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The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer

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Bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we too can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of Bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we too can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of us. What does it take to accomplish the impossible? What does it take to shatter our limitations, exceed our expectations, and turn our biggest dreams into our most recent achievements?  We are capable of so much more than we know—that’s the message at the core of The Art of Impossible. Building upon cutting-edge neuroscience and over twenty years of research, author Steven Kotler lays out a blueprint for extreme performance improvement and offers a playbook to make it happen.


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Bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we too can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of Bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we too can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of us. What does it take to accomplish the impossible? What does it take to shatter our limitations, exceed our expectations, and turn our biggest dreams into our most recent achievements?  We are capable of so much more than we know—that’s the message at the core of The Art of Impossible. Building upon cutting-edge neuroscience and over twenty years of research, author Steven Kotler lays out a blueprint for extreme performance improvement and offers a playbook to make it happen.

30 review for The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hill Krishnan

    Author had me in this: Why to read books over blogs or news articles? If you read a blog: it takes 3 minutes & gets you 3 days of author’s time; Articles in magazines: 20 minutes of reading gets you 4 months; Books: 5 hours gets you 15 years of author’s life! Books are the radicalized condensation of life’s knowledge on earth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rishabh Srivastava

    I would’ve loved this 10 years ago, but with the benefit of more experience — just couldn’t take it as seriously. It talks a lot about PASSION and MOTIVATION and EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE CHANGING THE WORLD. But is light on substance. Reads more like a self-help book than one about performance Peak (Anders), Deep Work (Newport), Endure (Hutchinson), Flow, and The Sports Gene (Epstein) are all much better if you’re looking for something more meaty and actionable

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    Steven Kotler’s new book, “The Art of Impossible,” shares territory with two of his previous books [“The Rise of Superman” and “Stealing Fire” (the latter co-authored with Jamie Wheal,)] but it also takes a step back to reveal a broader landscape than those previous books. Whereas the earlier books focused on how to achieve a high-performance state of mind called “flow” (or “peak performance,”) this one looks at the bigger picture of how to achieve success with daunting projects. So, while the f Steven Kotler’s new book, “The Art of Impossible,” shares territory with two of his previous books [“The Rise of Superman” and “Stealing Fire” (the latter co-authored with Jamie Wheal,)] but it also takes a step back to reveal a broader landscape than those previous books. Whereas the earlier books focused on how to achieve a high-performance state of mind called “flow” (or “peak performance,”) this one looks at the bigger picture of how to achieve success with daunting projects. So, while the fourth / final section of the book presents information that will be familiar to past readers, the first three sections – on motivation, learning, and creativity, respectively – are not addressed in the earlier works. [It’s worth pointing out that even section four (Ch. 19 – 23) presents some new information and organizational schemes because this is a fast-moving research domain of late.] The book’s first six chapters (i.e. Part I) are about achieving and maintaining motivation. This starts from the logical bedrock of finding an “impossible” task for which one is likely to have sufficient passion and interest to follow through. The reader learns how to formulate goals that are challenging enough and clear enough to facilitate sustained interest, effort, and productivity. The importance of autonomy is discussed at length, and the reader learns what companies like Google, 3M, and Patagonia have done to make gains via employees energized by increased autonomy. The kind of motivation that allows one to knuckle-down under adversity, grit, is given its own chapter, and the author discusses six variations that are important to success. Part II (Ch. 7 – 14) is about the learning process and how one can organize one’s pursuits to get the most learning per effort. Chapter ten is the heart of this section, offering a detailed approach to organizing one’s learning activities. Chapter fourteen offers yet another critique of the 10,000-hour rule that was popularized by (and oversimplified in) the Malcolm Gladwell book, “Outliers.” [This “rule,” developed by Swedish psychologist Anders Ericsson, has come under intense criticism in large part because every time the explanation shifted downstream it became less of an approximate rule of thumb that was applicable to some specific domains and more of an iron-clad rule deemed applicable to every activity that benefits from practice, resulting in insane behavior such as parents who pick their child’s sport in the womb so that the kid can get the requisite number of practice hours before the college recruiters come to see him or her play.] The third part (Ch. 15 – 18) is about fostering creativity. Here, Kotler takes the reader on a tour of changing thought about creativity, ranging from the ancient stories of muses to today’s state-of-the-art neuroscience. Like the section on Flow, there is an elaboration of where the neuroscientific understanding of creativity sits at the moment. Having read a range of books discussing such descriptions, this approach is falling out of favor with me. First, whenever I’ve read a book by an actual neuroscientist, I’ve learned that these simple attributions of activities to certain brain regions are either vastly oversimplified, more tentatively agreed upon than suggested, or both of the above. Second, I have realized that learning a name like Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) and an oversimplified explanation of what it does doesn’t really help me. That said, I understand there is interest in these descriptions that drive their inclusion in such books. (I, too, have been interested in reading about it, but less and less so.) The final part is about Flow, and this is where readers of “Rise of Superman” will be well-primed for the information that is covered. Chapter 21, which elucidates the twenty-two “Flow Triggers,” is the heart of this section. As I mentioned, Kotler has changed the way he organizes this discussion since his earlier book, but the material is still largely from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on the subject. In addition to explanation of what it means to get into the state of Flow and of how to improve one’s chances of getting there, there is a discussion of “Flow Blockers” – four mind states that hinder Flow. The last chapter lays out a plan consisting of daily and weekly activities, and – as such – it serves as both a summary and an outline for moving forward. Writers may find this book particularly beneficial because Kotler relies heavily on anecdotes from his own work to clarify and explain the points under discussion. By contrast, “Rise of Superman” relied almost exclusively on stories from extreme sports athletes, and “Stealing Fire” drew on silicone valley and the special forces heavily for examples. I actually enjoyed that Kotler spoke from his own experience. As someone who has read a fair number of books on peak performance, I’ve seen a lot of the same stories repeated within popular books. That said, readers who haven’t read much on the topic may wish the book had a broader set of narrative examples and less definitional / conceptual discussion. The author may be aware that many of his readers will have fatigue from reading the same stories and examples. When Kotler does mention such widely-discussed examples (e.g. Steve Jobs putting bathrooms in the Pixar building in a central location that created cross-pollination of people on different projects) he does so briefly and without preaching to the choir. I found this book to be an interesting overview of how to approach a large-scale life mission. It’s well-organized and readable (though it might benefit from less vocabulary-based neuroscience discussion.) If you are feeling a bit rudderless, this is a good book to look into.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    The drivers: - curiousity, - passion, - purpose, - autonomy - mastery. A great passion recipe: Q: Start by writing down twenty-five things you’re curious about. ... Hunt for intersections ... By stacking motivations, that is, layering curiosity atop curiosity atop curiosity, we’re increasing drive but not effort. This is what happens when our own internal biology does the heavy lifting for us. You’ll work harder, but you won’t notice the work. Also, because dopamine provides a host of additional cognitiv The drivers: - curiousity, - passion, - purpose, - autonomy - mastery. A great passion recipe: Q: Start by writing down twenty-five things you’re curious about. ... Hunt for intersections ... By stacking motivations, that is, layering curiosity atop curiosity atop curiosity, we’re increasing drive but not effort. This is what happens when our own internal biology does the heavy lifting for us. You’ll work harder, but you won’t notice the work. Also, because dopamine provides a host of additional cognitive benefits—amplified focus, better learning, faster pattern recognition—you’ll also work smarter. These are two more reasons why stalking the impossible might be a little easier than you suspected. ... Play in the intersections ... The goal is to feed those curiosities a little bit at a time, and feed them on a daily basis. This slow-growth strategy takes advantage of the brain’s inherent learning software.6 When you advance your knowledge a little bit at a time, you’re giving your adaptive unconscious a chance to process that information. In the study of creativity, this process is known as “incubation.” What’s actually happening is pattern recognition. ... to increase your chances of making those connections, pay attention to two sets of details: both the history of the subject and the technical language used to describe that subject. ... Once the brain constructs that narrative, it functions like a giant Christmas tree. All the little details you learn along the way are the ornaments. But having this big tree—this overarching structure—makes those ornaments easier to hang. You don’t have to work as hard to remember them. This historical narrative becomes a de facto memory palace, allowing you to take a brand-new piece of information and correctly slot it into its exact right place. If we construct that narrative, we’ll see learning rates increase and time to mastery decrease. (c) Q: Neurobiologically, purpose alters the brain. It decreases the reactivity of the amygdala, decreases the volume of the medial temporal cortex, and increases the volume of the right insular cortex. A less reactive amygdala translates to less stress and greater resilience. The medial temporal cortex is involved in many aspects of perception, suggesting that having a purpose alters the way the brain filters incoming information, while a larger right insular cortex has been shown to protect against depression and correlate with a significant number of well-being measures. (c) Q: But don’t expect this to happen quickly, and find stopgap measures in the interim. I was a bartender for the first decade of my writing career, which allowed me the time to develop my craft without the terror of having to pay my bills off the results. This was critical to my success. (c)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex A.

    This is not your ordinary self-improvement book. Very informative and dense breakdown of what it takes to be at an extreme level of performance and in the flow. Delivered in a set of very clear-cut, easy-to-follow, and practicable messages. Magic happens at the extremes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Moh. Nasiri

    There are two kinds of impossible. One is Impossible, with a capital I. These “Impossible” feats break paradigms and shatter expectations –⁠ think landing on the moon or running a four-minute mile. Then, there’s impossible with a lowercase i. This sort of impossible still lies beyond your wildest dreams –⁠ but on a personal scale. It’s the stuff you think is impossible for you. It could be becoming an entrepreneur, building a musical career, or simply doing what you love for a living. Fortunately, There are two kinds of impossible. One is Impossible, with a capital I. These “Impossible” feats break paradigms and shatter expectations –⁠ think landing on the moon or running a four-minute mile. Then, there’s impossible with a lowercase i. This sort of impossible still lies beyond your wildest dreams –⁠ but on a personal scale. It’s the stuff you think is impossible for you. It could be becoming an entrepreneur, building a musical career, or simply doing what you love for a living. Fortunately, neither sort of “impossible” is actually impossible. There’s a formula to achieving the impossible, and it’s⁠ backed up by science. It consists of four skills: motivation, learning, creativity, and flow. Understanding and applying that formula is what these book are all about. Impossible=I'm possible ! blinkist.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Anderberg

