Transcript for Steven Kotler – The Rise of Superman

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human experience is cutting out the

evolutionary middleman as we find our

flow with my guest Steven Kotler Steven

my good sir it’s a pleasure welcome to


thanks for having me fun to be here

Steven your book small furry prayer was

a Wall Street bestseller SF Chronicle

bestseller angle for quickest flight was

an SF Chronicle bestseller won the

William Crawford fantasy award your book

abundance hit Barnes & Noble bestseller

New York time bestseller for seven weeks

you’ve written for Forbes you write for

Psychology Today where does this come

from I mean how did how do you get this

talent to write these bestseller after

bestseller that’s an interesting


I work really really hard I think is the

honest answer that’s a really I don’t

actually have any idea I will tell you a

funny story though that may put it in

context I when I started out writing I

started out as a novelist in my first

book the angle whispered by which just

referenced was a novel and I think it

was a best-seller it was also a fairly

mediocre novel I think and along the way

you know I started out as a journalist

so I wrote for everybody you could

possibly imagine I think it’s over a

hundred and 150 publications at this

point and I discovered I had this innate

talent for communicating really

good idea really complicated ideas to

people very very easily if you could

understand them you have to understand

that this was not a superpower I wanted

when I started out as a novelist I

wanted to be David Foster Wallace or

Thomas Pynchon I wanted to be this guy

who was really really famous for being

able to do super complicated fancy

things with language and my superpower

was almost the exact opposite of that so

I think at a certain point I gave in and

decided that I would be more use to

myself under the rest of the world if I

if I if I want this route rather than

the other route which i think is it’s

funny I’m a certain level and I also

think it’s um it’s fairly indicative of

creative careers and how how sharp right

turn show up a fairly frequently and you

you just got to go with it when you say

that you you work hard I mean what is

that what does that mean exactly you

immerse yourself in what you’re doing

yeah I mean you have to understand that

I get up every day at about 4:00 in the

morning and you know I will it’s not

unusual for me to write from 4:00 in the

morning till five o’clock at night 6

o’clock at night and to do that I can I

have the ability to do this over and

over and over and over and over and over

again um pretty much ad nauseam I you

know I I am lucky enough to get to do

exactly what I love for a living and I

never forget the fact and I you know I

always tell this to other people but you

know kind of coming up as a journalist I

I always knew every time I pitched a

story to a magazine for example and I

did a story for time or GQ or something

like that when they said yes to me they

were saying no to 500 other people yes

yes behind me who were almost you know

probably you know some of them are

probably more talented than I as I was

and I just had a slightly better rolodex

but I I was net I was always aware of

the fact that like they were there were

a lot of people chasing me and I sort of

never forgot that and I kind of always

de su m– that I wasn’t the most

talented guy in the room

I and so I just assumed that if I you

know wanted to keep doing what I was

doing for a living which was really the

only thing I knew how to do I had to I

had to outwork everybody so I mean was

it important for you to stay on the sort

of razor’s edge of your research and

writing and keeping up with things you

know that’s an interesting question on

my friend Andrew Hessel likes to tell me

that he thinks I’m five to twenty years

ahead of most people and I have to

remember that when I’m writing and and

what I think what he means is that like

like you know as you can see from

Tomorrowland I my interest has always

been you know sort of what’s going on on

the cutting edge of the cutting edge and

I often I don’t actually even know

what’s going on any other place is

probably a better way of saying that I’m

just naturally attracted to those things

I have no idea at the time that I’m

actually on the cutting edge of stuff

I’m just you know following my interest

where they lead but one of the things I

will tell you and I learned that’s a

very long time ago as a journalist when

I was finishing a story you know my

stories were always about the person or

individuals doing something kind of

astounding and amazing and you know very

very extreme in the world and the last

question I would ever ask people is okay

what’s the strangest most interesting

thing you know of that’s going on in the

world right now and oftentimes that was

where I went next so I wasn’t even

driving the bus I was just getting

advice from really smart people would

you say that you have had a sense of the

long term you said that your your friend

said that you were you know 5-10 years

ahead of everyone but do you do you

yourself feel like you see the long game

in Tomorrowland you’re I mean there’s so

many examples of in here about how much

we are evolving as a species and how

quickly that evolution is happening what

I’m asking is what is the end goal I

mean what is the end goal for you well

that’s a tricky question and you know I

love my work has been focused around

people pushing past the kind of

supposedly mmit Sevilla and whether it’s

you know kinesthetic physical

performance where I’m looking in Rises

Superman and action-adventure sports

athletes who are literally doing the

quote unquote impossible over and over

and over again and trying to figure out

where that’s coming from and why that’s


Tomorrowland which where I you know

spend time with you know twenty or so

different individuals who all invented

the future you know and broadening so

I’m I’m interested in what does it take

to dream up a world that other people

don’t think it’s possible and what does

it take to make that possible but I’m

interested in making that available to

kind of everybody I that’s the the one

thing that I’ve you know learned along

the way and I don’t number who first

said it to me but way way way back when

in my career and it was with one of

these I’m inventing the future kind of

people they pointed out to me that it

takes exactly the same amount of energy

as it does to open a local dry cleaning

establishment and really succeed with

that as it does to change the world the

work required is going to be the same

the vision is the only thing that’s

different and I have found that to be

very very true along the way I don’t

hard work as hard work as hard work

there’s only 24 hours in a day there’s

only so hard people can actually work

this size of the vision is is what tends

to be different and I think the only

reason the size of the vision tends to

be different or a lot of the reason has

to do with the people around you you

tend to believe what’s possible people

around you believe is possible for

example when I spent a lot of my nine

the 90s in Squaw Valley California where

you know action-adventure sport athletes

were literally redefining almost on a

daily basis or what was possible and

from the outside it looked like the most

revolutionary thing in the history of

the world but from the inside it looked

like a bunch of friends who were going

out onto the

and pushing each other and having a good

time Silicon Valley looked the same way

I was in San Francisco at the beginning

of kind of the internet and got to work

on buzz net which was the very first

online magazine and you know it you know

on the outside it looked like a

revolution and on the inside it looked

like a bunch of people you know sharing

passion and having fun I don’t think

there’s a huge difference other than the

size of the vision feels like it’s so

important yes hard work is hard work as

well as if you are inventing something

that is going to change the world is

doesn’t that change your you know

everything I mean shouldn’t that change

