"flow" Book

Dave RaelDave Rael
edited February 2014 in General Discussion

have you come accross this guy/book?


 


steven kotler - the rise of superman: decoding the science of ultimate human performance


http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Superman-Decoding-Mysteries-Performance-ebook/dp/B00BW54XVO/ref=la_B001JP87B4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393587559&sr=1-1


 


just heard him interviewed on lewis howes's school of greatness podcast


http://lewishowes.com/podcast/steven-kotler-flow/


 


pre-ordered the book and have high hopes for getting a lot out of it.  i hadn't heard of him previously and wondering if folks here have encountered him before and have opinions.

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Comments

  • Sounds very interesting, thanks for the tip. I just pre-ordered via the amazon link you provided; hope you get the affiliate fee  :cool:. I try to read every new book in this genre. 6 bucks on Kindle? Now that is good, clean fun. Also, for some reason. Lewis Howes podcast escaped my filter. Thanks for the tip on that too.


  • I am gonna check out that podcast today and see if it peaks my interest in the book. Thanks.


  • Dave posted this video on his Facebook page about a month ago.  It's a 37 minute lecture Steve Colter did talking about "flow".


     


  • Flow was first spoken of by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book 'Flow - The Psychology of Optimal Experience". Just so others have that reference point.


    Also, Steven's talk is an excellent one. Might be worth another listen!! :D


  • @johnb, thanks for the video.  missed it from dave as i'd rather eat liver than connect to facebook.  definitely looking forward to reading the book.


     


    @kleetus, glad you bought the book from my link.  not an affiliate link - i don't think it would be an act of integrity to post my own affiliate links on somebody else's site and i live in a state where the government has stepped in and made sure i can't be an amazon affiliate.  thanks colorado.  if i ever do get serious about trying to get affiliate income (and i probably will), i'll have to go through the brain damage of creating a business in another state.  lewis howes is worth a listen for sure.  this thread is huge with ideas for podcasts you might want:


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/2732-what-podcasts-do-you-guys-listen-to/

  • I'm about halfway through the book. Loving it so far. Anyone else reading this?


     


    BP Book club? Just sayin.


    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    I listened to the BP podcast episode with him as a guest. I never knew about this flow state, but I have experienced it. I even went to neurofeedback sessions to improve my concentration because I assumed that was what normal people were able to do when they concentrated on something. My mind was blown! I really want to be able to get into that state again. 


     


    Would the book help? Has anyone here learnt how to get there?


  • GarrettGarrett
    edited April 2014

    I have a copy of "Rise of Superman" being sent to me, will be receiving it soon.


    To answer your question, Stevo... yes. Rise will likely help you get into Flow State. Steven Kotler is one of the leading experts on Flow State, and his book has gotten the thumbs-up by some prominent Flow Hackers. I'd highly recommend investing into the book :)


    If you want, you can torrent (or buy) Mihaly's original book "Flow", which Steven's work is based on. It would likely be an awesome foundational resource for you to have. So maybe start reading/listening to Flow now, whilst you wait for Rise to hit your mailbox.


     


     


    Here is the BP Podcast with Dave and Steven :)


  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    Thanks, man! If I can achieve anything with all this BP stuff, it is to be able to get there again.


     


    The time I got there, I had a few items of work to do one night, sitting at my laptop at work. It was just after 5pm and I was about to head home, but I thought I would just make a quick start on the next bit of work. I put my headphones in and started. I sat there for 2 hours and blasted through the work which was supposed to be 3 solid days worth. I was amazed and my managers were pretty happy the next day.


    I tried replicating it again and again, using the same music, etc, but I could never do it. If I could get to that state again and on demand, I would be unstoppable!


  • Definitely!!! Ya, this book will probably help you out :) You've got this!


  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred

    I live in a small town so unfortunately all the sources of herbal around here are either sketchy as hell or are run by the Hell's Angels. I was really looking forward to trying an "artificial" flow state  ;)


    I am a Video Game composer under the pseudonym Star Chaser.

    twitch.tv/starchaservgm (streaming most saturday and sunday nights EST)

    Guitarist:

    https://youtu.be/8L0SkovqEf4

    Next cover is Die by the Sword by Dragonforce.

    Music/Health/Biohacking Blog and Podcast currently under construction.

    Thanks to the internet, health experts, and my unending curiosity, I have overcome: excessive sweating (adrenal fatigue), anxiety and panic attacks, extremely high estrogen levels (man boobs), chronic brain fog (yeast overgrowth), depression, and am currently battling SIBO (took it from being so bloated it felt like my stomach skin was going to rip, slept 2 hours per night for a week because of upset stomach and being chronically fatigued to very mild, manageable but still annoying symptoms) and currently battling sleep deprivation/insomnia probably due to the SIBO/Leaky Gut and resulting histamine intolerance.

