Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

So what it’s telling you here is that obviously this automatic, spontaneous process that he’s describing can only happen to someone who is very well trained and who has developed technique. And it has become a kind of a truism in the study of creativity that you can’t be creating anything with less than 10 years of technical-knowledge immersion in a particular field. Whether it’s mathematics or music, it takes that long to be able to begin to change something in a way that it’s better than what was there before. Now, when that happens, he says the music just flows out. And because all of these people I started interviewing — this was an interview which is over 30 years old — so many of the people described this as a spontaneous flow that I called this type of experience the “flow experience.” And it happens in different realms.