Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on the Meaning of Life

MikeC.Smiling (2)Excellence Reporter: Professor Csikszentmihalyi, what is the meaning of life?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: No one can give you an answer to the question:”what is the meaning of life?” If you want your life to have meaning, you have to give it one yourself.

For some people, meaning comes from the wonderful variety and complexity of life itself; from the majesty of nature — from the galaxies and planets above, to the microscopic life beneath our feet.

But the most sustaining meaning comes from what you yourself contribute to the world — by the love you give, the strength you provide, the beauty you create.

Of course, if you want a quick and painless way to get meaning you can listen to the many voices that promise it to you; but you will have to be careful, because those messages are often self-serving, and they end up making you helpless and passive, rather than a co-creator of your life.


~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University, and Founding Co-Director of Quality of Life Research Center

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

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