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An introduction to a lecture

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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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Intermediate: B1

Comments

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

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.

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.

sure! doing what I like the most: reading.

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.

I'm a musical producer and the state of flow is exacvlty how I fell when I do music, now I'm very ompressed with that, because in this moment of my life, music is the only thing that makes me happy, altough, studying english makes me so happy too ♥

Yes, for many times I have to say I am absorbed in what i am doing. I think in the life the most important thing is to evaluate the time and period. If we achieve this evaluate, we would save our past and future. Evaluating the time which now we are living means a lot of opportunities for us to be able successful. I belive that our strongest point is having to ability to evaluate the moment.

Yes, of course. I was in a "state of flow" while I was studying mathematics. When I was at school I loved mathematics. After graduating from school, I studied political science and law. There was a course that was named Obligation Law. It was very interesting for me. Therefore, when I was reading books in that field, I was attracted to, which is named "absorbed" by positive psychologists.
When I was studying criminal law in my M.A. degree, the philosophy of criminal law was very nice. So, I usually enjoyed and felt pleasure, when I was reading theories of criminal law.
Then, I applied and succeeded in AIHRC and there were many things, but I was interested in philosophy of human rights. Now I am reading a book in the field of criminal law and it is very interesting. So, I am obviously having a pleasure time with it.
Regards,
Tayyebi

I don't support this I theory of flow because many tines I was in state of flow and I wasn't happy. In my opinion we get the happiness when we ignore our problem and also when we enjoy what we are doing، by other word happiness is contentment.

Yes, of course. I have been in a "state of flow" before my travel to Malta because visited all my friends and share many time with my family.

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