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“Flow, the Secret to Happiness” by Csikszentmihalyi

Happiness has been an ambiguous topic for centuries, and everybody has tried to answer the question of what brought this ecstatic state. While some people consider material well-being to be a source of serenity and happiness, others put a value on creativity and freedom. Nevertheless, it remains either a question or a purpose for everybody. In the video presented by TED Talks, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi sheds light on his path to discovering the key to happiness, a life that is worth living. With the help of psychology, Csikszentmihalyi notes what exact activities bring happiness and a sense of meaning.

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After coming to the US, Mihaly delved deeper into the subject, focusing on statistics. According to him, “about 30 percent of the people surveyed in the United States since 1956 say that their life is very happy” (Csikszentmihalyi 3:26). What is noteworthy about this fact is that while the level of happiness remains the same, the level of income does not correlate with people’s state. As a result, people who value money the most can become quite frustrated since it does not give a sense of satisfaction.

Nevertheless, Csikszentmihalyi claims that the one thing that gives people happiness is the state of flow. In his word, “there’s this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity: you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other” (Csikszentmihalyi 14:24). Thus, a person can play the piano, be at work or with their friend, but if they are in a state of flow, they are happy. These are the moments when an individual loses a sense of time or forgets themself and feel like they are a part of something bigger.

Hence, the key to happiness is not financial well-being or big success. The way to serenity and happiness is to be in a state of flow. This means doing something that does not bring stress but rather helps people immerse themselves in an activity that makes them forget time and dedicate full time to this particular thing. Happiness means being in an ecstatic state, and a person can only decide for themselves what the source of this state is.

Works Cited

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. “Flow, the Secret to Happiness”. TED Talks. 2008. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "“Flow, the Secret to Happiness” by Csikszentmihalyi." January 12, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/flow-the-secret-to-happiness-by-csikszentmihalyi/.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "“Flow, the Secret to Happiness” by Csikszentmihalyi." January 12, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/flow-the-secret-to-happiness-by-csikszentmihalyi/.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) '“Flow, the Secret to Happiness” by Csikszentmihalyi'. 12 January.

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