Alright, I have to say I am so amped for today’s episode. If you have listened to this show for even a nano second, you know I’m enthralled with the topic of flow and peak human performance. Well today, we are taking a deep dive my friends. My guest is literally one of the world’s most prominent thought leaders in the world of flow and decoding the science of optimal performance, he’s a tour de force in this space and I’m thrilled and honored to share my conversation with him. Steven Kotler is a 4x New York Times bestselling author and journalist, whose books and speaking explore the intersection between radical innovation, peak performance, and disruptive technology. His 2nd latest book, Stealing Fire (which I highly recommend), was co-authored with Jamie Wheal and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is also is the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, whose mission to understand the science behind ultimate human performance and use it to level up individuals, organizations, and society at large.
My conversation with Steven is jam packed, and we start off talking about his very latest book, The Last Tango In Cyberspace, which explores topics like cutting edge technology, neuroscience, psychology and psychopharmacology, and empathy which emerges as one of the big themes of the book and what Steven deems as the answer to our environmental crisis. That’s just the beginning. If you hang in there, we hear about the details behind Steven’s classic book The Rise of Superman, where he dissects how household name action sports athletes like Shane McConkey, Dean Potter, Laird Hamilton, and Travis Rice have all risen to the peak of human potential.
Let’s put it this way, if you don’t learn something new and fascinating in this conversation, a) you either don’t have a pulse or b) I’ll give you a full refund 😜🧠. Alright amigos, hang on tight and enjoy the ride! Here’s my conversation with Steven Kotler.
David Eagleman (Stanford)
Fiction as the only way to write about the future
“I read non-fiction for facts, and fiction for perspective” - SK
The process of writing and how it induces flow and keeps us sane (make sense of the world)
“The internet is a shared consensual hallucination" - William Gibson
***“Empathy is our secret weapon” for the environmental crisis - SK
Empathy as a super power
"We are unable to perceive the very thing we are trying to save” - SK
Figure out you can learn from someone (which requires empathy)
"Live the questions is just the best advice ever” - our goals are fuzzy, but our curiosities are a lot clearer - Rilke
Emerging technologies and how they shape our lives
Umwelt - when technology changes our perception, our world changes
An empathy experiment: think about trees, animals, etc as your absolute equal, as your brother, as family and do that for a few weeks and see how your perception changes and your empathy expands.
The evolution of action and adventure sports and the role of flow in all that progress - redefining the limits of our species on a regular basis.
“Anytime you see the impossible being possible, you’re seeing the state of consciousness known as flow" - SK
Flow mountain biking - trails designed to alter consciousness