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Watch > Episode > Steven Kotler - Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad

Steven Kotler - Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad


Founder of the Flow Research Collective

Over the last ten years, breakthroughs in a dozen different fields have started to paint a radically new picture of ageing. Research shows that it is in fact possible to sustain peak performance much later in life than anyone previously thought possible.

For centuries man has coveted the key to long life, and searched for ways to maintain youthfulness and well-being, but ultimately ageing, and the deterioration of the human body has long been accepted as just an inevitable part of life.

Today’s guest wants to change perceptions and prove unequivocally that age is just a number and that with the right mindset and training we can actually add seven years to our lives and improve our prowess far longer than suspected.

Steven Kotler is a journalist, author and entrepreneur, who is the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. He is considered one of the world’s leading experts on human performance and has spent the last 20 years researching and investigating the field of peak performance ageing, while popularising the idea of Flowan optimal state of consciousness where you feel and perform your best.

As an author, Steven has written 14 books, 11 of which were bestsellers, including The Art of Impossible, Bold, The Future is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, and The Rise of Superman.

He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize on two separate occasions, seen his work translated into over 50 languages, and made contributions to over 100 publications including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, the Wall Street Journal and TIME.

His latest book GNAR COUNTRY: Growing Old, Staying Rad explores whether there is an age limit for peak performance and what happens to us both physically and mentally as we age.

To test this theory Steven dived headfirst into learning how to Park Ski a challenging and somewhat dangerous pursuit at any age, but for Steven whose love of traditional forms of skiing dominates his waking life, growing old means doing more of what you love.

In fact, if there’s one thing we all learn as we age, it’s not to waste our time with pursuits that hold little meaning, let alone pleasure. Steven says that beneficial brain changes occur in the second half of our lives, which – if properly cultivated – unlock whole new levels of intelligence, wisdom, creativity, and empathy.

And while our physical skills begin to decline in our thirties and drop roughly one per cent a year thereafter, we are also starting to understand how to offset this decline.

“As we enter our fifties, if we get “it” right, we gain access to a suite of legitimate cognitive superpowers. Over the course of that decade, there are fundamental shifts in how the brain processes information. In simple terms, our ego starts to quiet, and our perspective starts to widen.”

It’s a fantastic book, full of really beneficial takeaways. It’s also incredibly inspiring, especially for anyone who wrongly believed that our later years are a time to slow down and temper our ambitions.

Steven’s enthusiasm, spirit, determination and hunger for life is a timely reminder that there is no age limit on pursuing your dreams and we should all be challenging ourselves on a daily basis.

Life is short, so you might as well spend it doing something you enjoy. This is going to be a fascinating conversation and I believe it can inspire many of us, young and old, to change the way we not only view the ageing process but how we approach our lives, what we want to achieve and the importance of following our dreams.

“Old dogs can indeed learn new tricks or, in other words, old humans are better at learning certain skills than their younger counterparts.”

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. We will be old for a long time
  2. This is how you can reverse aging
  3. Aging is not just a physical process
  4. The second half of your life can be amazing
  5. How shifting your mindset can reverse aging
  6. How a strong mindset can slow down the aging process
  7. How having a mission can help you stay youthful and energised
  8. A 20-year-old started to flirt with me
  9. This is the single most important factor for longevity
  10. Tips for being a valuable and productive worker in your 60s and beyond
  11. The hidden dangers of retirement
  12. My 55-year-old version would crush my 20-year-old self
  13. I’m too old for that shit
  14. Optimising life’s Golden Years through positive psychology


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