Friday, March 26, 2010

Go With the Tao

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow, an idea "so against what psychology was teaching, which was you are motivated by rewards that you can consume or use," has ancient origins, according to Todd Wright — Modern Concept of "Flow" Has its Roots in Taoism.

"Workers are far more motivated by a matching of personal skill with the challenge that the work provides," according to Dr. Csíkszentmihályi. "Flow is what people feel when they get so involved in something that they forget time," he explains. "They don't notice how they feel – hungry, sleepy, whatever." How he came across the idea:
    The idea that would become "Flow" came to him while studying the work of artists. He noticed that they tended to fully immerse themselves in what they were doing. But when they were done, they would put it aside and begin working on the next project, seldom to revisit their prior creations.
Mr. Wright concludes that "the basis for Csikszentmihalyi's Flow" lies in the Tao Te Ching: "If you want to accord with the Tao, just do you job, then let go."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jonny said...

Csikszentmihalyi spent a weekend at Yonsei talking about Flow a couple years ago. Fascinating stuff. Like his fellow researcher Martin Seligman (Authentic Happiness), he shows us that there is much more about psychology than just healing the mentally ill. Perhaps it's greatest achievements lie ahead in what it can do for mentally "well" people, if there really are any ;-)

3:54 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Anything that flies in the face of Behaviorism has to be good.

4:11 AM  

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