Contentment vs. dissatisfaction

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Contentment vs. dissatisfaction

We humans have developed a brain that’s so sensitive and complex that we can imagine all kinds of things that other forms of life, other animals can’t really process or can’t make sense of it which is a great thing on the one hand. But on the other hand, it makes us always want for something more, something we imagine that the world owes us, whatever we want to have. And so the contentment is very hard to achieve. For other animals on this planet, when they’re well fed and comfortable, that’s good. And we can’t just do that. Our brain is always working around saying, “Hey, maybe this, maybe that, maybe that.” And that’s great. That’s what made us such an interesting and powerful species. But also has the downside that if you can’t control your desires, you will be always dissatisfied.
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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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