also refers to:

  • how the nervous system is unable to process more than approximately 110bits of information per second, and
  • difference examples of flow from a figure skater, a business man, Anita Roddick (the Body Shop) and Masaru Ibuka (Sony).

The presentation is summed up on the slide (at 14mins), called How does it feel to be in flow?

  1. Completely involved in what you are doing – focused, concentrated,
  2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality,
  3. Greater inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done and how well we are doing,
  4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate to the task,
  5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego,
  6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by in minutes, and
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.

If you are interested in his work, his books include Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series), and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

 

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