Podcast 839: The Art of Impossible-A Peak Performance Primer with Steven Kotler

I don’t believe that there is a person on the planet that doesn’t want to have a consistent experience of performing at their peak.  The question that we need to ask is, what is the science behind peak performance?

Our returning guest author Steven Kotler is one of the foremost authorities on flow and peak performance and in our interview about his new book entitled “The Art of Impossible-A Peak Performance Primer” Steven and I discuss the elements that are required to attain peak performance.  There are many factors that affect us and much of it has to do with our biology, as Steven states biology wins out over personality.

So there are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic.  When our needs are not being met from the extrinsic standpoint, we produce anxiety, which produces norepinephrine and cortisol which are stress hormones and the release of these hormones block what we need to perform at our peak.

Steven states, “When it comes to internal intrinsic motivators, the research shows there are these five– curiosity, passion, purpose, meaning, autonomy and they’re designed to come in an order. I’d like to explain it as curiosity is your basic interest in something, you get focused for free, that’s the big deal. I’m curious, I don’t have to do all this work to pay attention, and it happens automatically. Curiosity is designed in our biology, to be built into a passion in a very specific way.

What I mean by passion is literally the intersection of multiple curiosities coupled to a bunch of wins in those intersections. Once that happens, you have the recipe for passion. Once you have passion, it’s the internal fuel that when coupled to a problem that’s greater than ourselves, it’s outside of ourselves. So once you have purpose and passion, you can be coupled to a problem that’s outside of yourself. That’s the seed of purpose.

Once you have a purpose, the system demands autonomy, the freedom to pursue your purpose. And of course, once you have that freedom, what do you need next, mastery of  the skills to pursue that purpose? ”

If you want to learn more about Steven Kotler and his new book entitled “The Art of ImpossiblePlease click here to be directed to Steven’s website.   

I hope you enjoy what was one of the most fascinating interviews I have done in quite some time.

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