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Full Version: The Autotelic Personality
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"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic.[2] This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.

"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. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life." [3]

A. Bartlett Giamatti characterizes sports, such as baseball, as autotelic activities: "...that is, their goal is the full exercise of themselves, for their own sake..."[4]

In a sense that the action itself is an expression of their happiness, and not a desire to achieve or have happiness."====http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autotelic
(Nov 18, 2014 09:40 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: [ -> ]"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic.[2] This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.

I'm skeptical about that distinction right out of the gate.

Why should we think that comfort, pleasure, self-confidence and so on are 'external'? They seem to me to be psychological states of some sort. It's true that desires to maximize these kind of states often motivate behaviors out there in the external world. But so does curiosity, the desire to maximize knowledge, which motivates all kind of exploratory and scientific activities.