the whole game plan for you I don’t you

know it should I’ll give you a give a

different example you know my writing

partner on bold and abundance is Peter

Diamandis and Peters you know one of the

cofounders of singularity University

where every summer they get together you

know graduate students and they

challenge them in ten weeks you know

they put them through some coursework

and whatnot train people up in

exponentially accelerating technologies

and how they work and how to harness

them but they charge them with founding

a business that can impact the lives of

a billion people in ten years or yet or

less and that’s I mean that’s their

summer program that’s what these people

do and more and more I mean maybe it was

not always this way maybe I’m giving you

a few that is very very colored by the

technology of our time I was talking to

the venture capital is built high

earlier today and he reminded me once

again that you know when he started when

he got into this business into the

business it cost you know five million

dollars to start a company and today it

costs about five thousand dollars and

you know we are we have an enormous

technological advantage and maybe I am

just speaking from behind that advantage

but at this point today with with the

power of technology I really do think

it’s just a question of how big is your

is your dream that was actually going to

be my next question is do you do you

think that our generation today because

of Technology because of computers too

because of the access that we have to

the Internet information do you think

that is the reason that more people are

kind of striving to change the world

I think it’s two things um I think the

technology is astounding I also think I

think there’s been there’s always been

something very subcultural about the

urge to change the world that has not

that’s not that doesn’t tend to be a

mainstream preoccupation so much intends

too much more subcultural but for the

very first time in history subculture

right now counterculture rather than

being punk rockers or misfits or

whatever it’s entrepreneurs that’s as

far as I could tell the the newest

subculture I don’t know how long it’s

gonna last but for right now that’s what

you see and and it’s blending right you

go to Burning Man and you see Silicon

Valley and you go to Silicon Valley and

you see Burning Man it’s one and sort of

the same thing in a in a weird way today

that that hasn’t happened but there’s a

lot of you know kind of punk-rock energy

in subculture in saying hey I can do

what the other person can’t and it just

so happens that now because of

technology that’s aligned you know

that’s aligned people in a way that it

hasn’t before I also think the

Millennials have a different set of

values um

the very very very different values and

they more than any other generation in

the past measure themselves by the size

of the impact they can have in the world

and that’s a critical difference I think

it’s also a good time for me you know

when I came up in you know when I got

out of college and you know it was in

the 80s and in the 80s if you walked

into a boardroom and you started talking

about passion or purpose or creativity

even or inspiration I mean you would be

laughed out of that boardroom you would

have been run out of that boardroom

forget about talking about something

like flow and altered states of

consciousness what I do for a living

right just even kind of the entrance

points topics into that and let me put

it a different way and this is something

most people don’t know but it’s shocking

so in science until the 1990s emotions

internal subjective experience was not

even a topic we took seriously it wasn’t

until the 90s when a man named yacht

concepts sort of traced the neuron by

neuron chain of six primary emotions in

all mammals in rats when he felt when he

discovered this the scientists went oh

wow I think emotions are a real thing

and maybe we should study them and that

sounds totally absurd but it was really

what was going on so you’ve got a world

where you know passion and purpose you

know are not things that show up in

business and emotions are not real to

scientists and yet twenty years later

here we are and the most you know go go

to eight we are go to our business

reviewing search passion or purpose or

creativity or inspiration or any of

these you know soft topics that science

didn’t even say we’re real until the

turn of the century and they’re now the

center of the conversation so you know

and that’s a that’s a because of that by

the way I think entrepreneurs have been

you know sort of afford a disability the

new subculture I you know these are

these are haphazard guesses by the way

I’m not by any stretch of the

imagination a cultural critic mom but

why do you think being an entrepreneur

is so I mean don’t you think this the

industry is completely saturated with

people who are kind of over extending

their reach in a way I mean I feel like

I feel like if I hear about another guy

that has invented a billion-dollar

company I’m going to scream I agree I I

work pretty hard and I would like to

think I’m having some impact on the

world through my work so I mean how do

you feel about the state of

entrepreneurship and that everyone wants

to start their own company now you know

I’m less concerned I mean I’m excited by

the fact that everybody wants to start

their own company I think that’s

interesting I um yes I am as you know

sick as you are of hearing about it what

what bothers me about some of the

Entrepreneurship stuff is

the sort of the model it’s being built

under I think it’s very I think a lot of

it is very short-sighted right now

people want three years to you know a

billion customers kind of stuff that

kind of thinking to me is kind of

disastrous I’m much more interested in

so-called mid-market companies there’s

no there’s a bread and butter backbone

of you know of our economy and second of

all it you know I don’t when somebody

tells me they want to start a billion

dollar company ninety percent of the

time I think they want to make the next

angry frogs or something like that

because that’s the only way you scale up

that big that fast most of the time so I

think some of it is I you know I wish

their visions were bigger

I wish the markets supported a kind of a

longer-term vision of possibility I wish

at a systems level was more integrated

but you know it to me the fact that

there’s this much you know if anything

is going to save the human race from

itself its creativity and this many

people saying hey I’ve got an idea and

the world is such that I can now go out

and try to make that happen

do I think that’s a better world than

everybody getting out in trying to go

get a job on Wall Street or you know

that model yeah I like I’m much more

interested than the let’s invent

together model in the old model I really

I really am so you know yes there are a

million things wrong with it but I will

also say we’ve never seen anything like

this in history and of course there are

a million things wrong with it right the

fundamental model and Silicon Valley and

all this stuff has always been fail fall

or fail faster and so of course there’s

a lot of things that you could point in

and say yeah this isn’t this this is not

working this is not working this is not

working and then you got to stop and go

okay this entire model didn’t really

exist until 2004 or 2005 right so you’re

talking about something that is a decade

11 years old this much creativity being

thrust into the system I you know it’s

amazing to me that the system is

supporting it as much as it is I mean

with the rise of super the

Superman did you find that you were kind

of addressing a lot of entrepreneurs and

startup people with this book just

because it was talking about how to

reach flow state and how to be in the

zone or the forever box yeah so it’s

it’s a it’s a it’s a great question it’s

a funny answer when we when I you know I

had been working on flow right the the

zone that’s the the state of you knows

flow is technically defined as the state

of an optimal state of consciousness

