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.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!

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

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Jaime says:

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

  • John Pearce says:

    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?

  • rocaru says:

    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.

  • elisabeth says:

    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!

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

  • Karen says:

    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,

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.