Sunday, 22 September 2013


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic. This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.

1 comment:

Glaucus said...

Autotelism takes its name from two Greek words - auto (self) and telos (goal), referring to an activity that is a goal in itself. Cash prizes are not a motivator here. The autotelic writer writes to write, just like the autotelic teacher teaches to teach. Autotelism is the belief that satisfying work is a justification in and of itself.

“An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power or fame, because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding,” says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, renowned Hungarian-American psychologist. “They are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of dull and meaningless routines.” Autotelism is closely associated with the experience of flow, which describes an immersive experience where hours can fly by unnoticed.

“The autotelic is autonomous and independent because they are cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards”, says Csikszentmihalyi. “At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.”