where we feel our best and we perform

our best and we had been looking at it

primarily in artists athletes and

academics those were that those are the

tribes where we we were seeing we

thought the most flow was and that was

generally what most people thought and

I’ll tell you something really funny so

if you go to our website the website for

the flow Genome Project you’ll find a on

the landing page you’ll find a free flow

diagnostic it’s a flow profile it’s

technically a trait ology it says if

you’re this kind of person you’re likely

to find the most flow in your life by

going in these directions sort of a

roadmap on where to look for more flow

in your life and it’s you know it’s

based on the fact that flow has a lot of

kind of it’s got 18 different triggers

that we know of and different people are

more susceptible to different triggers

right this just tells you where to look

and what’s interesting is it has now

been taken by over 30,000 people so it

is I think as far as week as far as we

know the largest study ever done in

optimal psychology optimal performance

right and we went in when when this went

up and we were really sure we were gonna

see more of what we expected more

artists more athletes instead out of our

study our study subjects 48% of them

find the most flow in their lives doing

knowledge work being creative on the job

being an engineer being an entrepreneur

being a doctor being a lawyer take your

pick so what we we went in really

thinking that this was something for

really kind of elite high performing

teams and we came out going holy crap

it’s I mean we knew flow was ubiquitous

we know it

shows up in anyone anywhere provided at

certain initial conditions were met

we’ve known that for a lot of years but

to find out that it’s actually showing

up most in knowledge work uh you know

was shocking to us but it does explain

you know interest in Rises Superman

interest in the flow Genome Project in

the beginning it was high-performing

organizations like you would like you

would expect of you know athletes or US

Special Forces that kind of stuff but

now we spend as much time on Wall Street

and main straight street as we do almost

any place else yeah yeah and you know

you talk about flow as being a sort of

spectrum experience there’s a macro and

there’s a micro you can enter these

small seeds of flow and then you have

larger states of flow am I am I on the

right track here you’re totally on the

right track it’s like well it it’s it’s

just think about any emotion right

every emotion we have every internal

experience we have is a spectrum anger

you can be a little bit irked or you can

be homicidally murderous it’s the same

you know emotion that’s at the base so

you can flow has ten well actually seven

defining characteristics wait some of

them are very fantasy your sense of self

disappears time passed this strangely

it’ll slow down or a speed-up but

there’s also you know simple ones like

uninterrupted concentration a sense of

control over what you’re doing anyway so

you can be in a state of micro flow

where a couple of these things show up

and if you know that that for example

you fall into a great conversation at

work with your coworker and an hour goes

by and you don’t even notice it and

you’re so lost and the ideas but your

sense itself is sort of turned off you

haven’t really been thinking about you

know what you have to make for dinner

the work you’re not giving it and you’re

so sucked in the conversation or you can

have a state of macro flow or I’ll hand

show up and until the 1950s we thought

that you Mack we talked about macro flow

is a mystical experience we didn’t

actually you didn’t you it was not even

you know it was it was such a profoundly

altered state that we had terms like

mystical experience it wasn’t until a

psychologist named Abraham Maslow

discovered flow in the

you study group pact with atheists that

a bee went holy crap this isn’t a

spiritual experience I guess other

people have this as well how important

is the creative process and and actually

being inside of creatives creating

something I mean you said that doctors

can do this lawyers can do this is there

a certain part of the range of the brain

that is specifically engaged while we

are entering a flow State

that’s a fantastic question and so when

I talk about flow I am literally talking

about the three neurobiological

processes when somebody isn’t flow

they’re great so let me back up and say

normally under normal conditions right

now for example you and I are in

conversation and if I were to look

inside your brain what I would see is a

lot of activity in your prefrontal

cortex the kind of latest newest part of

your brain where you do a lot of complex

decision-making and long-term planning

and things along those sorts and your

brain waves would be high beta range

which is where we are when we’re

thinking and conversing and whatnot and

neural chemically we’d see sort of

standard attention and stress hormone so

we see cortisol norepinephrine and

adrenaline probably that’s sort of 21st

century normal when we move into flow

everything changes the prefrontal cortex

starts to deactivate so it turns off

this area that’s hyperactive right now

it starts to shut off your brain waves

move from you know agitated beta down

towards calmer alpha and meditative

theta and the stress hormones get

flushed out of your system and they’re

replaced by feel-good

performance-enhancing neural chemicals

like dopamine serotonin and and Emine

and endorphins and such so there’s a

there’s when I’m speaking about flow I’m

talking a lot of very specific shift in

neurobiology that accompany those seven

phenomenological characteristics I

talked about earlier phenomenological is

just a fancy way of saying this is how

these things make this is how this

experience makes me feel so this takes

away the 10%

of our brain myth right yeah so the it’s

a it’s a funny it’s a funny thing and

it’s actually one of the things that

kind of steered a lot of this research

sideways for a long time but way back at

the turn of the century a psychologist a

Harvard psychologist named William James

made a speech where he we miss what he

said was misinterpreted and it became

what you reference the 10% brain with

the idea that hey I’m only using 10% my

brain at any one time so ultimate

performance aka flow must be my full

brain on overdrive and it turns out we

had it exactly backwards when we achieve

states of ultimate performance our brain

doesn’t become hyperactive it becomes

hypoactive hy means it’s the opposite it

starts to deactivate and you’re back

down so you know another way of putting

this is you know we’ve we’ve all heard

Huxley’s famous phrase you fling open

the doors of perception it turns out

actually no they’re shutting down and on

a certain level it’s we’re going in the

opposite direction

I mean what’s really happening is you’re

trading conscious processing which is

very very potent but it’s also very very

slow very very energy expensive and very

very limited in terms of its RAM the

number of things that the brain can

consciously process at once is really

small consciously you that you have

something called working memory and the

maximum it can hold on to it once is

about nine items but most of us tap out

around four so working memory is really

really small very very limited powerful

but small when we can slip over the

subconscious you’re much much faster to

two to five thousand times faster than

conscious thought extremely energy

efficient and unlimited RAM we literally

don’t have any idea what the carrying

capacity the storage capacity of the

subconscious actually is at this point

so you know researchers refer to it as

essentially infinite because we can’t

come close to finding a limit this is

shocking to me I’m blown away I so

you’re saying that the brain actually is


down the the regions that make you kind

of think of yourself as unable to do

something let me give you a let me let

let’s put in more concrete terms so when

you move into flow you experience

transient hypofrontality transient

meaning temporary hypo right we just

