“The art of impossible,” or how to cope with and give meaning to life for Steven Kotler

“The art of impossible,” or how to cope with and give meaning to life for Steven Kotler

Summary:

This freshly printed essay “The art of impossible” is particularly fluid in its storytelling because Kotler relies heavily on anecdotes in his own work to clarify and explain the points being discussed. As opposed to his previous work “Rise of Superman” which relied almost exclusively on stories of extreme sports athletes, and “Stealing Fire” where […]

This freshly printed essay “The art of impossible” is particularly fluid in its storytelling because Kotler relies heavily on anecdotes in his own work to clarify and explain the points being discussed. As opposed to his previous work “Rise of Superman” which relied almost exclusively on stories of extreme sports athletes, and “Stealing Fire” where he instead based the narrative on “silicon valley” special forces and spychedelic researchers. This book gives an interesting overview of how to deal with and give meaning to life, the text is well organized and readable, however at times the neuroscientific terminology is a bit intrusive. “The Art of Impossible,” shares territory with two of his previous books “The Rise of Superman” and “Stealing Fire” which we previously discussed while also introducing the author.

While his earlier books focused on how to achieve a high-performance state of mind referred to as “peak” or called “flow,” this essay looks at the bigger picture of how to achieve success with “impossible” projects with a lowercase i, as the author puts it. Compared to previous texts, there is not only a different perspective but also new information in a field that is rapidly developing; although I confess that some explanations attributing to particular areas of the brain certain activities and functions are in my opinion very simplistic and forced.

The first chapters of the book deal with the achievement and maintenance of motivation and its definition, which calls for interesting studies and research. The reader in this part thanks to a scheme and simple and effective indications learns to formulate objectives that are stimulating enough to facilitate interest, commitment and productivity by activating the real concept that is the basis of the chapter itself. And thus examines the kind of motivation that enables one to deal with adversity. It also addresses the learning process and how one can organize one’s activities to achieve maximum learning. It also offers an in-depth and critical look at the 10,000-hour rule that was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers.”

The third part of the essay covers creativity from mythology to the latest neuroscientific discoveries. The final part is about Flow, and outlines the twenty-two techniques for initiating and developing what is called “flow.” A book that crowns the previous work and that cannot be missed by all those who are interested in developing their skills and understanding where neuroscientific research is heading.

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Sir H. Prof. G.C. Gabriele Pao-Pei Andreoli

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