The natural flow of children vs. modern life

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The natural flow of children vs. modern life

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Children are usually, if the environment is safe, children will flow naturally; because as they grow, they develop new skills. Is there is a challenge for those skills, then they will say, "I can do that." They will enjoy growing up. They will enjoy living. They can set their own goals. They can get involved with challenges at their own level. We develop schools so the kids can have a common education. Common education means that its either too difficult for some kids, or too easy for a lot of kids. The education consists more or less, quietly for hours, which is not what children have developed to be. They have to sit in school. By the time they are adults, a lot of kids have forgotten how to flow. They get pleasure from media, entertainment, and other sources; but not from flow; which is something they have to produce. Many of them get into jobs where they don't have much opportunity to experience flow. When they are ready for retirement, they have wasted most of their life, in terms of, actually living.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD

Psychologist & Researcher

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was born in Italy of Hungarian parents. He came to the United States at age 22, became a psychologist, taught at the University of Chicago for 30 years and was Chairman of the Department of Psychology. Since 1999 he has been a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. Of the 13 books he wrote or co-authored, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience is the best known; it has been translated in 29 languages. He and his wife Isabella spend the summers in Montana, where the rest of the family comes to visit and hike in the mountains.

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