Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotations

-The 8 elements that make up an enjoyable experience (this fits for activities all the way from reading to Ultimate Frisbee!):

  • The task is challenging and requires skill
  • We concentrate
  • There are clear goals
  • We get immediate feedback
  • We have deep, effortless involvement
  • There is a sense of control
  • Our sense of self vanishes
  • Time stops

-In the quest for happiness partial solutions don’t work.

-There are two main strategies we can adopt to improve the quality of life. The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.

-It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.

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

-It does not seem to be true that work necessarily needs to be unpleasant. It may always have to be hard, or at least harder than doing nothing at all. But there is ample evidence that work can be enjoyable, and that indeed, it is often the most enjoyable part of life.

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

-A self that is only differentiated – not integrated – may attain great individual accomplishments, but risks being mired in self-centered egotism. By the same token, a person whose self is based exclusively on integration will be well connected and secure, but lack autonomous individuality. Only when a person invests equal amounts of psychic energy in these two processes and avoids both selfishness and conformity is the self likely to reflect complexity.

-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.

-Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create a new order in consciousness.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi