Most people, children AND adults, “need external incentives to take the first steps in an activity that requires a difficult restructuring of attention. Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding. An autotelic experience is very different from the feelings we typically have in the course of life. So much of what we ordinarily do has no value in itself, and we do it only because we have to do it, or because we expect some future benefit from it. . . . [But] because flow activities are freely chosen and more intimately related to the sources of what is ultimately meaningful, they are perhaps more precise indicators of who we are.” (68, 77)
It is now time to further explore the ways in which we can better direct our purpose, extract our best self in every circumstance, discover new opportunities for action, and disregard external threats. To achieve control over what happens in the mind, one can draw upon an almost infinite range of opportunities for enjoyment --for instance, through sports, games, art, and hobbies, through the use of physical and sensory skills-- ranging from athletics to music to Yoga, through the development of symbolic skills such as poetry, philosophy, or mathematics, through work and through your career, through relationships with family, parents, spouses, children, and friends, and, yes, even through adversity, tragedy, and suffering.
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