Our guest today is Steven Kotler, best-selling author and renowned Flow-State expert.\u00a0 Steven is the author of 9 best-selling books (3 of which are NYT Best-Sellers), which include The Art of Impossible, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman (Rise of Superman was my initial introduction to Steven\u2019s work) and others.\u00a0 His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into 40 languages, and has appeared in over 100 publications. Steven is the executive director of the Flow Research Collective, and is one of the world\u2019s leading experts on human performance. \u00a0He has been involved in a number of extreme sports, such as surfing, downhill mountain biking and skiing, and has learned (and participated with) from a number of the world\u2019s greatest athletes in this arena. One element of athletic performance that I\u2019m adamant about pursuing is the idea that we must get outside the known field of \u201cathletic performance\u201d and into other fields of human performance to maximize our service to the athletes we train.\u00a0 We can only grow so much without \u201cgetting outside of the box\u201d of our typical field education and integrating more global concepts of human performance. In this podcast with Steven Kotler, we discuss numerous elements of neuro-biology and flow as it relates to goal setting, burnout, skill progression, career progression, and much more.\u00a0 This was a podcast that truly integrates many concepts coaches (hopefully) are familiar with, and helps us to understand them more fully from a biological perspective, as well as one we can also integrate into our daily lives. Today\u2019s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Head to www.lostempireherbs.com\/justfly for 15% off of your purchase! Timestamps and Main Points Steven\u2019s favorite extreme sport memory in his years of working alongside many elite athletes How risk of injury (or death) impacts a sport from multiple perspectives Goal setting for athletes, with a perspective on general biological principles Motivational factors for athletes across their career, and why some athletes may burnout How solving multiple problems at once is a key to getting more flow out of mundane activities Clarifying how coaches can disturb progress in regards to mastery as a motivational tool Challenge-skill balance in sport training and optimal progression models in regards to flow states The importance of social support networks in facilitation of flow and athletic performance How to manage flow with strength work, and how having one big flow day can impact the next few weeks of your training How to manage the \u201cdial of flow\u201d in regards to daily practice \u201cI always say, \u201cIf you can\u2019t get seriously injured, it\u2019s not really a sport\u201d and I know a lot of people who play tennis or golf would disagree with me, and I\u2019m happy for the argument\u2026 I do think it\u2019s a different game when that is the stakes\u201d \u201cThe interesting thing about peak performance is that, it doesn\u2019t matter if you are going after capital \u201cI\u201d Impossible, or you are trying to improve your tennis game, or you are trying to be a little better at work, the biology is the same, the tool-set is the same, and how you get there is the same\u201d \u201c(In extreme sports with potential mortal consequences) On the inside, it doesn\u2019t feel like that, it feels like progression in any other sport\u201d \u201cWe live in a reality that is shaped by 2 things, our fears and our goals\u201d \u201cFor sure you need 3 levels of goals in your life\u2026 Mission levels goals (I want to be a great runner), high-hard goals (1-5 year step, run the New York Marathon), then you need clear goals, your daily to do list\u201d \u201cClear goals are one of the pre-conditions that lead to flow\u201d \u201cProperly set high-hard goals will increase motivation by 11-25%\u201d \u201cThe biggest driver for humans is meaningful progress towards meaningful goals\u201d \u201cWe get hooked on sports because they produce flow, and we tend to excel in the sports that produce the most flow as practitioners\u201d \u201cWhat is the greatest distinguisher of those freshman students who come in with a secondary activity that they love, that they are still going to be committed to when they leave (as a senior)\u2026 and it\u2019s the amount of flow it produces freshman year\u201d \u201cOne of the keys to keeping athletes in their sports is making sure their sports continue to produce flow for them\u201d \u201cFlow follows focus, it shows up when our attention is in the \u201cright here, right now\u201d\u201d \u201cI always tell people that peak performers are too busy to solve problems one at a time\u2026. I look for things I\u2019m already doing and find \u201chow I can crank them up more\u201d\u201d \u201cA long hike in nature resets the nervous system\u201d \u201cWhenever you have a clear goals list, every time you do something, you have to cross it off the list\u201d \u201cWhen you look for people who score \u201coff the charts\u201d for overall well-being, life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, they are the people with the most flow in their lives\u201d \u201cWe maximize the amount of flow when the challenge is 4% greater than our skillset\u2026 wherever I\u2019m starting from, you gotta\u2019 find what is a 4% for me, based on where I\u2019m starting from\u201d \u201cThe deep, powerful flow states tend to happen at the start of the season, and towards the end of the season\u201d \u201cMost high caliber riders were dialing down, not dialing up, to stay in that (4%) sweet spot\u2026. For most elite athletes it means a little less, not a little more, but it also means a little less with way more consistency\u201d \u201cWe try to train people at the flow research collective to have 2 hours of social support a week\u201d \u201cIf you use all of the dopamine in the brain, the norepinephrine, it takes a while to replenish it\u2026 if you are not recovering on the back end of a flow state, over time you are going to lock yourself out of flow\u201d \u201cWe as humans are designed to \u201cgo big\u201d, and not going big is bad for us\u201d About Steven Kotler Steven Kotler is a\u00a0New York Times-bestselling author, an award-winning journalist and the Executive Director of the\u00a0Flow Research Collective. He is one of the world\u2019s leading experts on human performance. He is the author of nine bestsellers (out of thirteen books), including\u00a0The Art of Impossible, The Future is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, Bold and Abundance. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 40 languages, and has appeared in over 100 publications, including the\u00a0New York Times Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, TIME\u00a0and the\u00a0Harvard Business Review. Steven is also the cohost of Flow Research Collective Radio, a top ten iTunes science podcast. Along with his wife, author Joy Nicholson, he is the cofounder of the Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary.