Steven Kotler – Find Your Flow State

Steven Kotler, the New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist and director of research at the Flow Genome Project.

He is one of the world’s leading experts on the high performance state known as “Flow”, and his writing has appeared in over 100 publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired and TIME.

His bestselling books include The Rise of Superman, Tomorrowland, and Abundance as well as the Pulitzer Prize nominated Stealing Fire and A Small Furry Prayer.

00:00 Trailer.
02:35 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:55 Brian’s introduction.
05:28 Flow — who experiences it.
08:58 What flow is.
16:18 Flow state in high-level sport.
19:16 Flow hacking.
26:11 Why Steven thinks it is important that we all embrace the concept of flow.
31:26 Steven is very optimistic about the future, but one thing scares him the most.
36:42 How people can be encouraged to be more active in saving the planet.
37:11 Steak grown from stem cells will take over from steak grown on the hoof; vertical farming is happening.
40:38 Stop having children, voluntarily, for five years, adopt, and let technology catch up.
43:11 Survey of the similarities between flow and psychedelics.
49:15 How Steven, a journalist, became involved in flow,
57:39 Steven explains how horrible Lyme disease is and how it led him to realize the healing power of flow.
1:03:53 Steven’s eureka moment realizing there was neural biology explaining quasi-mystical experiences.
1:08:10 This is the most exciting time in neural science, there is so much to be discovered.
1:09:43 The Flow Genome Project is decoding the neural biology of flow and open sourcing it to the world.
1:10:14 The difficulties experienced in getting flow science taken seriously by academia, for further research.
1:13:36 Science is a blood sport.
1:14:50 What Steven hopes to achieve with his writing style and subject matter and the joy it gives him.
1:17:44 The 2020 goals and further goals for the Genome Project.
1:27:56 The different scenarios where group flow can occur.
1:32:05 Flow is so rewarding, meaningful and addictive and people who have it score high in well-being.
1:34:05 Training individuals and within companies how to access a flow state.
1:39:29 Mindfulness apps and modern technology and multitasking are counter-productive to flow.
1:40:24 Flow is not like self-help, you are playing with the most addictive neural chemicals on earth.
1:45:03 Steven’s daily practices.
1:51:52 His love for and work with animals and the frustrations for entrepreneurial work in New Mexico.
2:00:38 Best and worst days of his life.
2:06:44 What scares him.
2:11:04 What is surprising to learn about Steven Kotler.
2:13:05 Surprising insight into Steven’s early life revealed by a phone call to his twenty years old self.
2:15:23 Success Secrets.
2:16:05 Memories of Hunter Thompson.
2:23:30 Advice to the 20 years olds watching about what they should focus on.
2:26:46 Collaboration versus competition regarding the environment.
2:29:50 Brian’s summing up.

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Amazing episode .. Thank you


Great stuff!


The answer to you last question is somewhat of a contradiction: in order to succeed never give up, but know when to shut a project down. How do you know when this critical point has been reached?


Great interview. Steven is a super cool dude who has a big heart and cares a ton about the world and all of us. Glad to learn more about him and what he’s about. Thanks Brian and London Real!

John Homewood

I question Steven’s statement that Dopamine is the hormone most conducive for focus and flow. Yes, Dopamine does give you a high, and is great for short bursts of energy and brain function, but may lead addiction and also as it is an excitatory, pleasure hormone, causes brain neurons to die off as they get excited to death. According to Dr. Robert Lustig “Dopamine down regulates serotonin (the happiness and peace hormone, as well as down regulated the prefrontal cortex!) The more pleasure (dopamine) you seek the unhappier you get.” Dr Lustig Professor is a of pediatrics in the division… Read more »


Interesting video. I’m curious about what he says regarding all humans choosing not to have children for 5 years as a way to stop climate change. How about we stop breeding cats and dogs for our pleasure too? As carnivores they eat their fair share of meat products and themselves contribute to CO2 emissions.


Please watch! This is an awesome interview. If we all could focus first on how to improve ourselves, finding our purpose which is always in line with helping the world as a whole. Our purpose comes from our soul it is who we are or meant to be. Then take your improving self and go one more step in being a part of what makes the world a better place by participating in living right and aware how we impact the world. Happiness always comes from making your life more than just about serving yourself.

Kenya Dlamini
Kenya Dlamini



I might be wrong but what Kotler explains at 1:20:00 sounds to me like vicarious learning doing its job (learning by observation).