The Quotable Mihaly

I recently finished “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (or just Mihaly as I now refer to him), and will simply say that it was a genuine mind-opener on many levels. I won’t go all the way into it, in the hopes that you pick up the book yourself. But to whet your whistle, here’s some of my favorite quotes:

“A person who has achieved control over psychic energy and has invested it in consciously-chosen goals cannot help but grow into a more complex being.”

“A person who cannot override genetic instructions when necessary is always vulnerable.”

“The battle of self-discipline is not a battle against the self, it is a battle for the self.”

“Any fool can fall in love when young.”

“Writing is not meant only to transmit information; the point of writing is to create information.”

“Set yourself the challenge of reaching your [work] goals while helping [your boss] and your colleagues reach theirs.”

“A true friend is someone we can occasionally be crazy with; someone who does not expect us to be always true to form.”

In the words of Carlyle, when asked how to reform the world: “Reform yourself: that way there will be one less rascal in the world.”

The lion, when he runs after a pack of gazelles, can only catch one at a time.” (as quoted from a man named Reyad that Mihaly interviewed)

Paradoxically, this sense of humility–the recognition that one’s goals may have to be subordinated to a greater entity, and that to succeed one may have to play by a different set of rules from what one would prefer–is the hallmark of strong people.”

“The meaning of life is meaning; whatever it is, wherever it comes from, a unified purpose is what gives meaning to life.”