  • GarrettGarrett
    edited April 2014

    I haven't found that Green helps to get me into flow. Some higher powered psychedelics CAN do it...though it's not the route I'd recommend.


    Invest in the book "Rise". It'll be a better way to help you get into Flow than using potentially questionable outside substances ;) PLUS you'll likely learn how to do so without actually needing to put anything into your body :)


     


    ~~


    Also, Steven Kotler spoke at OMX - Orgamic Meditation Xperience, over the last weekend of March. Wonderful discussion. In fact, OM can help a person get into Flow State. So that might be a path for people to look into, for creating a Flow Trigger in your life. :)




    I live in a small town so unfortunately all the sources of herbal around here are either sketchy as hell or are run by the Hell's Angels. I was really looking forward to trying an "artificial" flow state  ;)



  • It's an excellent book.


    One documentary mentioned in the book about Danny Way, 'Waiting for Lightning', it also excellent. A must watch to put the achievements mentioned in the book in perspective.


     


    For a slightly different perspective on Flow hacking, check out Edward Slingerland's just released book, 'Trying Not To Try'. It describes the approach of the Daoists: some of the original flow-hackers (and biohackers!).


     


    @DaveAsprey: it would be great to see a post sometime about the use of neurotransmitter precursors to help support the systems that get engaged during flow, as you mentioned at the end of the podcast with Steve Kotler.

  • GarrettGarrett
    edited April 2014

    I actually emailed Steven about this yesterday, and he responded with this "It's way to early in the research for precursors…. really, like i said on the podcast, we can't yet measure neurochemicals in the brain efficiently, we're a few years minimum from even begining to have this discussion seriously… "


    That said, I honestly think that when more of us start engaging in Flow, and it becomes more integrated in the world... the research will come faster and faster.


    Though even if we can't measure them (yet), it would be interesting to figure out all of the precursors, and boost em / play around with them, and n=1 the process.



    *snip*

     


    @DaveAsprey: it would be great to see a post sometime about the use of neurotransmitter precursors to help support the systems that get engaged during flow, as you mentioned at the end of the podcast with Steve Kotler.



  • RekaReka ✭✭✭


    Thanks, man! If I can achieve anything with all this BP stuff, it is to be able to get there again.


     


    The time I got there, I had a few items of work to do one night, sitting at my laptop at work. It was just after 5pm and I was about to head home, but I thought I would just make a quick start on the next bit of work. I put my headphones in and started. I sat there for 2 hours and blasted through the work which was supposed to be 3 solid days worth. I was amazed and my managers were pretty happy the next day.


    I tried replicating it again and again, using the same music, etc, but I could never do it. If I could get to that state again and on demand, I would be unstoppable!




     


     


     


     


    What kind of music was that?


    I wish I could experience flow more often but working in an open office with people talking to me all the time, not a chance. I can only imagine how more effective we could be undisturbed, but they seem to appreciate "teamwork" more than productivity.

    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    This is an interesting concept. I think I've been in this state in the past, and would love to learn how to use it at will. But I don't imagine the book has a step-by-step process for that, does it? I'll have to watch the videos later when I have time.


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

    Let's be friends on MyFitnessPal!

  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress
    It was the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone. No lyrics. I played it from start to finish on loop a few times.
  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014

    I experienced it a few weeks ago while swimming. The pool is not crowded but then there were even less people than normally, I had plenty of space, and there were the nice blue waves to concentrate on, I made the best PR of 2600 meters, it was perfect. Pity I can't replicate it when there are many people around.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • just finished the book.  i was pretty disappointed.  disappointed with the book itself, not with kotler or the concept or what he provides.  there is some good neuroscience in there and some practical guidance on getting more flow in your life, but more noise than anything.  the point that extreme athletes pushing the edge and the risk leading to flow and enhanced performance and flow hacking is sound, but example after example of extreme athletes in flow was not what i was seeking.  i wanted more guidance and more science and less names and stories.  the video here and the podcast interviews i've heard with him, especially with dave, gave pretty much everything you can get from the book.  i don't want to complain about his efforts and i'm not sorry for having bought the book - i think he earned the sale - i was just hoping to get more depth in the book that i think was missing.