    “You get one shot at this life, and you’re going to spend one-third of it asleep. So what do you choose to do with the remaining two-thirds? That is the only question that matters. . . . you lose by not trying to play full out, by not trying to do the impossible—whatever that is for you.” Kotler’s The Rise of Superman is one of the books I recommend most; the extreme sports anecdotes and insights into how to achieve a flow state are mind-bendingly interesting. This new book is a continuation of hi “You get one shot at this life, and you’re going to spend one-third of it asleep. So what do you choose to do with the remaining two-thirds? That is the only question that matters. . . . you lose by not trying to play full out, by not trying to do the impossible—whatever that is for you.” Kotler’s The Rise of Superman is one of the books I recommend most; the extreme sports anecdotes and insights into how to achieve a flow state are mind-bendingly interesting. This new book is a continuation of his lifelong work of helping people achieve their big goals. The Art of Impossible walks through, in fine detail, every step on the path towards the impossible—“the feats that no one, including ourselves, at least for a while, ever imagined we’d be capable of accomplishing.” There are scientific/psychological insights on creativity, flow, motivation, grit, even compiling your weekly calendar and to-do list. Right on page 1, Kotler calls this book a “practical playbook for impractical people.” It’s nitty gritty—in a good way—and fills a very concrete need in the world of motivational books. If how-tos are your thing, don’t look any further. After reading, it really does feel like you can achieve what seems like a crazy, impossible goal (though it certainly won’t be an easy road). While I usually roll my eyes at these types of books, every few years there’s one that stands out from the crowd. The Art of Impossible is that stand-out. More of a 4.5 or 4.75 than a 4-star, for sure. Really inspiring.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    Art of Impossible is a thorough and scientific treatment of peak performance digested into four main themes: motivation, learning, creativity, and flow states. While other books cover individual components of peak performance such as habit formation or grit, this book balances depth and breadth in the most high leverage concepts in doing audacious things. The book starts with motivation. It provides both the science of motivation such as the value of a massively transformative purpose to enhance Art of Impossible is a thorough and scientific treatment of peak performance digested into four main themes: motivation, learning, creativity, and flow states. While other books cover individual components of peak performance such as habit formation or grit, this book balances depth and breadth in the most high leverage concepts in doing audacious things. The book starts with motivation. It provides both the science of motivation such as the value of a massively transformative purpose to enhance drive as well as practical tools like looking at the intersections of different passions in order to differentiate yourself and tap into sustained motivation. This section also addresses the latest thinking on mindsets, internal vs external motivation, and goal-setting theory. In brief: motivation is hard to cultivate but if you understand the underlying mechanism, you can tap into sustained drive. Next the book goes into learning with practical steps for accelerating learning including establishing an appropriate truth filter, improving emotional intelligence, and steps for learning practically anything. Personally I found the portrayal of what makes experts different from novices a helpful roadmap for how to develop expertise in any given field. The section on creativity makes the argument that creativity is one of the most important 21st century skills. Then it goes on to explore how the process works with practical tips like how to load your pattern recognition system in order to improve creative connections. It also discusses the imagination or default mode network--which is an essential actor in creative moments--and how best to promote activity in this network. Finally, the book addresses flow states, summarizing how best to engineer deep focus in order to amplify performance. Overall, this book is a truly excellent treatment of these themes. It stands apart from his other books like The Rise of Superman in that it's deeply practical and has fewer case studies. Overall, this book is an excellent primer on the science of peak performance combined with a practical playbook that makes that science really matter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marycruz Figueroa

    I would absolutely recommend reading or at least listening to the audio book. I didn't give it more stars because I was really disinterested in the portions explaining the brain processes, etc. I'm sure the science is really interesting to some, but I found it really dry. Some of it, while making me roll my eyes (WHO READS FIVE BOOKS ABOUT MULTIPLE SUBJECTS THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND??) also actually motivated me to try those things that feel ridiculous and over-the-top (yes, I do have a list of 5 bo I would absolutely recommend reading or at least listening to the audio book. I didn't give it more stars because I was really disinterested in the portions explaining the brain processes, etc. I'm sure the science is really interesting to some, but I found it really dry. Some of it, while making me roll my eyes (WHO READS FIVE BOOKS ABOUT MULTIPLE SUBJECTS THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND??) also actually motivated me to try those things that feel ridiculous and over-the-top (yes, I do have a list of 5 books a piece that I'm planning to read on three separate subjects now--THANKS, STEVEN -_-). It's not called "The Art of Totally Doable" amirite? :) But for real, if you want some great food for thought, a TON of nuggets in terms of ideas and motivation, check this out!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miguel

    DNF - what an odd little book. Inadvertently picked this up and was reading my first self-help guide: had always wondered what some of those books were like and this didn't disappoint in its weirdness and cliches. It was like listening to Alex Jones try to sell you man milk or something. DNF - what an odd little book. Inadvertently picked this up and was reading my first self-help guide: had always wondered what some of those books were like and this didn't disappoint in its weirdness and cliches. It was like listening to Alex Jones try to sell you man milk or something.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fran Cormack

    So much great information in this book. The challenge as I see it is, committing to your cause. This stuff will really work, if you put the effort in. Continuously. Without fail. Yeah, a big ask in our very busy world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I am a big fan of Steven Kotler. I’ve read most of his other books. This one is amazing. His best one yet. He has me all fired up to put practices and habits in place that will foster creativity and flow. The thing I admire so much about this book is its clarity and its focus. He just gets in there, gets right to the point, references neuro-science but leaves all the literature in the endnotes where they don’t clutter the narrative. He writes for the reader curious about flow and how flow enhance I am a big fan of Steven Kotler. I’ve read most of his other books. This one is amazing. His best one yet. He has me all fired up to put practices and habits in place that will foster creativity and flow. The thing I admire so much about this book is its clarity and its focus. He just gets in there, gets right to the point, references neuro-science but leaves all the literature in the endnotes where they don’t clutter the narrative. He writes for the reader curious about flow and how flow enhances creativity. Really, it’s for anyone who wants to live a maximally creative life. He doesn’t pander or over-explain. He doesn’t belabor with illustrative stories about peak performers. I loved his book, The Rise of Superman, but that book had a lot of those kinds of stories. And while they were fascinating, they were long, and I was always wanting him to get to the point, the takeaway. I wanted to know how I could incorporate those things into my own life to duplicate that same flow state. And this is the book where he does that. As a writer, I envy his economy, his directness, his simple sentences, his never succumbing to showing off his command of this material (which is daunting!) It is so hard to write clearly. And he does it so masterfully. You know how they say if you think you know something, try teaching it to someone else? Try teaching it to someone in 4th grade? That’s what he does here. Plus he has checklists. And recipes. For example, he says if you want to be creative you have to be in a good mood first. Then he tells you the recipe for a good mood: a daily gratitude practice, a daily mindfulness practice, regular exercise, and a good night’s rest. I have so many underlinings! I think what I’ll do is download this on my Kindle now, and read it again, and save my underlinings in Kindle Notes so I don’t have to transcribe them by hand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to live a creative life. Five stars. Maybe six. (And I’m cheap with my stars.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Leth

    This is a must read for everyone interested in peak performance. As an individual and as a team. I'm kind of biased since I'm a big fan of Steven. I love his voice and his nicotine stained fingers which appears when his using his hands to tell you about neuroscience and flow. I first got interested in Flow a couple of years ago when I again and again stumbled upon the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. My interested in flow developed due to my wish to undergo a personal transformation and I wa This is a must read for everyone interested in peak performance. As an individual and as a team. I'm kind of biased since I'm a big fan of Steven. I love his voice and his nicotine stained fingers which appears when his using his hands to tell you about neuroscience and flow. I first got interested in Flow a couple of years ago when I again and again stumbled upon the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. My interested in flow developed due to my wish to undergo a personal transformation and I wanted it to be fast and transformativ. When I first got connected with Steven and his writing was during some classes at Singularity University where the book 'Abundance' (he co-wrote it with Peter Diamandis) was part of the foundation of the course. I've since read 'Bold' and 'The future is faster than you think' (which he also co-wrote with Peter Diamandis). I got at closer and closer look at what makes some people succeed and others just being in the middle of the bell-curve. If you want to be in the top 5 % of achievers in your business this book is worth the while. It will tell you have to stack your work so that you get as much help from evolution as possible (releases of neuro-chemicals). It's about getting the motivation right, setting up the right goals, do the learning, being creative and take action. But it's also about the right kind of exercise, nutrition and relaxation. If you want to be a peak performaner TV as a recreational tool is forbidden (you need to get away from the alpha waves a TV sets your brain in). If you want to be a peak performer. This is book include the 'To-Do list' and the tasks you need on your daily and weekly schedule. I highly recommend this book. I would recommend you read 'Finding Flow' and 'Creativity' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zach McWhorter

    In The Art of Impossible, Steven Kotler regurgitates research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (the study of flow) and Anders Ericsson (the study of expertise). If you’re unfamiliar with their work, read this book. Otherwise, save your time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Schwartz

    Reading "The Art of Impossible" in my mid-40s it was interesting to reframe some of my past through its lens. Balancing that, the book has given me a few different ideas for shaping the future; for understanding what I'm doing, why, and what not to waste energy on. Reading "The Art of Impossible" in my mid-40s it was interesting to reframe some of my past through its lens. Balancing that, the book has given me a few different ideas for shaping the future; for understanding what I'm doing, why, and what not to waste energy on.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barrett

    I continue to be inspired and encouraged by Steven’s books. While some of the reviews here were less enthusiastic - for me this book hits the nail on the head. I grew up with action sports, have been an avid skier and runner my whole life and can relate to the topics covered here in many ways. Though not itself a book on sports, rather the tools to help you perform at your best, whatever that may be. This is a brilliant actionable formula. The challenge is simply ours to embrace.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dejan Gegic

    Amazing. At first it sounds like any other shabby self-help crap that everyone's trying to push down our throats. But to my pleasant surprise, this book contains minimal fluff and empty fillers. Im fact, it packs quite the punch because the author is very science oriented and wastes no time getting to the point. Recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the scientific approach to foing more work, faster and easier. Will read again in less than a year hopefully. Amazing. At first it sounds like any other shabby self-help crap that everyone's trying to push down our throats. But to my pleasant surprise, this book contains minimal fluff and empty fillers. Im fact, it packs quite the punch because the author is very science oriented and wastes no time getting to the point. Recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the scientific approach to foing more work, faster and easier. Will read again in less than a year hopefully.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bertalan Thuroczy

    One of the most epic books that I've ever read! It's about hacking flow, hacking creativity and hacking the human brain until it reaches its ultimate potential! It contains a lot of practices that the reader can do in his everyday life to hack his performance to the top! One of the most epic books that I've ever read! It's about hacking flow, hacking creativity and hacking the human brain until it reaches its ultimate potential! It contains a lot of practices that the reader can do in his everyday life to hack his performance to the top!

  19. 4 out of 5

    DoeJoe

    I do not really know what to say, I actually liked the content, but the presentation was just not my cup of tea, I guess.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Deep and Intriguing Steven Kottler distinguishes between what he calls lower.case “i” impossible and upper case “I” Impossible. The upper case version is for things nobody has done. The lower case version is doing something we have personally never done. Think new world records vs new personal bests. Either way, it is about peak performance. It doesn't need to refer to sports. You get to choose the discipline. Most of the book weaves it's way between the neurophysiology that enables peak performa Deep and Intriguing Steven Kottler distinguishes between what he calls lower.case “i” impossible and upper case “I” Impossible. The upper case version is for things nobody has done. The lower case version is doing something we have personally never done. Think new world records vs new personal bests. Either way, it is about peak performance. It doesn't need to refer to sports. You get to choose the discipline. Most of the book weaves it's way between the neurophysiology that enables peak performance and the supporting processes you can implement to attain it. Both are supported with research and footnotes. What the book does not do is offer exercises or questions that would help move the reader from learning into action. In the final chapter, he lays out a.step by step process. As the author says “there is no nifty piece of technology to.play with or unusual substance to ingest.” The process is systematic and rigorous; not recommended for the.faint of heart.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Ning

    I wanted to love this book as I’m very interested in the topic, but never got into it. Not sure what it was, there was a lot of content based on research and experience, just didn’t really take anything anyway. Felt really vague in a lot of important areas and oddly specific in others (read 5 books with certain criteria in this order when learning a new field).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sarkis

    The Art of Impossible is THE book to read if you are trying to learn how to get out of your own way. Steven Kotler has condensed 20 years of research, expertise and practice into this singular book. Through brilliant and witty story telling you will be given the ingredients to create the habits you say you want. He tackles everything from motivation, to creativity, to learning and of course flow. By the end, you have a set of practices, techniques and skills to create a life of passion, purpose a The Art of Impossible is THE book to read if you are trying to learn how to get out of your own way. Steven Kotler has condensed 20 years of research, expertise and practice into this singular book. Through brilliant and witty story telling you will be given the ingredients to create the habits you say you want. He tackles everything from motivation, to creativity, to learning and of course flow. By the end, you have a set of practices, techniques and skills to create a life of passion, purpose and performance. I believe this is Steven's best and most comprehensive exploration of human potential. You will not regret this investment.

