Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes

Quote: Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives...most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity...[and] when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.

Quote: ...even without success, creative persons find joy in a job well done. Learning for its own sake is rewarding...

Quote: ...for better or worse, our future will be determined in large part by our dreams and by the struggle to make them real.

Quote: Problems are solved only when we devote a great deal of attention to them and in a creative way...to have a good life, it is not enough to remove what is wrong with it. We also need a positive goal, otherwise why keep going? Creativity is one answer to that question: It provides one of the most exciting models for living.

Quote: Each of us is born with two contradictory sets of instructions: a conservative tendency, made up of instincts for self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and saving energy, and an expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring, for enjoying novelty and risk--the curiosity that leads to creativity belongs to this set. But whereas the first tendency requires little encouragement or support from outside to motivate behavior, the second can wilt if not cultivated. If too few opportunities for curiosity are available, if too many obstacles are put in the way of risk and exploration, the motivation to engage in creative behavior is easily extinguished.

Quote: ...if the next generation is to face the future with zest and self-confidence, we must educate them to be original as well as competent.

Quote: Whether we like it or not, each of us is constrained by limits on what we can do and feel. To ignore these limits leads to denial and eventually to failure. To achieve excellence, we must first understand the reality of the everyday, with all its demands and potential frustrations.

Quote: To live means to experience--through doing, feeling, thinking. Experience takes place in time, so time is the ultimate scarce resource we have. Over the years, the content of experience will determine the quality of life. Therefore one of the most essential decisions any of us can make is about how one's time is allocated or invested.

Quote: Today many American corporations spend a great deal of money and time trying to increase the originality of their employees, hoping thereby to get a competitive edge in the marketplace. But such programs make no difference unless management also learns to recognize the valuable ideas among the many novel ones, and then finds ways of implementing them.

Quote: ...while yearning to overthrow old beliefs, we also thirst for new certainties...

Quote: The quality of life does not depend on happiness alone, but also on what one does to be happy. If one fails to develop goals that give meaning to one's existence, if one does not use the mind to its fullest, then good feelings fulfill just a fraction of the potential we possess. A person who achieves contentment by withdrawing from the world to 'cultivate his own garden,' like Voltaire's Candide cannot be said to lead an excellent life. Without dreams, without risks, only a trivial semblance of living can be achieved.

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