After interviewing over a thousand people about what made them happy, he found that all the responses had five things in common. Happiness, or “flow,” occurs when we are:
*intensely focused on an activity
*of our own choosing, that is
*neither underchallenging (boreout) nor overchallenging (burnout), that has
*a clear objective, and that receives
Csíkszentmihályi discovered that people who are “in the flow” not only feel a profound sense of satisfaction, they also lose track of time and forget themselves completely because they are so immersed in what they are doing. Musicians, athletes, actors, doctors and artists describe how they are happiest when they are absorbed in an often exhausting activity – totally contradicting the commonly held view that happiness has to do with relaxation.