Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"Attention is our most essential stepping stone to happiness."


That's Maggie Jackson,author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. You can read a short interview here.

This is the same conclusion reached by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ("call me Mike") in his book Flow: the psychology of optimal experience -- a book that is one of the landmarks of Positive Psychology.

According to Mike, "The best moments of our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times--although such expeeriences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to achieve them. The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen."

Maria Montessori understood that, too.

She added this: learning the pleasures of concentration actually transforms the personality. The child changes. Becomes a different child.

Well, wouldn't it change you to discover the secret of happiness?


  1. What keeps me going back to the classroom are those moments when the unhappiest, most rebellious children find the perfect material, the one piece of work that will begin the transformation process. They DO become different children: calmer, happier, and more in control of themselves. It's a beautiful thing...

  2. Thanks for your comment. It is a great thing for us adults to do the same, to find work that engages us fully.