talked about it’s the opposite of hyper

means to slow down and frontality refers

to the prefrontal cortex that latest

greatest part of your brain so why does

your sense of self and

self-consciousness and that inner critic

that nagging defeatist – always-on voice

in your head that won’t go away shut

down and flow why does this happen

because self is actually calculated by

it bunch of different structures in the

brain that are all found in the

prefrontal cortex so as parts of it

start to shut out shut down you can no

longer perform this calculation that’s

the same thing why does time pass so

strangely and flow we’ve all had the

experience of you know getting into that

great conversation and an hour goes by

and you think it was two minutes why

does that happen because when you go

into that conversation you’re the focus

that is required what you’re really

looking at by the way is an efficiency

exchange the brain has a fixed energy

budget so when you’re putting all your

energy into focus and attention and

being right here right now in the

present moment the bearing deactivates

non-critical structures to save energy

and be able to give you more energy for

focus and attention speed when that

happens the prefrontal cortex starts to

shut down that’s where you’re sent to

time goes time is calculated all over

the prefrontal cortex as parts of it

wink out we can’t separate paths from

present and future and were plunged into

a state that people will talk to Philip

Zimbardo at Stanford calls the elongated

now or the deep now so I mean I mean

would you relate this back to how how

long does this do does the research go

back on on this flow state I mean is

this a survival mechanism is this

something that was sort of programmed

into us to defend off against sort of

big wild animals or what so it so two

questions there it is different you’re

taught that the survival mechanism is

the fight-or-flight response right that

is diff

then flow very very different in fighter

flight you get adrenalin norepinephrine

a little bit of dopamine and cortisol is

a huge it’s a huge huge huge response

but it’s a very very limited response

when you’re in fight-or-flight you have

three options you can flee you can fight

or you can freeze that’s all the

possibilities when you’re in flow it’s

the exact opposite its options wide open

almost anything you do you’re going to

be excellent at so you can really do

whatever is in front of you it’s the

actual opposite end of the spectrum

their exact opposite responses that they

share similar neurobiology that said the

research for flow goes all the way back

to the 1870s basically so or 1880s so

there’s there’s like a hundred and

twenty-five years of flow science and

part of it was the discovery of the

fight-or-flight response people had

started to realize that certain high

risk situations seemed to provoke

unbelievable responses and they didn’t

you know at the time they didn’t know it

was one thing they they would look and

then go pupils dilate and blood pressure

goes up and you know all these different

physiological responses happen and then

a man named Walter Bradford cannon came

along and discovered they were actually

the same thing that was actually one

thing was the fight-or-flight response

um so it was that was a very big

discovery along along the way it was the

that when that was discovered it was the

very first time performance enhancement

was seen as neurobiological and was a

big shift right before that if you

wanted a better time in the hundred yard

bash you prayed to Hermes you wanted to

write a better sonnet you app talked to

the muses but after Walter Bradford

County came along turned a gift of the

Gods into a byproduct of standard

biology and that was cool because

biology was hackable right we could do

something yeah about it we didn’t just

have to have to sacrifice our children

to the gods in the hope that we might

more created a start up a new company

yeah very true thankful for that so I

mean you talk about a sort of baseline

that comes from a struggle when you’re

when you’re reaching when you’re moving


you a sort of flow cycle that the base

that the start of that cycle is a

struggle right yeah we we used to

believe flow was sort of a binary you

know state like you’re either in the

zone you’re out of the zone it worked

like a light switch and we now believe

we now know it’s a four-state cycle and

you have to move through the whole cycle

before you can re-enter flow so

sometimes you’ll hear people talk about

hey I can be in a permanent state of

flow they don’t know what they’re

talking about it’s not actually possible

because of the nature of the cycle and

the first stage of that cycle is a

struggle phase it’s a loading phase flow

is what happens when the brain can start

to automate is and automating and but

before that can happen you have to feed

it a ton of information a ton of data so

this is skill acquisition you know if

you’re if you’re a baseball player this

is just like literally learning to keep

your eye on the ball if you’re a writer

this could be you know the research

phase where you’re talking to lots of

people and having lots of conversations

and making notes but you have no idea

what you’re doing and the interesting

thing about struggle is in flow the

prefrontal cortex is turned off in

struggle its hyperactive and because

it’s hyperactive and because it’s so

limited in things that it can actually

hold on to and think about you are going

to bypass its processing limits pretty


and you’re going to get frustrated and

what’s interesting about what we’re

learning about ultimate human

performance is a lot of your emotions

when you’re talking about ultimate human

performance don’t mean what you think

they mean they almost mean the exact

opposite and you sort of have to unlearn

really long term kind of emotional

emotional decisions and for example in

struggle frustration which is a constant

companion and struggle is a sign that

you are moving in the right direction

you should keep going in every other

walk in life struggle is a sign that

you’re screwing up you should back off

you should stop this isn’t working

you’re frustrated right in when when

you’re actually in struggle and moving

towards flow it’s a sign that you’re

moving in the right direction hmm and

then there’s there’s a release right the

second stage of this

cycle happens as so so we want a trade

conscious processing for subconscious

processing how do you do that you have

to stop thinking about what you’ve been

thinking about you have to sort of take

you take your hits off of it so the

subconscious can take over and there’s a

this is removed from struggle into

release for this to happen

the research shows that you need you

need a distraction essentially and what

really works best is low-grade physical

activity going for a long walk Albert

Eyes died like to roll or rowboat out in

the middle of Lake Geneva and stare at

the clouds and TV kills this right yeah

because of BiBi shifts your brainwaves

in a very peculiar way that will

actually block you from going into flow

holy crap Wow

a hummingbird just flew into the middle

of my office and hovered over my head

and darted out that was cool the

hummingbird was in flow man is just

attracted to the conversation we’re

having now know about catching and

releasing a hummingbird okay so we were

we were talking about TV and it blocking

the flow cycle state it’s the one thing

that we found that really will block

release I also think reading can work

really really well but reading really

kind of like fast-paced popular

nonfiction thrillers spy novels that

kind of stuff doesn’t seem to work as

well either and it I’m not exactly

certain why and certainly more research

needs to be done on this but those are

the only two things that tend to do not

work gardening works really really well

building model airplanes works really

really rep well there’s a lot of there’s

a lot of different different ways to go

into it but it will move you you know

into release once your brain can stop

taking out the problem can get automatic

I and once that’s kind of the solution

emerges basically that is what kicks you

over into flow which is the third state

of the cycle and on the back end as a

recovery phase there’s it what go flow

is a very very big

it’s extremely pleasurable but it’s

followed by a deep low and you have to

know that’s coming it’s it’s very it’s

very distressing for a lot of people

they don’t know it’s coming there you

know they no longer feel like Superman

they feel very very mortal there’s

biological reasons for this that the

feel-good neurochemicals are in limited

supply and once they burn out they take

a little while to replenish they take

nutrition and sunlight and vitamins and

minerals and it takes a little while and

that you know that down is actually a

really it’s sort of a built-in you know

it’s its built-in it has a built-in

recovery period that if you take

advantage of will really really work to

your benefit and if you fight against

it’s really gonna destroy you because it

will lock you out of just emotionally

think about it this way if you’re really

you know longer and flow you don’t feel

like Superman the ideas have stopped

glowing it’s depressing it’s whatever

you’re supposed to be sleeping and

resting and relaxing and that sort of


but if you’re get gripped that you’re no

longer and flow if you start freaking

out about it which is fairly common you

have to move from there into struggle

the next phase and the cycle is struggle

and if you’re not recovering and instead

are you know are gripped in this in this

struggle phase it’s or in this it’s

being excuse me in the recovery phase

it’s gonna be very hard to move into

struggle which is what comes next

right you go back into struggle you see

that a lot by the way with with with

entrepreneurs with high performers high

performers don’t like to shut it down


in fact I’ll tell you something in Rises

Superman where I really look at action

and adventure sport athletes who are you

know and we and the reason I do is

they’ve gotten better at harnessing flow

than pretty much any other population on

earth one of the reasons is a lot of

those sports are weather dependent so

they come with built-in recovery periods

Maurice one blows in every videos

surfing everybody goes skiing and it

lasts for a couple days and then it goes


and there’s a there’s a break before the

next storm cycle and so everybody

they’ve already been out there they’ve

been risking their lives chasing chasing

whatever and you know then there’s

there’s a dip so they use that they

really take advantage of the recovery

phase it comes built in

um most you know high performing lives

don’t actually come with built-in

recovery phases and you know even

earlier you know when we started this

conversation I talked about you know I

work very very hard and I do but I also

play very very hard now so recover very

very hard hmm hmm yeah that’s important

let’s sit how how do you do that how do

you play well I for me

I you know I like to hurl myself down

mountains at high speeds as a general

rule so I don’t care if it’s mountain

bikes or skis or whatever take your pick

but that’s you know I try to get into

big nature and you know do something you

know fun at least a couple times a week

that so I so I have those kind of you

know big big blocks built in every day

you know I’ll hike my dogs for the

mountains for about an hour in the

morning I’ll take it a break and you

know do some kind of workout in the

afternoon for another hour you know as

part of you know as part of as part of

that stuff and you know I take I just

spent a preliminary scan and I was

writing and skiing and writing and

nothing else

I mean this sounds like the best thing

ever you can work on the thing that

you’re most passionate about go through

the struggle phase and then go play I

mean this is how this is what we should

have been taught in school on how to

learn things that’s I mean I’ve said

that for a while I don’t know I was not

very good at school I own and I was if

there are a lot of different reasons for

for it but one of them was that I’m a

macroscopic learner and school is built

for microscopic learners it goes from

small ideas to bigger ideas to biggest

ideas and I learn exactly backwards I

need the biggest idea first and you know

and then then I can sort of get to the

smaller idea and when I figured that out

it was I mean it was the most greatest

thing in the world it was like well what

else can’t I learn at that point I

figured out how my brain learns and then

I could learn anything and god I wish

somebody would have taught me that when

I was younger I wish somebody would have

taught me that

frustration is a sign that I’m moving in

the right direction when I was younger

you know I wish somebody would have sat

me down and said hey learning is

invisible and you’re gonna be terrible

at it up until the moment that you’re

good at it and that’s just how it works

and so you all those really basic here’s

how your brain works here’s how you

learn here’s how you hack the system oh

my god it would have been so freaking

helpful to me yeah that’s why I loved

your book so much is because it just it

helped me understand my own process just

because I feel like I kind of pushed

myself to that sort of brink of madness

of working on something until I write

before I go insane and but the hardest

the hardest thing that I think is for me

is just kind of stepping back stepping

away from it yeah I always I when you’re

so frustrated you’re punching the floor

the hardest thing to remember is that

you should stop yeah by the way I mean

that’s there’s a reason for that so if

you look at your brain when you’re in

that state you’re not gonna look any

different than somebody with OCD it’s a

very tight cluster of neurons and your

thoughts are sort of going in a tight

circle and until you relax you’re never

gonna break out of that circle so

there’s no once you’re at that point you

are not your brain your neurobiology is

going to lock you out you cannot work

through that spot the brain doesn’t work

that way you’ll never find the good idea

because you’re there’s too much the more

norepinephrine the more anxiety you’re

feeling the less wide the database

search by the pattern recognition system

so the extreme example we talked about

earlier is fight-or-flight where your

options are limited in three but being

really stressed out your options are

limited to 15 and you’ve already

exhausted all 15 possibilities and

you’re just going in circles mm-hmm you

literally like you there’s no you can’t

fight that that’s basic underlying

neurobiology it’s how the system works

you can only work with it and the only

thing to do

is to walk away now I will tell you I’ll

give you a tip that after that has

worked for me and as I worked for other

people I know went because when you’re

in that state your brain is doing a very

tight loop and it’s not looking for new

ideas you are not going to remember what

to do right your brain can literally not

find the idea so I keep a folder on my

computer or Word document that says

to do when stuff goes wrong and for

example like when I’m writing badly for

example it’s usually one of three things

and so I have a list of when you’re

writing badly it’s usually one of these

three things so take a break so your

brain can calm down and then try these

three things

it’ll probably solve your problem feels

like that what are the three things you

leave you leave clues for yourself

because the more stressed out you you

are the less creative your brain is able

to be and the it’s not gonna find the

solutions even the ones that you know

work the Greeks have this great word a

nemesis which is the forgetting of the

forgetting it’s the it’s not just that

you’ve forgotten something is that

you’ve forgotten that you’ve forgotten

it and so there’s there’s the opposite

of it which when you remember what

you’ve you know it’s the remembering of

what you forgotten to remember and we

all know this experience we have this

experience you’re like oh crap I do that

all on why didn’t I see that

all right I what I’ve done is I’ve said

okay I’m good I don’t know why I didn’t

