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in: A Man's Life, Personal Development, Podcast

• Last updated: January 12, 2021

Podcast #672: How to Do the Impossible This Year

There are goals in life that seem very attainable. And then there are those which seem practically impossible — rising out of poverty and/or a traumatic childhood, becoming a bestselling writer, deadlifting 500 pounds. With impossible goals the odds seem long, and it isn’t clear how to get from point A to point B.

My guest today has spent decades figuring out the roadmap for making that journey. His name is Steven Kotler, he’s a peak performance expert, the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, and the author of numerous books, including his latest: The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Today on the show, Steven talks about how he defines an impossible goal and then unpacks the formula for making the impossible, possible. That formula begins with harnessing the five big intrinsic motivators that will give you focus for free and which you need to activate in a certain sequence, and then moves through the six levels of grit which should be trained in a particular order as well. We discuss the importance of creativity and continual learning, and how to assess the ROI of your reading. Steven also explains how flow amplifies the process of achieving peak performance, and why you need to rediscover the primary flow activity from your childhood. At the end of our conversation, Steven shares some things you can begin doing today to start tackling your impossible goals.

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Show Highlights

  • How this book is a continuation of Steven’s work in The Rise of Superman
  • What is the “impossible” anyway?
  • Why flow is necessary but not sufficient for peak performance 
  • Why do so many people fail to live up to their potential?
  • How biology scales, but personality doesn’t 
  • What is motivation and why does it matter?
  • The five stages of motivation 
  • Why curiosity is so important to your success 
  • Why mastery is so effective 
  • The case for reading books 
  • What people can do right now to achieve the impossible in 2021

Resources/Articles/People Mentioned in Podcast

art of impossible by Steven Kotler book cover.

Connect With Steven 

Steven on Twitter

Steven’s website 

Flow Research Collective

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