107. “There was a time when it was admirable to be an amateur poet or a dilettante scientist, because it meant that the quality of life could be improved by engaging in such activities. But increasingly the emphasis has been to value behavior over subjective states; what is admired is success, achievement, the quality of performance rather than the quality of experience.”
115. “It’s exhilarating to come closer and closer to self-discipline. You make your body go and everything hurts; then you look back in awe at the self, at what you’ve done, it just blows your mind. It leads to ecstasy, to self-fulfillment. If you win these battles enough, that battle against yourself, at least for a moment, it becomes easier to win the battles in the world.”
118. “In our studies, we found that every flow activity, whether it involved competition, chance, or any other dimension of experience, had this in common: It provided a sense of discovery, a creative feeling of transporting the person into a new reality. It pushed the person to higher levels of performance, and led to previously undreamed-of states of consciousness. In short, it transformed the self by making it more complex. In.”
124. “A large majority of our respondents were inspired by a tension in their domain that became obvious when looked at from the perspective of another domain. Even though they do not think of themselves as interdisciplinary, their best work bridges realms of ideas. Their histories tend to cast doubt on the wisdom of overspecialization, where bright young people are trained to become exclusive experts in one field and shun breadth like the plague.”
130. “After curiosity, this quality of concentrated attention is what creative individuals mention most often as having set them apart in college from their peers. Without this quality, they could not have sustained the hard work, the ‘perspiration.’ Curiosity and drive are in many ways the yin and the yang that need to be combined in order to achieve something new.”
138. “Flow” is the way people describe their state of mind when consciousness is harmoniously ordered, and they want to pursue whatever they are doing for its own sake. In reviewing some of the activities that consistently produce flow – such as sports, games, art, and hobbies – it becomes easier to understand what makes people happy.”
147. “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 task at hand and momentarily forget everything else.”
150. “The roots of the discontent are internal, and each person must untangle them personally, with his or her own power. The shields that have worked in the past – the order that religion, patriotism, ethnic traditions, and habits instilled by social classes used to provide – are no longer effective for increasing numbers of people who feel exposed to the harsh winds of chaos.”
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