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Bestselling author and peak performance expert 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? Wh Bestselling author and peak performance expert 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, bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler lays out a blueprint for extreme performance improvement. If you want to aim high, here is the playbook to make it happen! Inspirational and aspirational, pragmatic and accessible, The Art of Impossible is a life-changing experience disguised as a how-to manual for peak performance that anyone can use to shoot for the stars . . . space-suit, not included. 


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Bestselling author and peak performance expert 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? Wh Bestselling author and peak performance expert 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, bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler lays out a blueprint for extreme performance improvement. If you want to aim high, here is the playbook to make it happen! Inspirational and aspirational, pragmatic and accessible, The Art of Impossible is a life-changing experience disguised as a how-to manual for peak performance that anyone can use to shoot for the stars . . . space-suit, not included. 

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 5 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.

  4. 4 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.

  5. 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

  6. 5 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.)

  7. 5 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.

  8. 5 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    AJ

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

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rohan Sachidanand

    I read in a review that if you read one book in 2021 then read this one, and I can tell for sure that statement is accurate. Extremely good book, a scientific and reference filled book for peak performance and flow!

  11. 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)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Masatoshi Nishimura

    Steven lays out very clearly of the stages you go through in becoming an expert. It's a great update to the book Deep Work on the topic of work performance. Just to get up to date knowledge of what flow is, the book is worth reading. It suppresses the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for logical decision making, future planning, and executive attention. In exchange, in a flow mode, we get hyper attention, creativity, and risk-taking behavior full of dopamine kick. Our work involves in a co Steven lays out very clearly of the stages you go through in becoming an expert. It's a great update to the book Deep Work on the topic of work performance. Just to get up to date knowledge of what flow is, the book is worth reading. It suppresses the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for logical decision making, future planning, and executive attention. In exchange, in a flow mode, we get hyper attention, creativity, and risk-taking behavior full of dopamine kick. Our work involves in a constant switch back and forth in those states. The writing is very down to earth self-help, explaining what you need to do day to day. For example, you need to read 5 books just to start having the right framework to talk with experts with the right question and start building the gap in expert knowledge. He also tries to chime in any neurochemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and oxytocyn whenever applicable, which certainly helps us understand better. The book overall is well organized. The conclusion sums up the 4 stages of flow cycle. I appreciate that he talks enough about struggles and frustration that is involved in the beginning of any learning, which can be only persisted by motivation and grit he says. And that's why he starts off the book talking precisely of the two. That's a perfect comeback. I personally think much is lacking today is that prefrontal cortex than the flow (ie: think of visionary. They are all learning quickly while thinking in a long term. That seems to me more about maximizing prefrontal cortex than the feel-good flow). I took off one star because he seems sometimes overboard with his self-help claim. For example: "It (Active listening) automatically activates curiosity, releasing a little dopamine and norepinephrine into our system. These chemicals heighten attention, prime learning, and give us the best chance of using what we’re hearing to find connections with older ideas - thus creating conditions for pattern recognition." That statement sounds all so magically good right? I wanted to read the literature myself, but nothing came up on Google results in relation to active listening and norepinephrine. So I had to discount his credibility around neuroscience a little bit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audible version of this book. **Learn 1 interesting thing about something you are interested in every day. **Spend a minimum of 20- 30 minutes per day on the subject you wish to master. **Set high, hard goals and then chunk those into tasks on your daily list. **Next comes scheduling- focus on 1 step at a time and keep chipping away. **Start your day with 90- 120 minutes of uninterrupted, deep concentration devoted to your hardest and most important tasks. Focus I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audible version of this book. **Learn 1 interesting thing about something you are interested in every day. **Spend a minimum of 20- 30 minutes per day on the subject you wish to master. **Set high, hard goals and then chunk those into tasks on your daily list. **Next comes scheduling- focus on 1 step at a time and keep chipping away. **Start your day with 90- 120 minutes of uninterrupted, deep concentration devoted to your hardest and most important tasks. Focus on those things, that once completed, will let you feel like you won the day. **Once a week, spend 2-6 hours doing your highest flow activities. This could be skiing, running, whatever you do that gets you into flow. *Rest/recovery is very important as well but be smart in the activities you choose. Don't sit in front of the tv with a beer. Do light yoga, sit in a sauna, soak in a hot-tub and meditate. *Spend at least 1 hour a week training a weakness or train at a time when you feel your worst (train when you at your worst to be your best). This helps you develop grit. **Creativity & Mastery should be built into everything you do. **Progress is often invisible, much like compound interest. Do a little bit each day, every week, and as the years go by, the results end up being massive (but again not always visible in the short term).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Benas Aukstikalnis

