Posts concerning Csikszentmihalyi

Consciousness Versus Entropy

12:12 11 Mar 2006. Updated: 17:51 13 Nov 2010

I’m reading The Evolving Self, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, at the moment, and it’s definitely helping my mental state. Flow did that also—both are excellent for reminding me not merely that great achievements are possible but that the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment are based on organizing the self, and that such organization is clearly within the grasp of just about everyone. This particular passage stood out to me today:

The normal condition of the mind is chaos. Only when involved in a goal-directed activity does it acquire order and positive moods. It is not surprising that one of the worst forms of punishment is to place a person in solitary confinement, where only those survive who can discipline their attention without depending on external props. The rest of us need either an involving activity or a ready-made package of stimuli, such as as book or a TV program, to keep the mind from unraveling.

—190. Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi. The Evolving Self. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. ISBN: 9780060921927.


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