see that I maybe I you know I’m not

smart enough for the neurobiology works

this way but I exported it into an

outside list that works really really

really well by the way Peter Diamandis

in bold we peter has a bunch of laws

called some Peter’s laws that he’s lived

by his whole life that’s the exact same

thing he’s externalized his database of

what to do when things are going wrong

so if you don’t mind me asking what is

on your three lists what are the three

things that you kind of have to remind

yourself well so what I look for is is

my right end arrogant boring or

confusing those are the saw

when my writing is one of those things

you know I’m that’s the feedback I’m

looking for um usually when my writing

is arrogant I’m using fantasy language

to cover for the fact that I haven’t

done enough research and I don’t know

enough about what’s going on

that’s what happens when my writing is

confusing I don’t know my starts or my

endings I haven’t figured out where the

story starts and I haven’t figured out

where it goes so I’m wandering all over

the freaking place and when my writing

is boring it usually means I haven’t

discovered the right tone for the book

the right store the article right the

right style my style is wrong so you

know those are you know that’s a lot of

years of experience and knowing myself

as a writer and and what and by the way

I have a feedback is a flow trigger and

I said earlier that flow follows focus

it can only happen when all of our

attention is in the present moment and

one of the most common flow triggers is

known as immediate feedback and the

reason is it’s not for any big fancy way

but it allows you to course-correct

without breaking state so if I know

where I am and I know where I need to go

next I don’t have to stop and think

about it I don’t have to wonder I don’t

have to pull my attention out of what

I’m doing so one of the things that we

teach people with the flow Genome

Project is to tighten feedback loops and

I do this in my own writing because

writing by the way you know I can work

if I’m working on a book I my editor is

gonna see that book if I’m lucky once

every three months that is not the kind

of feedback that produces great writing

so there’s a guy on my staff whose job

it is to read everything I write and

tell me first and foremost is it boring

arrogant or confusing so you know not

only I have I externalized you know the

my what to do when goes wrong list

I also have added a feedback layer into

my life and I tell people that what like

the way to do this is I call it the

minimal feedback for flow for me the

minimal feedback I need for flow is is

it boring arrogant or confusing right

everybody in their primary activity

knows you know if they’ve been doing it

at any eddy langt and if they’re

successful they know what errors look

like right they know what boring

arrogant or confusing is for them and

literally if you can’t you know I am

lucky enough these days that I can

actually pay somebody to do this but

before I could pay somebody I had a

buddy he figured out what his minimal

feedback for flow was I had mine and we

trade it yeah right like anybody can go

on the buddy system with this you can do

it in an office on your own whatever

take your pick but it will massively

increase the amount of flow you’re

getting in your life yeah I was gonna

ask for tip but I think that’s that’s


I think we covered the the tip portion

of my my interview year so okay so

Tomorrowland you know I I took took four

days I got your books on Monday and

today’s Friday so I had four days to

absorb two of your books and I mean

Tomorrowland you go in and you sort of

you start with this amputee you tell

this sort of parallel story between this

amputee and remind me again who the

other person was oh it’s the story of

you hair who is the inventor of the

world’s first Bionic body part they have

bender the first bionic ankle and major

David Rozelle who was the very first

person outfitted with one so it’s the

it’s and they both are amputees uhare

lost both of his legs below the knee on

his ankles basically in a mountaineering

accident and major David Rozelle was ran

over a roadside bomb in Iraq and he lost

his leg that way and yeah we tell the

stories in parallel also because you

know individually each of them are sort

of the most amazing people you’d ever

meet on the planet one just alone and

together like they were you couldn’t


couldn’t like as a journalist there was

no you hair story the man who invented

the world’s first Bionic ankle is really

one of the most astounding stories ever

and major David Rozelle you know the

first guy to return to combat with a

bionic limb you know he it’s just as

astounding um so I was fortunate enough

to you know get to spend time with both

of them but you also you get it you

start to talk about how much we are

advancing how quickly and how Moore’s

Law is kind of being exponentiated and

it’s moving faster this part of our

civilization our culture is moving

faster than Moore’s law

so Moore’s law as you pointed out refers

to computing power and it basically says

hey the you know computing power doubles

periodically every 18 months your

computers get twice as fast for the same

price this is an exponential growth

curve and Moore’s law has held steady

for about 60 years it turns out that

exponential growth curves when they show

up in technology they function more like

natural laws than they do like marketing

predictions Moore’s law is held steady

through world wars and economic

depressions and you know take your pick

plagues and earthquakes and floods and

fires and it keeps going and what Ray

Kurzweil a head of engineering at Google

discovered is that once the technology

becomes an information technology

meaning once you can program it in the

ones and zeros a computer code it jumps

on the back of Moore’s law

so biotechnology which is where Bionic

sits is currently accelerating at five

times the speed of Moore’s law it’s

literally doubling in power every four

months and so here’s the craziest part

about Tomorrowland right I you hair when

I met him this was about four or five

years ago and he had created the very

first Bionic human body part today 50%

of the human body is replaceable with

bionics that’s what that’s what that’s

what exponential growth actually looks

like in the real world and that is you

know is showing up obviously all over

the place and it’s what one of the

things that is you know really turning

science fiction into science fact


I mean you also get into and E’s and

out-of-body experiences and you really I

mean it it really looked like you did

the research to to cover these why did

you decide to go into this sort of quasi

mystical I mean it was so okay you what

what your that research was I mean what

you’re looking at even though the

article the it was stuff that I was

working on when I was writing my second

book West to Jesus which is about the

neurobiology of spiritual experience and

it was the very first book remember I

told you that up until the 50s most

people thought flow was a mystical

experience that a lot of people still

thought flow was a mystical experience

and it turns out if you if this is this

is this is peculiar but if you look

under the hood of flow States or

so-called spiritual or mystical a

contemplative state some meditative

States or near-death experiences or

things along those lines or even

psychedelic states so what happens when

you take mescaline or LSD or so the only

of that it turns out the neurobiology is

very very similar the knobs and Lieber

is being tweaked in the brain I think

almost exactly the same they’re almost

the same experience so early when I

first started looking at flow in the

late 90s I was look I thought I was

looking for spiritual experiences and as

it turns out the first person who gave

us any insight into flow dr. Andrew

Newberg at the University of

Pennsylvania he was actually studying

mystical experiences he was looking at

what happens in the brains of Tibetan

booze and Franciscan nuns when they feel

one with everything raises the

fundamental definition of a mr.

