Friday, June 16, 2006

More on happiness

As I'm studying positive experiences in my own PhD, and since I'm fascinated by the notion of happiness, I bought Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Here are two thought-evoking quotes (my translation):

How can it be that, although we've created miraculous successtories that no-one could even dream of, we are more helpless than our less privileged ancestors were when life is concerned? The answer is clear-cut, while humanity has collectively increased its material wealth by the thousand, it hasn't advanced at all concerning improving the content of the experiences. (Page 34)

As an opposite to what many believe, the best times in life are not passive, receiving and relaxed moments. The best moments occur in general when a human is stretching her body to the maximum in a conscious exertion in order to achieve something difficult and effort worthy. (Page 20)


The last quote makes me think of the two running competitions I've participated in this last month. The 10 K run went beautifully well, no difficulties whatsoever. The 5 K run on the other hand was hard and the agreeable, nice feeling was lacking. We even had to start swearing to get through the race with a good mood. And now when I think of the races afterwards, I enjoy the harder run more than the longer, easier one. Strange but true.

1 comment:

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