An introduction to a lecture

Listen to the introduction of a psychology lecture to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the first lecture of our new course in Positive Psychology. While some people may associate psychology with looking at what's wrong with us, and at what problems we have, there is much more to psychology than that. Positive psychology, for example, looks at how to help people become happier.

This lecture begins with a question: what makes a happy life?

Now, I'm going to give you one possible answer. A happy life is a life in which you are completely absorbed in what you do. Now, how does this compare with what you and your partner said? 

This answer comes from the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the theory of flow. Csikszentmihalyi is a psychologist who has spent much of his professional life on the study of what makes people happy and how we can find happiness.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests the theory that happiness is not caused by external events or things that happen to us. Our perception of these things and how we see these events either makes us happy or sad. In other words, if we want happiness, we have to actively look for it. However, this does not mean that we should always look for happiness! Csikszentmihalyi believed that our happiest moments happen when we are in a state of flow.

The theory of flow can be summarised like this: when we are totally involved in, or focused on, what we are doing, we are in a state of flow.

Csikszentmihalyi got the inspiration for this theory when he noticed how artists worked in a studio. They completely lost track of time, they didn't notice they were hungry or tired, and they could work for hours, even days, without stopping. Anyone I have spoken to who has experienced this state of concentration has said it's difficult to explain. The best way to explain it is that it is like being in a river and the flow of the water carries you away.

For the rest of this lecture, I will explore this theory of flow in more detail. First we will look at Csikszentmihalyi's life, and how it influenced his ideas. Then we will look at the conditions that go with a state of flow. What creates flow, exactly? Finally, we will look at activities that can help us achieve flow in our everyday lives. Will this course make you happy for life? Well, maybe. Maybe. 

Right, let's get started. If you look at the next slide …

Discussion

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Average: 3 (4 votes)

Submitted by Suane Alves on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 20:18

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Yes, When I'm doing something that I like the time can fly by and I don't even notice. For example, this activity is when I am read a book, learn English, listening to my songs, talking to a friend, or eating barbecue with my family. I feel the state of flow.

Submitted by Asni on Mon, 10/08/2020 - 00:47

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When I enjoy what I'm doing, I'm in a state of flow. For example, when I go to the gym and start working out, I forget about everything...I just feel like I'm different, I'm proud of myself and satisfied, it gives me a great positive feeling and a lot of energy...

Submitted by IKEDA on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 06:58

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I have the experience of flow sometimes. While I do programming, I often forget times and I'm surprised myself how long I have done that. I heard Csikszentmihalyi for the first time in this unit and I was impressed by the theory of "flow", I want to read his book soon.

Submitted by fahri on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 01:49

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The happy is if you feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction. The keynote are pleasure and satisfaction. If you pleasure and satisfaction with something or with someone or with situation then you are happy people. And If you not pleasure and not satisfaction with something or with someone or with situation then you are not happy people
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Submitted by Hennadii on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 10:28

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The state of flow is my life )) I'm not the anti-flow person, actually. I don't like to struggle with something difficult I prefer to find my pros and new possibilities. I think everyone needs to find his (her) own way to harmony, find a passion in one's life and the method how-to relax, recharge one's battery, and move forward. It's hard but finding your personal way to happiness is a reason for being.

Submitted by abudo93 on Sat, 25/07/2020 - 23:07

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Yes, that's always happening when I do new work, especially while I'm wake up after.

Submitted by Hn0062 on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 11:35

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in principle, each of us have experienced it a few times, even it probably happened about some small issues, for instantce: whe I am learning a new thing in English languege, I would rather go on study it for hours.I am full of enthusiasm for learning at that time. I concentrate for studying. personlly, I enjoy study English. But i am sometimes tired about it and I can't get anything and I feel done.

Submitted by wahbi baklouti on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 20:41

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I have been in a state of flow when I'm working or learn something that I love. I start to focus on it and absorb everything.

Submitted by ndiaw on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 17:18

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sure! doing what I like the most: reading.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 22/06/2020 - 07:54

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Yes, I have. When I was junior high school student, I was absorbed in playing badminton. I was a member of badminton club at junior high school, so I always practiced badminton to win a lot of games. Then, the more I practiced it, the more my skill of badminton was improved. So, I think I was in a state of flow.