Cat's Eye Nebula

Why Is Happiness So Hard to Achieve?

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Claims about the State of Consciousness Called "Flow"

The foremost reason that happiness is so hard to achieve
is that the universe was not designed
with the comfort of human beings in mind.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi identifies why happiness is so hard to find.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi happiness hard to achieve

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi... born 29 September 1934) is a Hungarian psychologist. He recognised and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental state. He is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.
Csikszentmihalyi is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. He is the author of many books and over 120 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi once said: "Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished.
Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason." His works are influential and are widely cited (Wikipedia).


Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow.
During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.
In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. 
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives (Amazon).

Quotation from Flow

Twenty-five years before I began to write these lines, I made a discovery that took all the intervening time for me to realize i had made.
What I “discovered” was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random change. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. 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 (Flow, page 2, quotation from Harper Perennial edition, published in 1991). Review

[Original Post September 11, 2014]
What are your thoughts about happiness? Please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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