THE RISE OF SUPERMAN: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance ~ Steven Kotler

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Over the past three decades, an unlikely collection of men and women have pushed human performance farther and faster than at any other point in our 150,000-year history as a species. From big wave surf legend Laird Hamilton to big mountain snowboarding star Jeremy Jones to skateboarding pioneer Danny Way, top action and adventure sport athletes have completely redefined the limits of the possible.

In his groundbreaking new book, THE RISE OF SUPERMAN: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance (Amazon Publishing/New Harvest; hardcover; March 4, 2014), New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Steven Kotler explores the science behind these athletes’ incredible feats. Most critically, Kotler reveals the key to ultimate performance as “flow,” an optimal state of consciousness in which we perform and feel our best.

“Flow naturally catapults you to a level you’re not naturally in,” explained Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Ned Hallowell in an interview for the book. “Flow naturally transforms a weakling into a muscleman, a sketcher into an artist, a dancer into a ballerina, a plodder into a sprinter, an ordinary person into someone extraordinary. Everything you do, you do better in flow… Flow is the doorway to the ‘more’ most of us seek.”
While this elusive state has been widely studied over the past 100 years by individual researchers across the globe – such as Hallowell, neuroscientist David Eagleman, and acclaimed psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – it has never before benefited from a coordinated scientific effort. As a result, there remains no real roadmap toward discovery and application – a disconnect which Kotler and The Flow Genome Project (a trans-disciplinary, international organization committed to mapping the genome of Flow by 2020) seeks to change.

Drawing on more than 10 years of research and first-hand interviews with dozens of scientists, researchers and top athletes, Kotler takes readers on a deep dive into the frontier science of flow. But more than a behind-the-scenes, beneath-the-science look, THE RISE OF SUPERMAN looks to unlock the long-held mysteries of ultimate performance.

This extraordinary book combines extraordinary storytelling and cutting-edge science on how we can use flow to radically accelerate performance in our own lives. At its core, THE RISE OF SUPERMAN is a book about profound possibility, what is actually possible for our species, and where—if anywhere—our limits lie.

STEVEN KOTLER is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project. His books include the non-fiction works “The Rise of Superman,” “Abundance,” “A Small Furry Prayer” “West of Jesus,” and the novel “The Angle Quickest for Flight.” His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. His articles have appeared in over 60 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired, GQ, Outside, Popular Science, Men’s Journal and Discover. He also writes “Far Frontiers,” a blog about technology and innovation for and “The Playing Field,” a blog about the science of sport and culture for He lives in New Mexico with his wife, the author Joy Nicholson.

Click here to browse inside.

The Rise of Superman Official Trailer

Over the past 30 years, skiers, snowboarders, surfers and other action sports athletes have pushed human performance farther and faster than at any other point in the 150,000-year history of our species. This video examines how flow enables the groundbreaking leaps in ultimate human performance made by surfers, skateboarders, skiers, rock climbers and more.

Re:think 2013 – The Rise of Superman – Steven Kotler

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