     


    to me, flow is the holy grail of why i want to be involved with the bulletproof lifestyle.  i have certainly experienced the state.  mostly in writing software and playing basketball.  with basketball, it's remarkable not only the way my shot starts falling which is the first thing most people notice, but defensively how i start to see passes coming more clearly and get in those passing lanes for steals.  it's amazing too how intensity picks up and fatigue just doesn't happen.  with hoops, i tend a bit to start taking some shots i wouldn't normally take, which i notice and then start thinking about it and take myself out of flow.  in software i haven't been in flow much for quite a while.  i think what i can really take away from kotler's work is that i'm working too much and not embracing the flow cycle and that i should take ari meisel's advice and do less to get more done.  i suspect that's probably true for many of us.

  • thanks andrew - will be digging into the base work.


     


    interesting to note too that in the giant conversation on hrv training in katolotus's inner balance review thread, heart math coach alan engaged and talked about using the emwave to trigger flow.


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/4102-inner-balance-for-ios-review/


     


    i've yet to consciously experience that connection, but i haven't been as dedicated to that practice as i'd like to be and think a renewed interest there may be worthwhile.

  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred


    It was the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone. No lyrics. I played it from start to finish on loop a few times.















    Right on Stevo, music soundtracks help me kick some butt too, especially anything by Hanz Zimmer.








    To those of you who have read the book, I'd appreciate some comments/criticisms of my current flow state experiment. On saturdays my experiment starts with me riding my motorcycle at high speeds into the city (RISK) and then volunteering at an animal shelter (ALTRUISM) (I <3 animals), and then coming home and writing music. Sundays I am experimenting with the artificial flow state to compare my music writing on that day to the saturday that just past.

    I am a Video Game composer under the pseudonym Star Chaser.

    twitch.tv/starchaservgm (streaming most saturday and sunday nights EST)

    Guitarist:

    https://youtu.be/8L0SkovqEf4

    Next cover is Die by the Sword by Dragonforce.

    Music/Health/Biohacking Blog and Podcast currently under construction.

    Thanks to the internet, health experts, and my unending curiosity, I have overcome: excessive sweating (adrenal fatigue), anxiety and panic attacks, extremely high estrogen levels (man boobs), chronic brain fog (yeast overgrowth), depression, and am currently battling SIBO (took it from being so bloated it felt like my stomach skin was going to rip, slept 2 hours per night for a week because of upset stomach and being chronically fatigued to very mild, manageable but still annoying symptoms) and currently battling sleep deprivation/insomnia probably due to the SIBO/Leaky Gut and resulting histamine intolerance.

  • just finished the book.  i was pretty disappointed.  disappointed with the book itself, not with kotler or the concept or what he provides.  there is some good neuroscience in there and some practical guidance on getting more flow in your life, @daverael


     


    i just got the audio book, and am only about an hour in but so it seems like you said that its gonna be a lot of here say about athletes in flow and not much practical guidance.

    is it worth continuing on with it? i have lots of other audiobooks to get through, is it worth my time?


    I come from an extreme sports back ground (skateboarding, Motorcross racing, wake boarding, bmx, ) and now do triathlon. i have defiantly felt flow in may runs, rides and swims, and have one race specifically that I smashed when it was like i just sat down and my body raced, being in flow or "the zone"


    I've tried replicating it using music, speicaffically Dr. jeffery thompsons binaural beats albums, which i've had varying degrees of success with. (even tried having it playing in one set of headphones and jay-z over the top in bigger headphones)


     


    have found excess caffeine and green tea works pretty well but can't say if its flow or just caffeine induced intense focus, 

  • I'm going to give it a re-read, but it seemed like there definitely was instructions.



    TOTALLY continue it, Sanders. The book is very worth going through. I'm in the last part of the book, and I'm excited to give it another read through. I'm already doing some minor re-arranging in my life. The 2 Flow avenues which I'm very interested in tapping into (and most accessible right now), are the altruistic Flow path, and the creative path (writing).


     


    My thoughts on the book - definitely a solid read, and has a LOT of information in it, imo. It's one of those books where it feels as though you won't get everything on the first go through.


  • "is it worth my time?"


     


    my answer: depends.


     


    it depends on what you are after.  the guidance and science are in there - just not with the depth i was expecting and with what i considered to be a lot of noise.  i'm not really interested in throwing myself out of airplanes or off cliffs or any of that stuff.  i'm not that interested in the names of the people who do that stuff.  the stories are kinda fun, but that's more entertainment to me than practical content.  it sounds like you are interested in that stuff.  the stories probably have more value to you than they do to me given that you are interested in that stuff.


