The Rise of Superman: Flow State and the Adventure Athlete

There is an effort being made to unravel the mystery of the “flow” state, often experienced by athletes — extreme or otherwise — where time slows down, decision-making becomes an almost unconscious act and moments of athleticism take on an almost superhuman quality. This “source code of human performance” is explored by author Steven Kotler in his upcoming book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance.

I am humbled to say that I have a small role in the book and also played interviewee a ways back for a promotional vid of the book, which you can see below. The role of the Flow state in the life and career of an athlete fascinates me. Kotler does a great job describing a state of being that many of us have experienced but — as you can see — sometimes struggle to put into words. Time slows down. The future is perceived. Life-saving decisions are made almost without conscious thought. But Kotler doesn’t stop at athletic pursuits. Flow plays a huge role in creativity, too. Who can’t relate to snapping out of a writing/painting/music session only to discover half the day has disappeared? Or looking back at some creative turn and wondering where on earth the idea came from?

Watch a few of us athletes and creatives try to get to the heart of Flow and read more about the project here.

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