The Rise of Superman

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Getting into “Flow”

I remember that moment when I was 16 years old playing in my first band.  We were improvising on the spot, our minds connected.  The notes seemed to flow out of me, the licks I had been trying to nail for weeks were just pouring out of me with seemingly no effort.

I remember that first date with my girlfriend.  We spoke for hours and for that period of time there was no before or after.  There were no distractions, we could only see each other.

These moments for most people are rare and sometimes life changing.

I had no idea that there was real science behind this state of mind.  This book delves into the science of “flow state” including discussions about brain imaging, neurotransmitters, neurochemistry, as well as how to “flow hack” – hacking your actions to get into flow state more often.

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Shane McConkey getting into flow

“Flow state” is a powerful state of mind.  The research out there shows that when you are in this state your senses are heightened, your decision making skills improve exponentially, you are able to interpret data at a much greater speed, your skills, strength and energy all go through the roof.

The book is full of anecdotes from extreme sports legends as these are the people who are continually pushing themselves to the limit, putting themselves into situations that are risky and have mastery of a skill that allows them to have some control over their situation.

These are some of the prerequisite factors that help us to get into “flow”.

However, it is not just extreme sports athletes that can utilise this state of mind.  Large corporations are investing heavily into this research and changing the environments their employees work in to get them far more productive.  Individuals can also utilise this research to tap into “flow” more frequently to improve their lives.

Unfortunately, toying with “flow state” can be very dangerous for obvious reasons.  Shane McConkey in the image above died as a result of one of his ski-BASE jumps.  Always trying to push himself harder and harder led to  disaster.

As the book points out, getting into “flow” means that your brain is releasing some of the most addictive neurochemicals known to man which can sometimes drive people to an unstable psychological state.  Some ex-extreme sports athletes report symptoms of PTSD after their careers are over.

Want to perform at the ultimate level of human performance?  Then you might just have to take that risk.

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