    The book uses various psychological studies and real-life case studies to show how certain habits, mindsets, and a "flow" state can lead you to great achievements. After reading the book, I became interested in the topic of "flow" to the point of wanting to read more books about it, which is nice. I am also considering applying some of the information in the book to my day-to-day life. So I would say the author explains things rather well, if I can do that. I can't say that the book is perfect t The book uses various psychological studies and real-life case studies to show how certain habits, mindsets, and a "flow" state can lead you to great achievements. After reading the book, I became interested in the topic of "flow" to the point of wanting to read more books about it, which is nice. I am also considering applying some of the information in the book to my day-to-day life. So I would say the author explains things rather well, if I can do that. I can't say that the book is perfect though. * The author uses some very questionable stories to support his arguments sometimes. Like when he talks about Steven Jobs creating a toilet in one place of the building, so everyone would come and unexpectedly meet and according to the author, this leads to great creativity boost and great Pixar movies. There was nothing to support his claim and I found it a bit absurd. * When talking about some new idea or psychological phenomena, the author starts telling outdated knowledge as if it's a current understanding. Then, after some long explanations, he just mentions basically: "oh, so that is an outdated understanding, here is the REAL understanding of scientists about X". Makes it really annoying to take notes. Why not mention it beforehand. Solid 4/5

  15. 5 out of 5

    Derrick Trimble

    I've discovered a new favourite author. My notebook is brimming with notes. My book is flagged with loads of colourful tags. Steve Kotler does the hard work of connecting science with practical. It was refreshing to see a citation mix of many familiar studies, books, and authors alongside some new or flagged references. For a guy that has been chasing the impossible for a while, I am deeply appreciative of Kotlers method-oriented approach. This is not a "How To" book for achieving the impossible. I've discovered a new favourite author. My notebook is brimming with notes. My book is flagged with loads of colourful tags. Steve Kotler does the hard work of connecting science with practical. It was refreshing to see a citation mix of many familiar studies, books, and authors alongside some new or flagged references. For a guy that has been chasing the impossible for a while, I am deeply appreciative of Kotlers method-oriented approach. This is not a "How To" book for achieving the impossible. What you get is a roadmap that signposts what you will experience on the way. Beyond that, what Kotler does is help the reader get the most of the wild ride the impossible seeker is setting out to conquer. At the centre of Kotler's comprehensive what-comes-next and h0w-did-that-happen science is an undercurrent of the creative nature of the impossible. To that end, I was captivated. Steve grabbed the essence of my beliefs in a few short sentences: 'Make creativity a value and virtue. Your life needs to become your art. Or, to be more specific, the art of the impossible demands the art of life.' p249

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This book is THE game changer in both the science-of, and how-to for peak performance and flow. Written by a master, no one better translates understanding and utilization of peak performance principles better than Steven Kotler. Steven decodes -- he gives us the formula, the algorithm, for being a better human. When you follow the rules of the game, you win more, you get more out of life and work. You get more meaning, purpose, mastery, curiosity, grit, and flow. This book is sure to be well-re This book is THE game changer in both the science-of, and how-to for peak performance and flow. Written by a master, no one better translates understanding and utilization of peak performance principles better than Steven Kotler. Steven decodes -- he gives us the formula, the algorithm, for being a better human. When you follow the rules of the game, you win more, you get more out of life and work. You get more meaning, purpose, mastery, curiosity, grit, and flow. This book is sure to be well-read, and will have so many downstream effects for humanity, our community, our individual lives. What an enjoyable read, with so much knowledge, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy. So many people have told me how much his last book The Future is Faster Than You Think (which just won a huge award for best tech book of 2020), changed their lives. I imagine this will blow that out of the water. Take a deep breath, make your biology work for you, not against you, and buy this book!! PS. This book will be required reading at Starfleet (Trekkies know..)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah M LaRocque