experience you feel one with everything

well in flow especially in a macro flow

state you also feel one with everything

and by the way why does why do you feel

one with everything

transient hypofrontality there’s a part

of your brain superior right parietal

lobe that does a lot it helps you

navigate through space so it helps you

kind of not bump into the furniture and

so people who have a stroke or brain

damage this part of the brain they can’t

sit down on a couch because they’re not


where their leg ends and the couch

begins mm-hmm so it turns out in states

of extreme concentration like meditation

when you really need a lot of energy

going into your focus this portion of

your brain shuts down it takes away your

ability to differentiate self from other

so at that moment in time when that

happens when this portion of the brain

shuts down your brain thinks it’s one

with everything because it can’t tell

the difference because and by the way we

all have that boundary line around the

self you think it’s you could oh my god

this has to be drawn by by my skin

that’s where I and of course how stupid

but no we all have the experience you

play tennis and you get good at it and

the racket feels like an extension of

your hand or your skis feel like an

extension your aunt huh or you drive

your car and you can feel the road

through your pedals right racecar

drivers talk about that that is because

the boundary we draw around ourselves is

flexible blind people can feel the

sidewalk through the tips of their cane

right it is a flexible boundary and the

reason is is for evolutionary purposes

when mothers hold infants infants are

heavy and if they were conscious of the

fact that oh my god I’m holding this kid

all day long it’s on my back I’m in the

field of it whatever it would be a

burden so we extend the boundary of self

and mothers can’t tell the difference

between their own body and the infant’s

body it becomes one thing together it

serves a good evolutionary function so

if this has gets sort of mapped out and

there’s other the field of Neurobiology

that studies this kind of extension is

really flourishing right now we’re

learning a lot of neat things but back

in the late 90s all I knew is Flo had

this experience a nanny Newburgh had

sort of decoded it and I got to know

Andy as a result and you know it’s

steered my research so in the early days

of you know when Flo science really so

the psychology of Flo dates back to the

1870s the neurobiology what’s going on

under the hood the mechanism is only

twenty years old and really I mean there

were a couple other earlier experiments

that were

but Andy Newberg was the first time we

got a really good picture of holy crap

this is what’s going on this is what’s

causing this incredibly weird sensation

and what’s interesting about about that

and why like I talked about the science

transformation of science fiction into

science fact and the impact it’s going

to have on culture that’s really what

what’s what’s the deep under

Tomorrowland down in the 20 years that

have sort of passed between Andy Newberg

decoding you know oneness with

everything and where we are today

pretty much every mystical experience

you can think of has been decoded there

are mysteries still and this does not

answer any of the big questions this

does not tell us if there’s a god or not

all it tells us is that so-called

spiritual experiences or mystical

experiences are mediated by biology it

just explore exposes the mechanism but

at this point we understand what knobs

and levers are being tweaked in the

brain during these experiences this is

going to have a radical impact on

religion this you know that the goal of

religion is to get you close to God well

we now know what knobs and levers in the

brain to tweak to produce that

experience so we can judge the

effectiveness of your faith structure

against the effectiveness of my faith

structure by actual measurable data for

the first time in history I mean I was

almost surprised to see you cover

psychedelics in in Tomorrowland why I

mean why why did you I mean you touched

on it a second ago again you have to go

back to flow which is what I’ve been

researching for two decades now at the

center of a lot of my research right

flow is bracketed neurobiologically by a

bunch of things psychedelics are right

next door because the same systems that

produce psychedelic experiences tend to

produce flow states so we talked about

transient hypofrontality the self goes

away there’s a couple different ways

that’s going to happen one way it can

happen is you put all of your attention

into the present moment you really focus

psychedelics do that like giving you so


information at once they overload the

conscious mind with data subconscious

has to take over

same process underneath and the other

thing is with psychedelics the research

into psychedelics has been accelerating

exponentially again because this is you

know this is a biotechnology on a

certain level and what we’re learning

about about these substances is

fantastic and their you know their

healing potential is incredible and you

know let’s just take you know a very

intractable difficult condition like

post-traumatic stress disorder hmm yeah

okay and let me let you know and we’ll

give you all the reason and we’ll talk

about psychedelics and we’ll talk about

regular medicine so right now it’s an

intractable condition there are only a

couple of drugs approved to treat PTSD

and they’re basically SSRIs and the data

on their effectiveness is well they’re

they’re not effective at all in very

very very small percentage of the

population can actually you know get

relief from PTSD with with that so

doctor by the name of Michael Mathare

Hoffer down in South Carolina did some

research with MDMA ecstasy the street

drug ecstasy MDMA which is basically

serotonin it’s one of the chemicals that

shows up and flow on PTSD and what they

found and they looked at victims of

childhood trauma victims of childhood

sexual abuse so physical and sexual

abuse and they also looked at soldiers

Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans all of

whom had PTSD

what they’re finding is one two three

sessions of psychedelic therapy and talk

therapy so they’re given MDMA and

they’re given a very long kind of

eight-hour talk therapy protocol it’s a

very complicated protocol but as little

as three sessions as well as little as

one but three sessions is what’s average

can produce total relief from PTSD

systems or a significant decline and the

study has been running about four years

now and so for four years

remission and it literally I talked to

several of the soldiers who took part in

the study and they literally said it was

overnight they had PTSD they took MDMA

they didn’t have PTSD Wow assisting

let’s do some comparisons they redid

that study with flow with soldiers at

Camp Pendleton

they took them surfing which is a very

high flow activity and they used up

therapy and they got exact same results

remember regular medicines don’t work at


MDMA could do it in one to three

sessions they found that five weeks of

surfing and talk therapy produced a

total or significant reduction in PTSD

symptoms they then redid that with

meditation mindfulness nation I think it

was a it was a half hour day they got

similar results but you need 12 weeks of

meditation but when I said earlier right

psychedelics flow and and – annotations

the same thing these three studies are a

really clear example all those things

it’s also a clear example of hey this is

an intractable psychological problem and

yet you’re getting nearly overnight

massive results from these altered

states of consciousness these ecstatic

states yeah that’s unbelievable wow

that’s so powerful I mean I was so so

glad to I mean so refreshing to see you

know someone of your caliber covering

this it’s because I feel like there’s

such a social stigma around these

compounds because people use them

irresponsibly and I mean you know

thankfully we have organizations like

Maps and you know we throw we throw our

military veterans kind of under the bus

they come back with PTSD the medications

we can then give them don’t work the

treatments we have don’t work so I mean

it’s life-changing but but the flipside

is and I you know my next book covers

this but we’re really in the middle of

what could be called an ecstatic

revolution with more and more people

altered states of consciousness they not

only can they heal trauma but they give

us access to a lot of things that

levels of creativity inspiration

intuition information that we couldn’t

access under normal times and this is

flow this is psychedelics this is

meditation and you know take your pick

however you get into these states

there’s lots of different ways in but

the results are things were bad at and

really need cooperation collaboration

creativity and what we’re seeing really

is an underground revolution and it’s

not so underground anymore I mean Tim

Ferriss for example has basically pulled

his money out of venture capital and

he’s using it all to fund psychedelic

research he just he just crowdfunded

along with a number of other very very

very very big Silicon Valley notables 91

thousand dollars for a research study

into psychedelic mushrooms psilocybin as

