It is true to say that a person can make himself happy or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening outside, just by changing the contents of consciousness. As a matter of fact, subjective experience is not just one of the dimensions of life, it is life itself. Material conditions are secondary; they only affect us indirectly, by way of experience. Flow benefits the quality of life directly. Health, money and other material advantages may or may not improve life. Unless a person has learned to control psychic energy, chances are such advantages will be useless.
At this point, I want to talk about "autotelic self." The “autotelic self” is one that easily translates potential threats into enjoyable challenges, and therefore maintains its inner harmony. A person who is never bored, seldom anxious, involved with what goes on, and in flow most of the time may be said to have an autotelic self. The term literally means “a self that has self-contained goals,” and it reflects the idea that such an individual has relatively few goals that do not originate from within the self. For most people, goals are shaped directly by biological needs and social conventions, and their origin is outside the self.