The Art of Impossible: Be Your Best With FLOW When It Matters Most with Steven Kotler #199

Episode Summary

Steven shares the concept of flow, a state of consciousness where individuals can achieve their highest levels of performance, creativity, and overall well-being. Discover insights from his research from over 30 years, transcending various domains and unlocking the secrets of peak human potential.

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Here’s a glance at what you’ll discover from Steven in this episode:

  •  Steven shares the latest research on Flow you can use in your business and life
  • How to experience “The High Flow Advantage” AND the 3 levels of well-being
  • Advanced Flow Techniques for leveling up your game when it matters most
  • The core psychological characteristics of flow (Plus: The “Big Six” of Flow)
  • How to boost your creativity, collaboration, memory and productivity
  • The 5 most potent neurochemicals Flow produces in your brain
  • Why using LESS of your brain actually multiplies your performance
  • A secret technique for increasing your creativity by 400%-700%
  • Why Flow is the source code of ultimate human performance
  • The #1 thing you can do to increase your overall life satisfaction
  • How to get your biology to work FOR you and not against you
  • 22 Flow Triggers: The high performance tool kit for creating flow
  • A simple 4 step system for experiencing complete concentration
  • What to do during times of crisis to maximize your neurobiology
  • The very surprising immune system boosting properties of Flow
  • Using the “Challenge/Skills Balance” to hit your Flow Sweet Spot


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Show Notes

Flow: A Transformative State of Consciousness

  • Flow is more than just a buzzword; it’s about achieving the extraordinary. It’s the state where the impossible becomes possible, and it has been the focus of intensive research for decades.
  • Flow is a universal experience, and anyone can access it under the right conditions. It’s deeply embedded in human biology, offering a glimpse of our full potential.

Defining Flow

  • Flow, often called “being in the zone,” is a state of optimal consciousness characterized by complete concentration, a merging of action and awareness, loss of self-consciousness, time dilation, a sense of control, and an autotelic experience (a pleasurable and rewarding activity done for its own sake).
  • Psychologists have established psychometric instruments to measure these core characteristics of flow. While we can measure psychological aspects of flow, biophysical flow detectors are still in development.

Benefits of Flow State

  • Flow isn’t just about feeling good; it has practical implications for productivity, learning, creativity, and overall well-being. It transforms how we approach tasks and interact with the world.
  • In flow, motivation and productivity can increase making individuals substantially more efficient.
  • Learning is accelerated in a flow state, with some studies indicating a 250% faster learning rate.
  • Creativity and innovation can surge by 400-700%, leading to groundbreaking ideas and solutions.
  • Flow enhances communication, collaboration, and cooperation, bringing about empathy and a heightened sense of ecological awareness.

Flow in an Exponential World

  • Modern life challenges our local and linear brains with a global, exponential reality. Our brains evolved to handle slow and local changes, but we now face rapid, global shifts. Flow is the brain’s way of keeping up.
  • Flow enables us to process information at a speed and scale that the normal brain can’t manage. It’s the key to innovation and creativity in a world of exponential change.

The Science of Flow

  • Advances in neuroscience have allowed us to uncover the neural processes behind flow. The ability to peer into the brain has led to significant breakthroughs in understanding how and why flow occurs.
  • Flow allows the brain to process information more effectively, leading to deeper insights and a better ability to envision the future.
  • Researchers are uncovering the neurobiological underpinnings of flow, including the relationship between time perception and flow states.


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