    This book is the perfect blend of motivation, science, and practical application. It blends many of the fundamental elements from books like Atomic Habits, Peak, Indistractable, The Power of Habit and seamlessly integrates the tenets of these works with a blueprint to living a life of high performance. Kotler does a great job weaving anecdotes into a data-driven analysis. I have read a great number of works surrounding productivity and self-improvement and this book is the first one in some time This book is the perfect blend of motivation, science, and practical application. It blends many of the fundamental elements from books like Atomic Habits, Peak, Indistractable, The Power of Habit and seamlessly integrates the tenets of these works with a blueprint to living a life of high performance. Kotler does a great job weaving anecdotes into a data-driven analysis. I have read a great number of works surrounding productivity and self-improvement and this book is the first one in some time to introduce some concepts and heuristics that were completely unique. There are some very strong insights in this book surrounding building knowledge and mastery. This isn't some quick tip, how-to, or "10 hacks to" type of guide. The bottom line is that you have to do the work. This book simply provides some guidelines to show people how to make their work count. Being effective and efficient vs being busy - productivity is not a function of how much you can do in a time frame, it is about the efficacy and growth attached to those actions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    jaga

    The self help book I’ve been looking for. I’ve been a big fan of Steven Kotler’s work for years now. Both the human performance stuff and those covering innovators and their innovations. The Art of Impossible pulls all the human performance pieces together to clearly explain the makeup of how one goes about tackling the impossible. I’ve also been very interested in flow, which is another common theme that comes up in Steven’s work. One of the four parts of the book is devoted to flow, including The self help book I’ve been looking for. I’ve been a big fan of Steven Kotler’s work for years now. Both the human performance stuff and those covering innovators and their innovations. The Art of Impossible pulls all the human performance pieces together to clearly explain the makeup of how one goes about tackling the impossible. I’ve also been very interested in flow, which is another common theme that comes up in Steven’s work. One of the four parts of the book is devoted to flow, including flow science, flow triggers and the flow cycle. This is generally interesting but particularly valuable for people (like me) who have trouble getting into or maintaining flow. The other three parts (actually the first three) are motivation, learning and creativity. Again, Steven explains the science and practice relating to these areas and, as he always does, sprinkles in many interesting anecdotes. In the end, our respective “impossibles” are achievable, Steven has provided the road map.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adolfo

    I've followed Steven Kotler's work for several years now. I found his work deeply useful for my entrepreneurship projects and even as a student I used it for maximizing up my potential and leadership. Steven provides scientific evidence of the concept known as flow and he writes it in a very user friendly manner, which helps digest it even faster. Specifically in this book you will find a science-based approach on how to become a 10x version of yourself. You will find also the habits used by suc I've followed Steven Kotler's work for several years now. I found his work deeply useful for my entrepreneurship projects and even as a student I used it for maximizing up my potential and leadership. Steven provides scientific evidence of the concept known as flow and he writes it in a very user friendly manner, which helps digest it even faster. Specifically in this book you will find a science-based approach on how to become a 10x version of yourself. You will find also the habits used by successful individuals such as Olympic athletes, CEOs and many other peak performers that have achieved an impossible task - yes, as John Wick. This is a must read for anyone interested in their self-development, achieving success in your professional career, if you practice any sports or arts, or if you want to bend the universe in your favor, whatever is the case. 20/10 would recommend.

  20. 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!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tenzin Chemi

    The books connects everything that I have read about become better version of self. Though it touches neurobiology, it still kept me in zone. I have no idea how thick is this book since I read it in Kindle. I just couldn’t stop reading till the end. I have a got so many new and re-enforcing ideas and methods that will test my own capabilities going forward. I am a lifelong learner and an advocate for adopting growth mindset, reading this book just made me smile and blurt “Aha” many times. Rich i The books connects everything that I have read about become better version of self. Though it touches neurobiology, it still kept me in zone. I have no idea how thick is this book since I read it in Kindle. I just couldn’t stop reading till the end. I have a got so many new and re-enforcing ideas and methods that will test my own capabilities going forward. I am a lifelong learner and an advocate for adopting growth mindset, reading this book just made me smile and blurt “Aha” many times. Rich in content, yet very detailed to convince that there are answers deep down. Happy to refer this to anyone struggling in life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mattia

