Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
"Flow Theory"
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The Thinker of the Year Award has been awarded to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago who has devoted his life's work to the study of what makes people truly happy, satisfied and fulfilled.

Mr. Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced chick-sent-me-high-ee) is chiefly renowned as the architect of the notion of flow in creativity; people enter a flow state when they are fully absorbed in activity during which they lose their sense of time and have feelings of great satisfaction. Mr. Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as "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. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Martin E.P. Seligman, President of the American Psychological Association, describes Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on a subject that is near and dear to his heart, positive psychology. He says Csikszentmihalyi's work on improving lives has been important in his own effort to encourage psychologists to focus on building human strengths. 'He is the brains behind positive psychology, and I am the voice,' says Seligman. Csikszentmihalyi is working with Seligman to engage young leading psychologists to focus on prevention and building human strength.

Csikszentmihalyi is also a leading researcher on creativity. Csikszentmihalyi explored the lives of more than 90 of the world's most creative people, such as author Madeline L'Engle and scientist Jonas Salk, to find out how creativity has been a force in their lives. He's discovered that some highly creative people find satisfaction by inventing a career or job for themselves, like a scientist who creates a new field of study. These findings are described in his book 'Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention' (HarperCollins, 1996).

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi has published over 120 articles or chapters, some of his books include: "The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium," "Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life," "Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention," and "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience."

Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's Books

Creativity : Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Flow : The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Finding Flow : The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life

The Evolving Self : A Psychology for the Third Millennium

Optimal Experience : Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness

The Art of Seeing : An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Encounter

Other Related Links

Motivational Quotes by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Hero of the Day - Daily Objectivist

Reaching Flow to Optimize Work and Play

Excerpts and Info from "Flow: - The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Go with the Flow - Wired Magazine 1996

Interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Planetary.org

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