Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Flow and Happiness

Csikszentmihalyi's secrets of happiness:
"Over the years, I came up with the expression 'flow': a term to describe the common denominator among those people who deemed themselves happy. The most obvious component of happiness, I found out, is intense concentration, which is the main reason that activities such as music, art, literature, sports and other forms of leisure have survived. The essential ingredient for concentration — whether it happens when reading a poem or building a sand castle — is that it involves a challenge that matches one’s ability. The only solution to achieve enduring happiness, therefore, is to keep finding new opportunities to refine one’s skills: do one’s job better or faster, or expand the tasks that comprise it; find a new set of challenges more appropriate to your stage of life."
Thanks to Chris Corrigan for the pointer to this article. I've been a fan of flow for years -- it's one of those ideas that pops up over and over in unexpected contexts.

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