a cure for depression that’s being run

at Johns Hopkins

so you right so there’s you know and

there’s I mean when was it was 2015 when

Rolling Stone wrote an article about

micro dosing with cell psychedelics as

the new business tool in Silicon Valley

and one thing I will tell you and this

is you know might one of the places my

new book emerged I kid you not

is we started out talking about how

business 20 years ago had no interest in

passion purpose creativity those kinds

of things so you could imagine my

surprise when you know in 2013 after

eyes of Superman comes out I’m you know

I’ve talking flow with everybody from

Google to the Navy SEALs to fortune 100

companies to Wall Street brokers and you

know to high tech companies to take your

pick it’s all over the place and I’m

literally standing on a stage or leading

a workshop teaching people how to use an

altered state of consciousness and it’s

everywhere in the business world and

that alone to me was you know so far on

the no longer down little longer and

Kansas scale you know what I mean like

it was mind-blowing the minutes proof

but the funny thing was after these

workshops after I got off stage people

were coming up to me every one of these

places saying yeah but my whole team is

micro dosing on a regular basis they’re

on weekends we’re going to todrick’s

export shops where everybody’s doing

skydiving together and we’re all

Burning Man and it’s like we were

talking about one altered state of

consciousness and we thought this was

the most radical thing in the frickin

world and everywhere I turned people

were coming up to me and saying oh no

we’re supplied from the entire ecstatic

menu right now because it’s giving us

something that we fundamentally need to

do our jobs and we can’t get anyplace

else and that was that was mind blowing

I really I’ve come to you know the the

new book is called stealing fire and the

subtitle is the secret revolution in

human performance and I really have come

to believe it’s revolution it’s a

revolutionary level and let me just to

kind of put some hard data around this

and really blow your mind so we decided

so we just said when we talk about these

experiences the word we like to use is

it is a Greek word called ecstatic it’s

the root of the word ecstasy and it

literally means to step outside oneself

to get outside one’s normal state of

consciousness to get outside your head

right and what it normally describes is

the very same kind of knobs and levers I

talked about earlier right like the

things that we talked about it happening

in the brain that happens during status

that’s how we stand outside ourselves so

my partner Jamie Will and myself and a

team of researchers spent about six six

months trying to put some numbers around

what we call the altered states economy

which is how much money people spend

trying to get out of the heads trying to

get into these spaces and we didn’t mean

intentionally sure there’s a lot of

intentionality going on but a lot of

people are doing it accidentally or

haphazardly or they don’t know what

they’re doing but with these knobs and

levers of the brain underneath you could

actually just say hey we’re looking for

these you know these fundamental

neurobiological changes and if

experience produces it and people are

seeking it out we can credibly to keep

included in our tally right also we were

as unbelievably conservative as possible

so let me give you an example you could

say that pretty much anytime anybody

goes to see live music they’re going for

a state shift experience either they

want communitas that giant group blow

experience where the they

become one with the crowd in the music

takes them away or they’re using drugs

or you know take your pick we said okay

well that’s ridiculous people go to see

live music for lots of other reasons

beyond state shift so we narrowed it

down to only electronic dance music

why because well you’re not going to the

music to listen to lyrics there aren’t

any you’re not going to see the band

because the DJ just push play there’s

nothing to look at you’re literally just

going to dance your brains out sometimes

drugged your brains out and get swept

away by the music there’s no other

reason to go to the experience so we

took very limited numbers right when we

added it all together and these are as

conservative as we possibly could be we

found it was four trillion dollars that

is about one seventeenth of the global

economy it is more than the GDP of India

it is more than the GDP of Russia it is

essentially the GDP of Germany and that

is how much money we spend chasing these

altered states chasing exchanging the

ability to shut off ourselves what’s

interesting and what I think

Tomorrowland kind of starts to get at

and well my new book stealing fire will

definitely get at is that because

biotechnology is accelerating at five

times the speed of Moore’s law and we

now have decoded all these experiences

we are getting better and better and

better at chasing them and which is a

good thing because historically every

time we’ve sort of tried to chase down

these experiences at a big level things

have gone horribly wrong this is like

we’ve gotten it wrong almost every time

you know we tried Ken Kesey six sneaks

LSD out of a Stanford research lab and

all kinds of tie-dyed hell breaks loose

revolution of the 1970s right we’re

chasing you know it’s an actual

experience is a tool for ecstatic

liberation and what do we get highest

rates of Meral of dissatisfaction and

divorce in the history of the universe

one rave culture of the 1990s star

Sophos peace love unity and technology

and ends up with you know spiking

emergency room visits in tabloid father

it does not go well for us historically

when we chase these things down but what

we’re seeing now

is sort of a middle path emerging one

that’s sort of we can rule out all the

previous superstitions of the past

gatekeepers right we no longer have to

listen to Tim Leary and demagogues like

that telling us to go in a certain way

we can do the research for ourselves and

in fact there are open source lexicons

citizens I mean we do it at the flow

Genome Project we’re an open source

citizen science project into flow into

ultimate human performance but you can

DMT there’s the DMT Nexus or arawa these

are open source psychedelic lexicons and

we’re seeing this that there’s a

near-death experience and an out-of-body

experience like these are open source

lexicons into altered states of

consciousness so these are people

describing their experiences how do they

make me feel think about like you go

back a couple thousand years and

religion is some guy saying hey I went

up on the mountaintop and I had this

mystical experience and I was given

these these tablets but I seem to have

lost them or broke them so you’re gonna

have to take my word for it and that’s

really like how it’s gone this is the

beginning of time now we’ve got these

giant open source lexicons we’re like

you go up on the mountain you have your

mystical experience you come back down

and you have to compare it and validate

it against the reports of hundreds of

thousands of other people who have also

had this experience so you’re one truth

is now you have to take a big data

approach to this yeah for the first time

in history which is really cool yeah

yeah Wow and we’ve covered so much to

even I mean it as a sort of wrap up sort

of question I usually like to ask you’ve

written a bunch of books that have

become pretty successful and is there

anything out there that you would kind

of tell a budding writer or someone that

maybe looks up to you is following your

path I mean is there anything that you

would kind of a message that you would

send out to the that person there’s a

bunch of different messages to send out

to that person I you know I died though

so one thing that I that I think is

Israel that has worked for me and I

think works for a lot of other people

I’m a big

believer in getting small I think if

you’re really interested in success

you reduce your life to a handful of

fundamental things and you do those

things I noticed in my own life and I

noticed in a lot of other people’s lives

that the really successful what people

end up figuring out is the things they

fail at are usually the things they give

up at and it’s because there’s trying to

do too many things at once

and that’s a very you know it’s very

hard to fight against that tendency but

I’m a big believer that you reduce you

know your light I reduce my life to six

fundamental things and I do those six

things and if you don’t fall on that

list I don’t do it it’s an instant no I

you know I think it’s just a filter I

like that that’s good

Steven working people find your work to

flow Genome Project Steven Kotler calm

ste B&K OTL ER and the flow Genome

Project comm which is FL o WG e and ome

project comm Steven thank you so much

for being here man this was an amazing

conversation I’m so glad that I went

through everything to get these books

and read them and bring you on here and

and that got you this thank you for

taking the time to you know prepare that

well it’s it’s it’s not everybody does

that and I appreciate it thanks so much

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