Hardwired for the Impossible: Human Performance Tools with Steven Kotler


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Jan 15 2021 50 mins   11

Do you think that intense, beneficial states of flow are only for extreme athletes? Not true, says Steven Kotler. In fact, we all have the tools for this process that leads to human performance optimization. He discusses his new book about human performance impact factors, offering key steps in this conversation.

Listen and learn

  • How an experience while recovering from Lyme disease led him to the phenomenon of flow and corresponding research,
  • Why certain acts trigger states of flow and what is the most common “interpersonal flow” in business environments, and
  • How to engage in specific flow-state triggers and how to access resources for more formal human performance improvement training.

Noted author and speaker Steven Kotler has written thirteen books, nine of which are best sellers. Two of his books have been nominated for the Pulitzer prize. He’s the executive director of the Flow Research Collective and, along with his wife, is cofounder of a hospice and special-needs center for dogs. He’s written a new book called The Art of Impossible, and shares its inspiration and seminal ideas with listeners.

He’s quite a storyteller and the journey that led to his human performance improvement research is quite a story. It all started with a friend forcing him to surf after suffering months from Lyme disease. Despite extreme hardship and debilitation, he went with her that day and it changed his life: he experienced the phenomena of a “flow state.” He tells listeners, how, why, and what happened next.

He also emphasizes that flow states are achievable and have concreate access points. It’s all about getting our biology to work for us, he says. In fact, flow states have 22 triggers, and he describes some of these human performance improvement steps. But the major idea to understand, he emphasizes, is that “flow follows focus.” The ability to carve out that atmosphere and time to focus is central to human performance and limitation. He discusses methods to schedule your day to achieve this focus and describes mindsets that might hinder flow states, such as an expert mindset that might disallow open thinking.

Finally, he adds that he’s trained people and groups on these techniques. His new book focuses on “turbo-boosting the equation.”

For more about these trainings, see flowresearchcollective.com.

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK