steven kotler

steven kotler


intro’d to Steven via this talk (shared by Thomas):

Re:think 2013 – The Rise of Superman 

10 min – focused activity..

11 min – mihaly – happiest people on earth had the most of maslow’s experience.. flow..  concentration is extremely focuses.. action and awareness merge, sense of self disappears.. as does sense of time.. like experiencing awe.. performance goes through the roof.. an optimal state of consciousness..

15 min – group flow

16 min – most people don’t spend much time in flow – some don’t get there at all.

no one has found a reliable way to repeat the experience…

revolution and measurement technology – flow genome project  (with Jamie Wheal)

22 min – flow – most addictive state on earth – auto telic

steven slide

americans are literally killing themselves trying to artificially get what flow gives them naturally

26 min – neuroanatomy of flow – the thing that shuts off completely during flow – prefontal cortex..

separates self

30 min – schools that model getting into flow..

32 min – exact opposite of cubicle work

align task with belief..

force us into the present moment..


when these triggers are engaged.. wandering mind is not possible.

four stages of flow


35 min – alternative path to mastery


via Jason


imagine 7 bill people in flow… everyday…

a people experiment


find/follow Steven:

link twitter



link facebook




wikipedia small





Steven Kotler is an American bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur. His articles have appeared in over 70 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, LA Times, Wired, GQ, Discover, Popular Science,Outside, Men’s Journal, Details and National Geographic Adventure. He is best known for his non-fiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Abundance, A Small Furry Prayer, and West of Jesus.

Flow Genome Project

Kotler is the co-founder and Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project.[7] The Flow Genome Project is a trans-disciplinary, international organization committed to mapping the genome of Flow by 2020.


In 2012 Kotler published Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think with Peter H. Diamandis. The book revolves around the idea that the world is getting better and in the future most people of the world will have access to clean water, food, energy, health care, education, and everything else that is necessary for a first world standard of living, thanks to technological innovation. The authors argue progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other growing technologies will enable the human race to make greater gains in the following two decades than in the previous two hundred years. By doing so, the authors suggest humans will have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet.

Abundance debuted at #1 on both and Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, and at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. It remained on the NYT bestseller list for nine weeks, gathering reviews and profiles from outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, BusinessWeek,Wired, Slate, and others. Abundance was voted one of the “Top 5 Must Read Business Books of the Year” by Fortune Magazine.

The Rise of Superman

In 2014, Kotler announced his next book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. The book explores the state of conciousness known as “flow”, an optimal state in which humans perform and feel their best. The book includes examples from adventure athletes including big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, skater Danny Way, and big mountain snowboarders Travis Rice and Jeremy Jones. The Rise of Superman explains how extreme athletes are accelerating their flow states to perform better an how people can use the same tactics to accelerate performance in everyday tasks.


Steven wrote Abundance with Peter Diamandis:













book links to amazon

Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it.

We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. An antidote to pessimism by tech entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler. 

Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. The authors document how four forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Steven Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, among many, many others


flow genome project


The Flow State: Flow states, peak experiences, in the zone, runner’s high, being unconscious—the lingo is endless. The experience though lives up to the hype. Time slows down, self vanishes, there’s a complete merger between action and awareness— it almost sounds like nonsense, but fifty years of serious research says otherwise. Flow states are now known to optimize performance, enhance creativity, drive innovation, , accelerate learning, amplify memory and underpin happiness itself.

The Problem: The people who want to study Flow states aren’t that good at having them; the people who are really good at having Flow states aren’t all that interested in studying them. As a result, researchers are balkanized, their work occasionally marginalized. There are no coordinated scientific efforts, little cross-pollination of ideas and—as a result—no real roadmap towards discovery and application.

or perhaps..

that’s incredible – and i can’t not..


co-founder – Jamie Wheal

Jason Silva on advisory board


feb 2017

fb john hagel
The power of flow: long love might be ultimate flow hack – intriguing perspective by Steven Kotler on love and flow


 mihaly ness – ni ness..

surfer’s healing

disney/affinity therapy

cure violence

dis order






Steven’s fb share on Mikey et al

Stoked to appear alongside good friend (and subject of a section in Stealing Fire, Mikey Siegel) . Though we take issue with the “landscaped eyebrow” comment, the rest is a solid survey of the scene ;)

“Angular, with landscaped eyebrows and a methodic vocal cadence, Wheal lays out the central burden of our time: “No one built an off switch,” he says. To self-soothe, “We rock Ambien on a nightly basis.” We binge-watch Netflix, drink three whiskies a night and “jack off” to YouPorn 24/7. We swipe Grindr, join Headspace, and Fitbit away our anxiety in a desperate bid to keep up. “Everyone,” he says sympathetically, “is trying to alter their consciousness.”

Inside Silicon Valley’s new non-religion: consciousness hacking\

How do we make this positive and not destructive, distracting and addictive?” he adds. “Can we help steer people toward their better angels and our collective nature in our search for these things?”

“What does that mean if you can create the technology that makes that accessible to everyone? That’s like, I don’t know. It could alter all of humanity.

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

in 2011, he moved to a now infamous startup called Theranos. Siegel, who is verbose on most topics, is vague about what he did there.


had everything.. but not happy.. “I saw spiritual attainment and I thought, ‘That does not need to be religious. That can be scientific.'”And I wanted to create the technology to get there.”

what Mike and I have found is if you meditate too long, you decide your job is not for you. I’m not sure companies want you to be self-actualised to the point where you realise, ‘This isn’t working in a really kind of soulless way. I got it. I’m out.’

krishnamurti free will law


article is from 2010

Steven Kotler (@steven_kotler) tweeted at 5:18 AM – 27 Dec 2017 :

You Are Not You: The Conundrum of the Me: (

Under normal conditions, there is a balance between bacteria and yeast in your gut. Candida occurs when the balance tips, and yeast runs rampant. The condition has a number of nasty attributes, but foremost among them is a feeling of extreme anxiety. This happens because, when the body is anxious it craves the fuel needed to react quickly to negative situations. Sugar breaks down fast, so sugar is what’s craved. But the reason the body is really craving sugar is because candida feeds on it. This means, at least under these circumstances, that your emotions are really just another’s hunger.


people who suffer brain damage to their parietal lobe have trouble sitting down because they don’t know where their leg ends and the couch begins. Or, as happened to Taylor, when you have a massive stroke and completely shut down parietal lobe function, you cannot separate self from other. Instead, you feel one with everything (Taylor also argues-and very convincingly-that a sensation of oneness with everything is the experience the right side of the brain has all the time).

never just me ness

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi uses the term “group flow” to describe the potent co-joining of consciousness and extremely heightened awareness that results from a bunch of individuals finding themselves in a flow state together

eudaimonitative surplus.. haven’t yet gotten there because haven’t yet let go enough..


But even flow states are not required. When blind people claim they can feel the world through the tip of their cane (or tennis players feel the racket as an extension of their hand or race car drivers claim they can feel the track through the tires) this is actually the parietal lobe extending the boundary (and sensory function) of self.

So where is the “me?

Well, it’s a little hard to say, but if the “me” is supposed to represent a solitary and singular experience then clearly not in our genes or cells or thoughts or feelings or sensations.

In fact, the longer we look at it, the one thing that comes clear is that the “me” is actually the “we.”


Brooks Jordan (@brooksjordan) tweeted at 4:02 PM – 14 Jan 2018 :

A simple but powerful framework for learning anything from @steven_kotler: (

1\ read 5 books on subject.. just to get familiar w language

2\ be the idiot.. talk to people way smarter

3\ the gap.. find questions on one can answer

4\ always as the next question.. keep digging deeper

5\ find the narrative.. tell 2 people the story 1\ someone ignorant/bored w subject  2\ expert on subject