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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

Sure, I've been in "flow state" when I'm teaching. In those moments time passes faster and I forget all my problems. I have also been in this state while practicing some physical activities, such as running and cycling. This matter made me think about the importance of a good choice of our work and professions; on this depends our happiness!!!!

For sure, I've been in a "state of flow" Whenever I study English I concentrate so hard that I lose track of time.
Thank you

Hello Everyone
I agree with this theory. As for me, even though I am not an artist, I maintain that I am really happy when I focus on an activity. Because I am totally involved and therefore, there is no time to think at all. My brain is completely concentrated and I don't have any time to think. I have been learning English for two years on a daily basis. I am keen on learning English everyday. During all the time I am learning, I feel an extreme relief of peace. That also happened last year, when I was painting the walls of my whole flat. We shouldn't think. Never. Thoughts are the venom of our mind. In my opinion, obviously.

Yes....! I'm in a state of flow whenever I visit this site!
( ˃̶͈ ᴗ ˂̶͈ )

I'm completely absorbed in my work. I'm always in a state of flow. I'm always happy even I don't have work to do. Curently, I am involved in learning English from 8 am to 12 pm while wainting to receive a purchase order from my partners. Also, Learning English will help me to get my English better and then get more work. So external events whatever they are sad dont affect me.

Yes, I think many people who work on research activities like me, have been in a 'state of flow'. When you research a subject, you should concentrate very high and completely lost track of time.

I have been in a "state of flow" in my job, when I worked for an specific goal and deadline.

To be honest I've never been in a state of flow, as I'm not completely absorved in what I do because sometimes get distracted more easily. But I'd like to experiment this one and feel that it is to have a happy life.

it happens sometimes when i'm on my pc while i'm doing something new. I am so absorbed in my work that I can no longer hear anyone. My wife can call me or tell me something, at first, I don't hear her. She has to repeat her question and then I take my concentration off and I say: "What did you say?" So, at that time , I think I was in a state of flow and certainly in a bubble in which I was very happy

Yes, i have been 'state in flow' when doing something i love. For example, when i am coding or fix bug, i am in concentration. Studying something new also make me in state of flow

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