Off topic: Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow" (an explanation of KudoZ?)
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:43
SITE FOUNDER
Jul 11, 2003



Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote: "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"

Quote: "Mr. Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as 'being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.'"

The "Flow" he talks about is an optimal experience characterized by:

- a sense of playfulness
- a feeling of being in control
- concentration and highly focused attention
- mental enjoyment of the activity for its own sake
- a distorted sense of time
- a match between the challenge at hand and one's skills

In sports, Flow is known as "being in the zone".

Also (apparently) from the book...

Elements that make experiences enjoyable
---------------
1.A challenge requiring skills
2.A chance of completion
3.The opportunity to concentrate, merging action and awareness
4.Clear goals
5.Immediate feedback
6.Deep involvement transcending distractions and the awareness of time
7.A sense of control over actions
8.Absorption of self
9.Expansion of self through experience
---------------

For me, Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow" explains why KudoZ is addictive, why translation is fun, and maybe why horses run in fields and dolphins swim laps for no apparent reason.

More about Csikszentmihalyi:
http://www.brainchannels.com/thinker/mihaly.html

More about Flow:
http://www.debateit.net/improvethought/flow1.htm


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:43
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
KudoZ ? ;) Jul 11, 2003

Henry, I think you have just described LOVE!)

Henry wrote:

- a sense of playfulness
- a feeling of being in control
- concentration and highly focused attention
- mental enjoyment of the activity for its own sake
- a distorted sense of time
- a match between the challenge at hand and one's skills




Magda


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Flow, flowing... flow(ers?) Jul 11, 2003

Henry wrote:

For me, Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow" explains why KudoZ is addictive, why translation is fun, and maybe why horses run in fields and dolphins swim laps for no apparent reason.




A very good conclusion, indeed.

Thanks for an interesting break, Henry.

Check this out, it is from the second link you pasted:

"People seem to get more flow from what they do on their jobs than from leisure activities in free time." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


That is what I call a paradox...

Au


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:43
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
'I love you' Jul 11, 2003

Magda Dziadosz wrote:

Kudoz? Henry, I think you have just described LOVE!)


I knew there was a link between KudoZ and our most popular (and least popular) question...


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:43
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Hey, thanks to KudoZ... Jul 11, 2003

many more people know how to say "I love you" in many more languages
Monika


Henry wrote:


I knew there was a link between KudoZ and our most popular (and least popular) question...


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Henry, that's so curious... Jul 11, 2003

But maybe my experience is isolated.

Language services was the first job I landed. Employer was a government institution, and the facilities were a dream: a convention center by the seaside, with a five-star hotel annex where we stayed over during conferences. The seaside was a 4-kilometer stretch very popular with joggers, and our compulsory 1-hour break was invariably spent either running or doing laps in the olympic swimming pool, so as not to burn out when we had overtime shifts.

Result? I stuck with the profession long after the job had burned out. And when I get sick and tired of being chained to a desk with a computer, I still run out or do laps in the nearest pool... now, is that a parrot, horse or dolphin?

[Edited at 2003-07-11 21:44]


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xxxOso
Spanish
+ ...
Loved it! ¶:^) Jul 12, 2003

Henry wrote:
For me, Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow" explains why KudoZ is addictive, why translation is fun, and maybe why horses run in fields and dolphins swim laps for no apparent reason.


and certain bears walk endlessly.

Oso ¶:^)


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:43
Italian to English
There's a word for it in Welsh ... Jul 12, 2003

... "hwyl".

It is used in English to indicate the "divine inspiration" of an orator or singer in full flow (what the Ancient Greeks called "enthousiasmos", which gave us "enthusiasm"), and by extension, the state of being totally absorbed in any activity - even translation.

A helpful Welsh speaker will no doubt be able to provide us with more background on the term.

The only problem is working out how to pronounce "hwyl", or indeed "Csikszentmihalyi".

Go with the hwyl,

Giles


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Bob Kerns  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:43
Member (2002)
German to English
Not just bears !! Jul 12, 2003

Oso wrote:

and certain bears walk endlessly.

Oso ¶:^)

and leprechauns too in Ireland


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 22:43
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Advantages of multilingualism :) Jul 12, 2003

There is a famous art collector in Tartu, Estonia- Mr. Matti Millius. In times Baltic States were still occupied, russians wanted to conscript him in the army for 2 years. He went to the military recruitment office and recited to a colonel there “I love you” in 27 languages. They sent him to mental hospital, not the army
About 10 years later some people shot a documentary about him and (I was present) he still was able to say “I love you” by heart in 21 languages

Uldis


[Edited at 2003-07-16 18:28]


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:43
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
well put! Jul 12, 2003

The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.


Thanks ever so much Henry for this. How well put! Mind you, I believe this is true irrespective of profession - if done right, the same "symptoms" will emerge; and those experiencing this state of mind while working are the most fortunate. I am very grateful to have had not one but two professions (so far) giving me this sort of thrill.

Thanks again, Henry, for this posting!

All the best,
Ildiko

P.S. The pronounciation of Csikszentmihalyi is pretty simple! ;^) Try this:
[cheek-saint-me-high-ee]
{stress on 1st syllable [as always is, in Hungarian])


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