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An introduction to a lecture

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

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Transcripts

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 …

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Good evening
first of all i would to thanks you for your great choosing of these listening transcripts which are very interested, useful, exciting and rich in new
recent information about positive psychology or about motivation or pitch drop... anyway all your listening transcripts touch my mind and absorbed my passion of knowing...
as well as I experienced the state of flow when i am writing because i would be so concentrated full focusing on what i am writing .
by the way
this listening lesson motivates me to search about Mihlay Csikszentmihalyi, oh I think i need a years to pronunciates his name very well.
kind regards

Hi Razan Mahairy,

Thanks for your kind comments. It is an interesting topic, isn't it? We're glad you found these listenings useful. 

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

I have been in a state of flow once I am reading books, especially my interesting books. I define the happiness is the time you do things with all your concentration and do not pay attention to things around you. The ways you do things, the goals you achieve is more important than how much you did.

Yes, I have been in a state of flow a lot of times. Usually, when I am drawing or doing some work, I lost track of time.

To be honest these days I found myself in a state of flow. I'm full commitment to learning English, and sometimes I spend many hours In front of the Laptop, doing exercise to improve it without noticing that time has passed. I'm totally absorbed in it, without having an interest in anything else. I'm totally concentrated on becoming fluent in English.

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.

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...

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.

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

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.

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