The Rise of Superman

Book Review: The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler

About the book:

The Rise of Superman examines the top performers in extreme sports in order to gain insight into how they use flow, i.e., the transcendental experience of being in “the zone,” to accomplish their amazing feats and connects the dots between the experience of flow and the neurology behind it.

About the author:

Steven Kotler is an award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project, an organization dedicated to uncovering the “blueprint” for flow.

My highlights:

  • Flow is a state of mind that helps us perform at our peak and often feels profoundly spiritual.
  • Flow is a mental state that allows us to perform at our absolute best.
  • people who are in a flow state often experience egoloss, i.e., the sense that they don’t exist as individuals. They become their sport.
  • The flow state is intimately tied to our neurochemistry.
  • When we enter flow states, our brains release the following five crucial chemicals that both make us feel good and actually augment our performance.
  • dopamine, which helps us to sharpen our focus and find novel solutions to problems.
  • norepinephrine, which helps us to maintain focus and boosts our skills.
  • anandamide, which boosts our creativity.
  • endorphins offer us relief from muscle pain
  • the flow state is followed by a healthy squirt of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for the “afterglow” we feel after being in the zone
  • In order to increase our performance, parts of our brains actually turn off during flow states.
    transient hypofrontality
  • self-awareness and introspection, begins to shut down.
  • orientation adjustment area, the part of the brain which helps us orient ourselves in relation to other objects in our environment, begins to slow down.
  • Gaining access to flow means being completely engaged with what you love to do and setting achievable goals.
    your task should be intrinsically rewarding; the activity itself should be its own reward.
  • attain a high level of concentration and absorption in your task.The best way to cultivate this concentration is to remain focused on the present moment
  • your task should be challenging, but not impossible
  • how difficult should your task be? It should be roughly 4 percent greater than your skill level.
  • goals should be immediately attainable and not the same as your life goals.
  • Having the right mindset is critical in reaching your peak performance. //growth mindset
  • The best way to achieve flow is to find a community who shares your passion.
  • being part of a group of people who share your interest can help improve your performance.

Originally posted 2017-12-23 11:28:37.

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