Book Review & Discussion :The Rise of Superman

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Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

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In this event, you’ll learn

Three core characteristics of flow, which have saved many athletes from death

Exactly how much more difficult than your current skill level a task needs to be to create flow

What a growth mindset is and why it’s the only one that works to trigger flow

Why it’s really important to have a community that shares what you are passionate about

The reason the mind is more important for optimal performance than the body

How a 12-year old beat Tony Hawk at skateboarding

About the Author

Steven Kotler is a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist. His books include the non-fiction works: Abundance, A Small, Furry Prayer, and West of Jesus, and the novel The Angle Quickest for Flight. His articles have appeared in over 60 publications, including: New York Times Magazine, Wired, Discover, Popular Science, Outside, GQ, and National Geographic. He writes “The Playing Field,” a blog about the science of sport and culture for

Kotler is also the co-founder and director of research at the Flow Genome Project, an international organization devoted to putting flow state research on a hard science footing, and the co-founder of the New Mexico-based Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary.


“Many of Heim’s subjects reported these profoundly altered states without being in actual jeopardy— they only thought they were in life-threatening situations. This was a key detail. These experiences seemed mystical. If they only arose solely in dire straights, then perhaps they really were communiqués from beyond the beyond. Yet if perception and psychology were the triggers, then the puzzle was more physiological than paranormal— and that opened the door to considerably more interesting possibilities.”

“The first was that these experiences were profound— people were radically different on the other side. Happier, more content, significantly more fulfilled. The results were undeniable. No matter the seemingly fantastic nature of the events, James was certain they produced changes that were undeniably psychologically real.”

“Secondly, high-risk adventure tended to amplify not only mental performance, but physical performance as well.”

““Most people live in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.””

““Great emergencies and crisis show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.”

atigue gets worse up to a certain critical point, when gradually or suddenly it passes away, and we are fresher than before. We have evidently tapped a level of new energy, masked until then by the fatigue-obstacle usually obeyed. There may be layer after layer of this experience. A third and a fourth “wind” may supervene. Mental activity shows the phenomenon as well as physical, and in exceptional cases we may find, beyond the very extremity of fatigue-distress, amounts of ease and power that we never dreamed ourselves to own, sources of strength habitually not taxed at all, because habitually we never push through the obstruction, never pass those early critical points.”

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