The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

( 2 )

Overview

An exploration of how extreme athletes break the limits of ultimate human performance and what we can learn from their mastery of the state of consciousness known as “flow”

In this groundbreaking book, New York Times–bestselling author Steven Kotler decodes the mystery of ultimate human performance. Drawing on over a decade of research and first-hand interviews with dozens of top action and adventure sports athletes such as big–wave legend Laird Hamilton, big–mountain ...

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Overview

An exploration of how extreme athletes break the limits of ultimate human performance and what we can learn from their mastery of the state of consciousness known as “flow”

In this groundbreaking book, New York Times–bestselling author Steven Kotler decodes the mystery of ultimate human performance. Drawing on over a decade of research and first-hand interviews with dozens of top action and adventure sports athletes such as big–wave legend Laird Hamilton, big–mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and skateboarding pioneer Danny Way, Kotler explores the frontier science of “flow,” an optimal state of consciousness where we perform and feel our best.

Building a bridge between the extreme and the mainstream, The Rise of Superman explains how these athletes are using flow to do the impossible and how we can use this information to radically accelerate our performance in our own lives.

At its core, this is a book about profound possibility, what is actually possible for our species, and where—if anywhere—our limits lie.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-12
Every kind of human performance—a record-breaking athletic feat, a major scientific breakthrough, a stunning jazz solo—is made possible by tapping into an elusive and extraordinary state of consciousness called "flow." In action and adventure sports, in particular, athletes can be described as "flow junkies." These men and women surf waves as tall as skyscrapers, climb sheer rock faces without equipment and parachute onto remote mountainsides for the thrill of skiing where no one has been before. All these pursuits are as dangerous as they are electrifying, and all of these athletes say that they rely on the "flow state" to succeed—even that, incredibly, the flow state itself may be the ultimate goal. Flow Genome Project co-founder Kotler (A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life, 2010, etc.) argues that flow is more than just the key to death-defying performance; it's also the secret to everyday happiness and fulfillment—and that mastering the state of flow is within reach for anyone. However, top action and adventure athletes may be the singular connoisseurs of the flow state: They have acknowledged the powerful effects of flow for years, and cultivating a flow state is a significant piece of their training. Kotler spent more than a decade interviewing and reporting on these athletes, analyzing their behaviors and motivations, as well as investigating how cutting-edge technologies enable a neurological breakdown of the flow state. The author describes a state where the fear of death disappears, blurring the line between possible and impossible. If a mastery of flow can be accomplished without an environment of extreme physical risk, a paradigm shift of enormous consequence may occur—even, as one high-performance athlete suggests, "the next stage in human evolution." A thrill ride of a book, empowering in its implications of what any individual can achieve.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477800836
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 24,897
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Steven Kotler is an award-winning journalist and the best-selling author of Abundance and A Small, Furry Prayer. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, and National Geographic. Kotler is the co-founder of the Flow Genome Project.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    So good - new favorite book! Man after my heart. I was quickly

    So good - new favorite book!

    Man after my heart. I was quickly reminded of my early days as a rock climber, of watching extreme sports films at the Banff Film Festival, and how mesmerized I was by the potential of the body and the potential of life to be what you want. In those years, I traveled a lot! I lived a lot! I changed jobs to follow my bliss, and now... I work a lot. I haven't felt the adrenaline rush of skiing, climbing, or even a headstand in a while - but this book has rekindled my desire! Its a reminder that it is important to find the flow of life. I don't necessarily have to go back to working in the flexible retail sales environment, but I should still recalibrate things.

    I haven't read much about Flow before this, but I think Kotler has done a fantastic job at describing it. The lessons learned from fearless professional athletes like Dean Potter are totally applicable to everyday life. Face life, face death, focus, breath... I think people interested in this book would also really enjoy Marathon Monks and Human Movement Potential. AND - you have to go look into Steve Kotler's resume. I found a video related to his book A Small Furry Prayer that just melted my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This was a great read! I also loved Hector's Juice!

    This was a great read! I also loved Hector's Juice!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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