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Top 500 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes (2024 Update)
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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Almost every situation we encounter in life presents possibilities for growth.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “As long as we obey the socially conditioned stimulus-response patterns that exploit our biological inclinations, we are controlled from the outside.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The last great attempt to free consciousness from the domination of impulses and social controls was psychoanalysis; as Freud pointed out, the two tyrants that fought for control over the mind were the id and the superego, the first a servant of the genes, the second a lackey of society – both representing the “Other.” Opposed to them was the ego, which stood for the genuine needs of the self connected to its concrete environment.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “How we feel at any given moment of a flow activity is strongly influenced by the objective conditions; but consciousness is still free to follow its own assessment of the case.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Yet we have all 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 it 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.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The roots of the discontent are internal, and each person must untangle them personally, with his or her own power.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Creative people are constantly surprised. They don’t assume that they understand what is happening around them, and they don’t assume that anybody else does either. They question the obvious – not out of contrariness but because they see the shortcomings of accepted explanations before the rest of us do. They sense problems before they are generally perceived and are able to define what they are.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “When do we get to the interesting part – the tortured souls, the impossible dreams, the agony and the ecstasy of creation?”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “I am fooling around not doing anything, which probably means that this is a creative period, although of course you don’t know until afterward. I think that it is very important to be idle. I mean, they always say that Shakespeare was idle between plays. I am not comparing myself to Shakespeare, but people who keep themselves busy all of the time are generally not creative. So I am not ashamed of being idle.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The important thing is that the energy is under their own control.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “As this example suggests, we can experience pleasure without any investment of psychic energy, whereas enjoyment happens only as a result of unusual investments of attention.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Neither parents nor schools are very effective at teaching the young to find pleasure in the right things. Adults, themselves often deluded by infatuation with fatuous models, conspire in the deception. They make serious tasks seem dull and hard, and frivolous ones exciting and easy. Schools generally fial to teach how exciting, how mesmerizingly beautiful science or mathematics can be; they teach the routine of literature or history rather than the adventure.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “We have learned how to develop five-minute and even one-minute managers. But we would do better to ask ourselves what it takes to be an executive who helps build a better future.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The problem arises when people are so fixated on what they want to achieve that they cease to derive pleasure from the present.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “There is no way to know whether a thought is new except with reference to some standards, and there is no way to tell whether it is valuable until it passes social evaluation. Therefore, creativity does not happen inside people’s heads, but in the interaction between a person’s thoughts and a sociocultural context. It is a systemic rather than an individual phenomenon.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The essence of socialization is to make people dependent on social controls, to have them respond predictably to rewards and punishments.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Why is solitude such a negative experience? The bottom-line answer is that keeping order in the mind from within is very difficult. We need external goals, external stimulation, external feedback to keep attention directed. And when external input is lacking, attention begins to wander, and thoughts become chaotic.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “There is an old Italian saying: “Il lavoro nobilita I’uomo, e lo rende simile alle bestie”; or, “Work gives man nobility, and turns him into an animal.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The profits made from the widespread dependence on illicit drugs are enriching murderers and terrorists. It seems possible that in the near future we shall be ruled by an oligarchy of former drug dealers, who are rapidly gaining wealth and power at the expense of law-abiding citizens. And in our sexual lives, by shedding the shackles of “hypocritical” morality, we have unleashed destructive viruses upon one another.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The worst solitude,” wrote Sir Francis Bacon, “is to be destitute of sincere friendship.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The challenges of the activity are what force us to concentrate.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “A similar distinction is that between discovered life themes, when a person writes the script for her actions out of personal experience and awareness of choice; and accepted life themes, when a person simply takes on a predetermined role from a script written long ago by others. Both.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “It is important to realize that seeking pleasure is a reflex response built into our genes for the preservation of the species, not for the purpose of our own personal advantage.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “What love is to the heart, appetite is to the stomach. The stomach is the conductor that leads and livens up the great orchestra of our emotions.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Every relationship requires a reorienting of attention, a repositioning of goals.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The same person can meditate in the morning and shut out all sensory experience, and then look at a great work of art in the afternoon; either way he may be transformed by the same sense of exhilaration.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Although, as we have seen, people generally long to leave their places of work and get home, ready to put their hard-earned free time to good use, all too often they have no idea what to do there.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “It stands to reason, however, that a child who has been abused, or who has been often threatened with the withdrawal of parental love – and unfortunately we are becoming increasingly aware of what a disturbing proportion of children in our culture are so mistreated – will be so worried about keeping his sense of self from coming apart as to have little energy left to pursue intrinsic rewards.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Enjoyable events occur when a person has not only met some prior expectation or satisfied a need or a desire but also gone beyond what he or she has been programmed to do and achieved something unexpected, perhaps something even unimagined before.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The concentration of the flow experience – together with clear goals and immediate feedback – provides order to consciousness, inducing the enjoyable condition of psychic negentropy.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Those who know how to transform a hopeless situation into a new flow activity that can be controlled will be able to enjoy themselves, and emerge stronger from the ordeal.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “It is usual to explain the motivation of those who enjoy dangerous activities as some sort of pathological need: they are trying to exorcise a deep-seated fear, they are compensating, they are compulsively reenacting an Oedipal fixation, they are “sensation seekers.” While such motives may be occasionally involved, what is most striking, when one actually speaks to specialists in risk, is how their enjoyment derives not from the danger itself, but from their ability to minimize it.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Observing, recording, and preserving the memory of both the large and small events of life is one of the oldest and most satisfying ways to bring order to consciousness.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Attention can be invested in innumerable ways, ways that can make life either rich or miserable.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “But the true believer is not really interacting with the belief system; he usually lets his psychic energy be absorbed by it. From this submission nothing new can come; consciousness may attain a welcome order, but it will be an order imposed rather than achieved.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “We often call the manifestation of intentionality by other names, such as instinct, need, drive, or desire.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “If one does not expect perfect safety, recognizes that risks are inevitable, and succeeds in enjoying a less than ideally predictable world, the threat of insecurity will not have as great a chance of marring happiness.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “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. Consequently it has become embarrassing to be called a dilettante, even though to be a dilettante is to achieve what counts most – the enjoyment one’s actions provide. It.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Ideally, the end of extrinsically applied education should be the start of an education that is motivated intrinsically. At that point the goal of studying is no longer to make the grade, earn a diploma, and find a good job. Rather, it is to understand what is happening around one, to develop a personally meaningful sense of what one’s experience is all about.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Jefferson’s uncomfortable dictum “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” applies outside the fields of politics as well; it means that we must constantly reevaluate what we do, lest habits and past wisdom blind us to new possibilities.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The essence of socialization is to make people dependent on social controls, to have them respond predictably to rewards and punishments. And the most effective form of socialization is achieved when people identify so thoroughly with the social order that they no longer can imagine themselves breaking any of its rules.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The foremost reason that happiness is so hard to achieve is that the universe was not designed with the comfort of human beings in mind. It is almost immeasurably huge, and most of it is hostilely empty and cold.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “And the reality is that the quality of life does not depend directly on what others think of us or on what we own. The bottom line is, rather, how we feel about ourselves and about what happens to us. To improve life one must improve the quality of experience.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Setting goals. Becoming immersed in the activity. Paying attention to what is happening. Learning to enjoy the immediate experience.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Contrary to what we tend to assume, the normal state of the mind is chaos.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “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.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “To most people, the sheer wall of El Capitan in Yosemite valley is just a huge chunk of featureless rock. But to the climber it is an arena offering an endlessly complex symphony of mental and physical challenges.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “Athletes know well that to improve performance beyond a certain point they must learn to discipline their minds.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quote: “The normal condition of the mind is chaos. Only when involved in a goal-directed activity does it acquire order and positive moods.”
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