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research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

* While personal income in the US more than doubled between 1960 and the 1990s in constant dollars, the proportion of people saying they are very happy remained a steady 30% (20)
* The quality of life does not depend on happiness alone, but also on what one does to be happy (22)
* In the course of an average day, about 1/3 of the time people will say that they do what they do because they wanted to do it, 1/3 because they had to do it, and the last 1/3 because they had nothing better to do (23)
* Flow tends to occur when a person faces a clear set of goals that require appropriate responses (29)
* Only 20% of people find flow. (33)
* Flow is generally reported when a person is doing his or her favorite activity--gardening, listening to music, bowling, cooking a good meal. (33)
* National surveys find that when someone claims to have five or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60% more likely to say that they are "very happy". (43)
* The excellence of daily life finally depends not on what we do, but on how we do it. (47)
* One finds more occasions of flow on the job than in free time. What often passes unnoticed is that work is much more like a game than most other things we do during the day. (59)
* Even in our enlightened days, with all the emphasis on "human resources," management is all too often disinterested in how employees experience work. Therefore it is not surprising that many workers assume that they cannot count on work to provide the intrinsic rewards in their lives, and that they have to wait until they are out of the factory or office before they can begin to have a good time-even though this turns out not to be ture. (60)
* Unfortunately, while free time might be a necessary condition for happiness, by itself it is not sufficient to guarantee it. Learning how to use it beneficially turns out to be more difficult than expected. (60)
* It is not the external conditions that determine how much work will contribute to the excellence of one's life. It is how one works, and what experiences one is able to to dervie from confronting its challenges. (62)
* Free time is more difficult to enjoy than work. (65)
* Physical health is better when a person focuses on a goal. (65)
* The relationship that leads to order in consciousness instead of psychic entropy has to meet at least two conditions. The first is to find some compatitibility between our goals and that of the other person or persons...The secnod condition for a successful interaction is that one be willing to invest attention in the other person's goals. (81)
* Successful families combine discipline with spontaneity, rules with freedom, high expectations with unstinting love. (88)
* Creative individuals stress the importance of seeing people, hearing people, exchanging ideas, and getting to know another person's work. (94)
* Three main reasons why jobs are resented:
1. The job is pointless-it does not good to anyone
2. The work is boring and routine-it provides no variety or challenge
3. The job is stressful-especially when there are poor relationships with co-workers
* By taking the whole context of the activity into account, and understanding the impact of one's actions on the whole, a trivial job can turn into a memorable performance that leaves the world in a better shape than it was before..But the meaning we derive froma job does not come free...One must do some thinking and caring beyond what the job descriptions calls for. And this in turn requires additional attention, which is the most precious resource we have. (103)
* How to turn a routine job into a professional performance:
1. One must pay attention so as to understand thoroughly what is happening and why
2. It is essential not to accept passively that what is happening is the only way to do the job
3. Entertain alternatives and experiement with them until a better way is found (105)
* Successful people often make lists, or flowcharts of all the things they have to do, and quickly decide which tasks they can delegate, or forget about, and which ones they have to tackle personally, and in what order. (106)
* Most createive persons don't follow a career laid out for them, but invest their jobs as they go along. (107)
* The secret of starting a good conversation is really quite simple. The first step is to find out what the other person's goals are: What is he interested in at the moment? What is she involved in? What has he or she accomplished, or is trying to accomplish? (115)
* Happiness is not a very good indicator of the quality of a person's life...It is not enough to be happy to have an excellent life. The point is to be happy while doing things that stretch our skills, that help us grow and fulfill our potential. (120)
* To control attention means to control experiences, and thereofre the quality of life. (128)
* Enjoying what one does is not a sufficient reason for doing it...Thus in creating a good life it is not enough tto strive for enjoyable goals, but also to choose goals that will reduce the sum total of entropy in the world. (140)


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