34 Wonderful Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes

As one of the world’s leading authorities in psychology, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi specializes in creativity, optimism, and intrinsic motivation. His study on positive psychology has directed him to authoring thirteen books in more than 22 languages. Here is a look at some of the most memorable and creative Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi quotes.

“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”

“A person who forgoes the use of his symbolic skills is never really free.”

“A typical day is full of anxiety and boredom. Flow experiences provide the flashes of intense living against this dull background. ”

“And it has become a kind of a truism in the study of creativity that you can’t be creating anything with less than 10 years of technical knowledge immersion in a particular field.”

“As long as we respond predictably to what feels good and what feels bad, it is easy for others to exploit our preferences for their own ends.”


“Competition is an easy way to get into flow.”

“Develop what you lack.”

“Discipline is not always internalized and actually can breed resentment among children.”

“Entropy is the normal state of consciousness – a condition that is neither useful nor enjoyable.”

“Find a way to express what moves you.”

“Find out what you like and what you hate about life. Start doing more of what you love, less of what you hate.”

“Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. ”

“Flow is hard to achieve without effort. Flow is not ‘wasting time.'”

“Getting control of life is never easy, and sometimes it can be definitely painful. ”

“Goals transform a random walk into a chase.”

“If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable. To keep enjoying something, you need to increase its complexity.”

“If you’re alone with nothing to do, the quality of your experience really plummets. ”

“It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly.”

“It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.”

“Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible. Figure out the implications of the problem. Implement the solution. ”

“One must develop skills that stretch capacities, that make one more than what one is.”

“People enter Web sites hoping to be led somewhere, hoping for a payoff.”

“People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”

“People without an internalized symbolic system can all too easily become captives of the media.”

“Perform with elan, brilliance and dash – at concert pitch.”

“Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create a new order in consciousness.”

“Produce as many ideas as possible. Try to produce unlikely ideas.”

“Shape your space.”

“Shift often from openness to closure. ”

“Those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works.”

“Try to be inspired by something every day. Try to inspire at least one person every day. ”

“Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to. ”

“We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.”

“Without the capacity to provide its own information, the mind drifts into randomness.”

Check out the following video for Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s perspective on creativity and motivation. Csikszentmihalyi reviews how to manage your creative flow. As a consultant to business, government organizations, and more; he demonstrates the best ways to control your positive state.

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