  23. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    So enthralled by it that I am rereading it again and adding to my notes from the first reads!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nzric

    We all have unwritten books in us, and it is sometimes a surreal experience to read one where the author seems to reach into your own head and write it for you. This is the book I always wanted to write, if I had the experience, ability, expertise, etc etc that Steven Kotler does - which I clearly don't. Anyone familiar with Kotler's work and Flow theory in general won't be too surprised by what's in here, but this is a refreshing addition to the lexicon. Unlike some of his other Flow books, this We all have unwritten books in us, and it is sometimes a surreal experience to read one where the author seems to reach into your own head and write it for you. This is the book I always wanted to write, if I had the experience, ability, expertise, etc etc that Steven Kotler does - which I clearly don't. Anyone familiar with Kotler's work and Flow theory in general won't be too surprised by what's in here, but this is a refreshing addition to the lexicon. Unlike some of his other Flow books, this one is written for those of us who aren't inclined to microdose psychedelic mushrooms every day, go to Burning man every year and do wingsuit jumping from a friend's private airplane every weekend. It's simply what it purports to be - a practical primer on peak performance. Great stuff.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Routh

    Practical peak performance - the complete checklist Finally Kotler gives us the ‘how to’ of flow! Very pleased with this book: deep on the science, and great with the practical application.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This book has good info but it’s nothing earth shattering. The info can be summed up at the end. It felt like a long winded journey to get to the how tos.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Storie-Pugh

    A smorgasbord of skin deep ideas taken from other authors excellent books. All you will learn from this book is that there are many other subject matter experts you should be reading instead.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    This was just the book I needed right now. I listened to it on audible and it is one of the few books I have listened to and thought, I wish I had the hardcopy of the book too, and I think I will buy it too, just to have some of the ideas to be able to reference in the future. As it states at the end of the book, most of the ideas are not revolutionary, but when you put small victories together over weeks, months, and years, you really start to make the impossible possible. Not easy, but worth th This was just the book I needed right now. I listened to it on audible and it is one of the few books I have listened to and thought, I wish I had the hardcopy of the book too, and I think I will buy it too, just to have some of the ideas to be able to reference in the future. As it states at the end of the book, most of the ideas are not revolutionary, but when you put small victories together over weeks, months, and years, you really start to make the impossible possible. Not easy, but worth the effort in my opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lee

    Steven is super passionate about flow and if you've ever heard him speak, you'd know this. It's easy to get excited about flow when you can hear the enthusiasm in someone's voice about it, but reading it and the many, many steps involved is different. However, it feels like has too many lists and steps to flow and it isn't until the last chapter where he breaks down flow in a much simpler way. He seems to make it more complicated than it has to be. But there are lots of good ideas and some good s Steven is super passionate about flow and if you've ever heard him speak, you'd know this. It's easy to get excited about flow when you can hear the enthusiasm in someone's voice about it, but reading it and the many, many steps involved is different. However, it feels like has too many lists and steps to flow and it isn't until the last chapter where he breaks down flow in a much simpler way. He seems to make it more complicated than it has to be. But there are lots of good ideas and some good stories that might help you in understanding flow and tapping into your own flow.

  30. 4 out of 5

    GARY

    Amazing book really informative. You can tell the author spent years studying principles of success, flow, mastery and pursuing the question, what makes a good life. Great book will read more from this author

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