Episode 058 – Steven Kotler – The Rise of Superman

Episode 058 – Steven Kotler – The Rise of Superman

Turn Off Light
Auto Next
More
Add To Playlist Watch Later
Report

Report


Descriptions:

STEVEN KOTLER is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project. The Flow Genome Project, is an international organization devoted to putting flow state research on a hard science. He has a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MA from the John Hopkins University in Creative Writing. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. His articles have appeared in over 80 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired, GQ, Outside, Popular Science, Discover and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes “Far Frontiers,” a blog about technology and innovation for Forbes.com and is cofounder of the Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary in Northern New Mexico.

From Psychology Today: Technically, flow is defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” It’s also a strange state of consciousness. In flow, concentrationbecomes so laser-focused that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Our sense of self and our sense of self consciousness completely disappear. Time dilates—meaning it slows down (like the freeze frame of a car crash) or speeds up (and five hours pass by in five minutes). And throughout, all aspects of performance are incredibly heightened—and that includes creative performance.

How this all works comes down to neurobiology. Flow is the product of profound changes in standard brain function. In the state, our brainwaves move from the fast-moving beta wave of normal waking consciousness down to the far slower borderline between alpha and theta waves. Alpha is associated with day-dreaming mode—when we can slip from thought to thought without much internal resistance. Theta, meanwhile, only shows up during REM or just before we fall asleep, in that hypnogogic gap where ideas combine in truly radical ways. Since creativity is always recombinatory—the product of novel information bumping into old thoughts to create something startling new—being able to slip between thoughts quickly and combine them wildly enhances creativity at a very fundamental level.

Lastly, during flow, the brain releases an enormous cascade of neurochemistry. Large quantities of norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, anandamide, and serotonin flood our system. All are pleasure-inducing, performance-enhancing chemicals with considerable impacts on creativity. Both norepinephrine and dopamine amp up focus, boosting imaginative possibilities by helping us gather more information. They also lower signal-to-noise ratios, increasing pattern recognition or our ability to link ideas together in new ways. Anandamide, meanwhile, increases lateral thinking—meaning it expands the size of the database searched by the pattern recognition system.

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.

2 Comments