    One of my favorite non-fiction books I've read. Information-dense yet very readable due to his journalism background. It's been a while since I've wanted to immediately begin a book again upon finishing it. I'm glad I bought the hardcover because I'm going to beat this thing up over time! If you're a little wary because you think this will be about sports, or because it seems self-help-y, give it a shot. If you're interested in flow and optimization and creativity, this book will lay out the newe One of my favorite non-fiction books I've read. Information-dense yet very readable due to his journalism background. It's been a while since I've wanted to immediately begin a book again upon finishing it. I'm glad I bought the hardcover because I'm going to beat this thing up over time! If you're a little wary because you think this will be about sports, or because it seems self-help-y, give it a shot. If you're interested in flow and optimization and creativity, this book will lay out the newest science without making any single thing sound like a panacea. Engaging, informative, and inspiring!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Wickes

    Steven Kotler has done it once again—demystified the impossible! Giving the reader a how-to guidebook on peak performance you won't want to put down. Only a few people in the world know peak performance at Kotler's level, and none of them can tell a story as he can. I know of no other resource that synthesizes peak performance in the practical and pragmatic way Kotler does. If impossible is on your list of to-do's, read The Art of Impossible to go get it done for yourself. Motivation, learning, Steven Kotler has done it once again—demystified the impossible! Giving the reader a how-to guidebook on peak performance you won't want to put down. Only a few people in the world know peak performance at Kotler's level, and none of them can tell a story as he can. I know of no other resource that synthesizes peak performance in the practical and pragmatic way Kotler does. If impossible is on your list of to-do's, read The Art of Impossible to go get it done for yourself. Motivation, learning, creativity, and flow—it’s all here!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Minh Duy

    I have heard of Steven Kotler for years but this is the first time I pick up his book. The Art of Impossible is, in short, amazing. Packed with the richest and most nutritious information on how to level up our skills and knowledge, the book is a must-read for anyone who wants to do the impossible. This is the one book that I have to read and re-read many times onward to fully absorb everything in it. Read it, The Art of Impossible will open your eyes to the whole new horizon of what is truly po I have heard of Steven Kotler for years but this is the first time I pick up his book. The Art of Impossible is, in short, amazing. Packed with the richest and most nutritious information on how to level up our skills and knowledge, the book is a must-read for anyone who wants to do the impossible. This is the one book that I have to read and re-read many times onward to fully absorb everything in it. Read it, The Art of Impossible will open your eyes to the whole new horizon of what is truly possible.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    A lot of this book could be described as "how to be Steven Kotler", honestly not something I'm particularly interested in. I was underwhelmed by his writing, which undercuts the book's message a bit as it is the author's personal example of peak performance. I also don't see what the neurobiological approach adds to a purely psychological one. Still, the concepts the book introduces are useful, and I found myself thinking of them and trying to put them into practice. So overall, I'm happy I read A lot of this book could be described as "how to be Steven Kotler", honestly not something I'm particularly interested in. I was underwhelmed by his writing, which undercuts the book's message a bit as it is the author's personal example of peak performance. I also don't see what the neurobiological approach adds to a purely psychological one. Still, the concepts the book introduces are useful, and I found myself thinking of them and trying to put them into practice. So overall, I'm happy I read it.

  26. 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charles Yong

    Interesting book on how to reach peak performance from an author that has pushed himself in reporting for extreme sports. What I liked was ensuring that you have a growth mindset and ensuring that you have the attitude and the ability to perform the impossible (best of yourself) and Impossible (the best in the world).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robertson Kunz

    Great book that doesn't spend too much time on any one element and moves through a lot of concepts other books explain (grit, flow, peak performance, etc.) in a short manner. The one key point I took away was that the flow state is not only desirable from a feel-good standpoint but also necessary for achieving your goal in the shortest amount of time. Great book that doesn't spend too much time on any one element and moves through a lot of concepts other books explain (grit, flow, peak performance, etc.) in a short manner. The one key point I took away was that the flow state is not only desirable from a feel-good standpoint but also necessary for achieving your goal in the shortest amount of time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bianca (theperksofbeingbianca)

    That was really good. I will definitely go back to it. It really made me want to read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; it's mentioned quite some times and it sounds amazing. That was really good. I will definitely go back to it. It really made me want to read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; it's mentioned quite some times and it sounds amazing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean Casey

    Terrific book! It's super interesting and practical, helping you understand how to work WITH the neurobiological foundation of your brain and body to get yourself into the state of flow and what that means for your learning, your mastery, and your accomplishment of things that formerly seemed impossible or unattainable. Terrific book! It's super interesting and practical, helping you understand how to work WITH the neurobiological foundation of your brain and body to get yourself into the state of flow and what that means for your learning, your mastery, and your accomplishment of things that formerly seemed impossible or unattainable.

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