Mind Meld 237 | The Art of Impossible with Steven Kotler

This mind meld is sponsored by Four Sigmatic. Get up to 40% off of their delicious super shrooms here.

Steven Kotler is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, and the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. You can grab a copy of his new highly nutritious book, The Art of Impossible here.


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In this mind meld, we riff about the art and science of setting better goals, creativity, the importance of flow, why meaning is of paramount importance, and more.

I’m all about being a conversational curiosity ranger. That said, I also deeply appreciate more prescriptive, direct, actionable content too. 

In fact, it’s pretty clear that a union of the daily practical and the high conceptual is what causes the biggest subjective psychic splash.

As I just alluded to, gratuitous intellectual masturbation alone won’t get us anywhere. But, it also turns out that too many goals or just shittily conceived ones won’t either. As Steven points out in this mind meld, poor goal setting has been shown to have a demotivating effect. That is, malformed aims that are too broad, aggressive, or stringent make us more prone to failure because they don’t lead to a path we can actually walk on a daily basis.

But, even if we do it right, it’s not just about goals. The psychological context of our aims is just as important. They’ve got to be soaked in a brine of wonder and purpose. They have dial-up our intrinsic motivators– subjective feelings like passion and meaning. They’ve got to contribute to a psychological backdrop that makes us feel like we’re doing something that matters on a daily basis.

Massively broad strokes here, but rest assured, Steven Kotler is about to hit you with a torrent of specifics and ideas that will elaborate upon all of the above.

If you’re familiar with Steven’s work at all, you know we’re going to get into the sinew of topics like wonder, flow, neurology, peak performance, creativity, and more. He’s the author of numerous books including Stealing Fire (my favorite), The Rise of Superman, Bold, Last Tango in Cyberspace, and many others. You can grab his latest, The Art of Impossible a Peak Performance Primer now. By the way, that’s precisely what it is, so if you’re interested in any of the wonder nodes above and how to make them a reality in your life, this is the book for you.

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