Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi Explains Why the Source of Happiness Lies in Creativity and Flow, Not Money

Speaking at the TED Conference, famed psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks what’s the source of happiness? And his answer comes down to this: Beyond a certain point (and it’s not very far), money doesn’t affect happiness too much. Rather, as his research shows, we tend to be most happy when we get immersed, almost lost in, being creative and performing at our best. It’s an ecstatic state that he calls “flow.” The video runs about 19 minutes, and is well worth your time. Some book titles worth checking out include: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience or Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life.

Related Content:

John Cleese, Monty Python Icon, on How to Be Creative

Malcolm McLaren: The Quest for Authentic Creativity

Amy Tan: The Sources of Creativity


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  1. Jaime says . . . | November 18, 2008 / 7:08 am

    I think you are only truly happy when you are following Jehovah God.

  2. John Pearce says . . . | February 2, 2009 / 3:38 am

    As for Jehova God – I think it is much more (maybe but not necessairily also) about self-realisation, action to improve yourself and most importantly creativity in helping us all develop joy in our interdependence – the true flow?

  3. rocaru says . . . | May 8, 2010 / 4:28 am

    We are not separate from god (aka THE CREATOR). Creativity is one of those very human traits that bring us closer together with “God” and since the separation between god and our self is illusory, to each other.

  4. elisabeth says . . . | March 12, 2012 / 5:15 pm

    thank you! very interesting and helpful. I think *Flow* must extend out to the community and get peoples towns states countries flowing! I think we should all have this grand privelege to FLOW!

  5. Hitchcock on Happiness | Open Culture says . . . | March 16, 2012 / 5:01 am

    [...] Creativity, Flow and the Source of Happiness Share: [...]

  6. Karen says . . . | October 7, 2013 / 6:04 am

    I think finding a job that oays money, which involves skills that result in flow might be the epitome of happiness…If only one might find such employment,

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