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"I get so immersed in my work that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable, that I do it despite the great efforts involved, just for the sake of it."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly CSIKSZENTMIHALYI is a Hungarian psychologist and leader of the "Positive Psychology" movement.
He is a professor at Claremont College in California and the former Head of the Psychology department at the University of Chicago.
He uses a scientific approach to studying what humans feel when they perform their daily tasks. This is called the " Experience Sampling Method, or ESM".
It provides data on the thoughts, feelings and activities of several sample individuals in their natural environment, while recording their moods.
The ESM model has been put to the test with thousands of people across the world.

The question CSIKSZENTMIHALYI asks is not "How can people be at their happiest?" but rather, "When are we the happiest?"

The 9 emotional states

Model based on Csikszentmihalyi, Massimini and Carli
Flow: An Optimal Experience
Of all the groups studied using the ESM model, the first sample of individuals were those who invested a lot of energy in stimulating challenges, but without external rewards.
Among them were amateur athletes, musicians, chess players, mountaineers…
What they all had in common was experiencing a situation where they focus on achieving a personal goal of their own free will.
When they were interviewed by CSIKSZENTMIHALYI and his team, the individuals in this group described the experience as a "state of flow".

According to them, all these energies create a kind of "flow".

That is why CSIKSZENTMIHALYI used the term "Flow". He defines this state of mind as an experience that is so absorbing that it can be described as optimal.

This optimal state is what anyone can experience when they feel happy, creative and totally committed when engaging in an activity.

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