The Neuroscience of Peak Performance with Steven Kotler

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What does it take to accomplish the impossible? What does it take to shatter our limitations, exceed our expectations, and turn our biggest dreams into reality? 

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host Dhru talks to Steven Kotler, one of the world’s leading experts on peak performance. Steven is an author, an award-winning journalist, and the founder and executive director of the Flow Research Collective. He has written twelve books, including the national bestsellers The Future Is Faster Than You Think, The Rise of Superman, Stealing Fire, Abundance, and Bold. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, has been translated into more than forty languages, and has appeared in more than one hundred publications, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, WIRED, and TIME

In this episode, Dhru and Steven dive deep into the topic of peak performance, and how to take the impossible and make it possible. They discuss the quartet of cognitive abilities—motivation, learning, creativity, and flow—and why these skills are so crucial to peak performance, how they work in the brain and the body, and how to use them to significantly accelerate ourselves down the path toward the impossible. They also talk about the importance of a primary flow activity, how to become more productive, and how to get into the habit of living up to our own potential.

In this episode, we dive into:  

  • The difference between little “i” impossible and big “I” Impossible (3:54)
  • Steven’s battle with Lyme disease and his process of working through it (11:47) 
  • What it means to be in flow (16:57)
  • The 4 skills needed for turning dreams into reality—motivation, learning, creativity, and flow (27:02) 
  • The most common things that trip people up from getting started (31:30) 
  • The 5 intrinsic motivators (33:36) 
  • The 5-not-so-easy steps for learning almost anything (36:59) 
  • The biggest mistake people make when learning (43:32)
  • Why everything we have learned about creativity is wrong (45:50) 
  • How to increase creativity (51:02) 
  • Where listeners can learn more about Steven Kotler (1:08:13)

For more on Steven Kotler you can follow him on Instagram @kotler.steven, on Facebook @KotlerSteven, on Twitter steven_kotler, and through his websites and Get his book, The Art of Impossible at

For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here

Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your request to join here:

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Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD


Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.


If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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