     


    i understand the point of the extreme sports emphasis - that the participants have pushed the edge and that risk is not necessary for flow, but that it's a remarkable trigger - that the greater the risk, the greater the need for focus, the greater the ability to enter flow.  i understand that the contributions of those individuals is worthy of gratitude.


     


    my criticism of the book is that in the stuff i was after - the things that piqued my interest in the podcast interviews i heard - there wasn't much added depth in the book beyond the interviews.  when i listened to kotler on the lewis howes podcast, i felt my excitement about getting my hands on the book mount the same way i feel my excitement when my wife tells me she wants to go upstairs.  then the interview with dave added and built on that. understand that my disappointment is not that i dislike the book, it's just that i expected more than was perhaps reasonable.  i was entertained by many of the stories in the book and the information on the flow cycle and the neurochemicals was valuable.  i just think that was a minority of the time spent in reading the book and that there was little, if anything there in the book, beyond what was there in the podcast interviews.


     


    i'd argue that the bulletproof exec radio podcast has more depth and value than the book and that if you want to maximize the value of your effort, consuming that multiple times is superior to reading the book multiple times.

  • not sure if this is useful (poking around, i can't seem to figure out how to really get all the content of my highlights without being logged in as me, but maybe i'm missing something), but i made my highlights in the book public.  this could be a fantastic tool for collaborating on study if it works the way i expect rather than the way it seems to work.  with the right capabilities, this could really help folks in filtering out the noise and getting to the signal.


     


    this is my kindle profile that shows that i have shared my notes and highlights for the book:


    https://kindle.amazon.com/profile/Amazon-Customer/10621756


     

    i see a way to preview, them, but not a way to get to all of them (without being me (and i'm not sharing my amazon credentials)).  might be a feature not yet there or might be deliberately omitted as a copyright concern.  i could post my highlighted passages here, but not sure if that's a violation of law and even it not, ethically, i don't want to give away his content to folks who might otherwise buy his book.

     

    can see what all amazon customers are noting and highlighting for the book here:


    https://kindle.amazon.com/work/the-rise-superman-decoding-performance-ebook/B00BW6JQ9W/B00BW54XVO


     


    (it also appears there's an updated edition of the book beyond the initial release, which adds further complexity trying to get at the notes)

  • Thank you guys for your great reviews!  They've actually been really helpful... I too would be more interested in the science and processes... less so by the anecdotes.


    Check out my blogs 

     

    www.bjjcaveman.com

     

    www.theketorash.com

  • It is a good idea to have stories in there. Our brains LOVE stories, and Mihaly's work was QUITE scientific... my brain dropped out on numerous occasions reading Mihaly's work. Remember, this is basically the introduction of Flow to mainstream. Had he gone super scientific, most people wouldnt be reading the book. Also, real world examples do help our brains think more creatively.


    I do agree, I would've enjoyed a touch more science in it. That said, Flow Genome Project has some good info, along with webinars. Tomorrow I'll post the replay links to 2 Flow Genome Project webinars which happened recently.


    This is only the beginning :-)


    Ps - the Altruism Flow hack is a fun one to use :-D
  • just listened to another interview with kotler that i liked even more than what we've already heard - this one tripp lanier's (who was a guest on dave's as well and dave a guest on his).


     


    http://www.thenewmanpodcast.com/2014/06/tnm-158-steven-kotler-the-rise-of-superman/


     


    he dug a bit into the power of the subconscious and i'm really stoked to try out the "macgyver method" he was talking about.  efficacy yet to be determined in my perception, but appealing and kotler's recommendation cements to me that it's worth trying.


    http://macgyvermethod.com/macgyver-method-presentation-at-superheroyou-summit/#.U6ON3PldV8F

  • SystemSystem mod
    edited November 2014

    I'm about 50 pages into the Rise of Superman, and here are my thoughts so far:


     


    The author, Steven Kotler, fails to consider the role technology, equipment, nutrition, and even performance enhancing drugs play in the big improvements athletes have seen. I'm not particularly well versed in "extreme sports" (skiing, motocross, snowboarding, etc.), but I do know a lot about other sports. In baseball, technology has proven that lighter bats allow for a faster swing and don't come at the expense of power. Imagine if Babe Ruth had been privy to this? He was up there swinging a log. I think PEDs play the biggest factor. Even if the competition committees test you for drugs, there are so many ways to mask your results. 


     


    Hopefully, Kotler addresses these things in the forthcoming chapters. So far, he has attributed everything to this thing called "flow state," which I absolutely believe exists but that I doubt is the sole cause.


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