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Podcast #287: The New Frontier of Flow | The Art of Manliness

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A few years ago, I had writer Steven Kotler on the show to talk about his book, The Rise of Superman, which is all about the science of flow — that state of being fully immersed in the energy and enjoyment of an activity. Since then, Steven has worked with high-level athletes, tech CEOs, and even Navy SEALs as part of his Flow Research Collective, an organization dedicated to helping individuals tap into flow states using the latest psychological research and technology.

After rubbing shoulders with various performers, Steven learned that there’s an underground movement of individuals who aren’t just looking to flow to improve performance, but also to a state that Steven calls ecstasis. His latest book shares the research behind this performance-enhancing mental state and the extreme measures some folks are taking to get into it. The book is called Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work.

Today on the show, Steven shares what ecstasis is and why it improves performance in sports, business, and even military combat. He then goes on to describe the four accelerating forces in science that allow individuals to hack into ecstasis more easily, including things like mind-altering drugs and zapping your brain with electricity. Pretty crazy stuff. We end the show discussing how average Joes can get into ecstasis as well as the ethical implications of these new technologies. Are we bringing in a brave new world here, literally?

If you want a glimpse of what’s coming into the world of performance enhancement in the next 20 years, you’re not going to want to miss this show.

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