The Art of the Impossible


1: There were two teams of lumberjacks.  

“Some were told to work smart and fast, but no pressure, do your best,” writes Steven Kotler in The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer.

“Others were given quotas. This much wood for a good week of work, this much wood for a great week,” he writes. 

“It’s important to note that there was zero financial reward given for meeting these … continue reading

1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations. On Friday, I share something about myself or what we are working on at PCI.

This week, we’ve been exploring some of the powerful lessons from Steven Kotler’s wonderful book The Art of Impossible.

If we want to “chase the impossible” in our … continue reading

1: The answer: Yes.

It’s what scientists call “flow” or the flow state.

Flow is defined as “an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best,” Steven Kotler writes in his powerful book The Art of the Impossible.  

“More specifically, the term refers to those moments of rapt attention and total absorption when we get so focused on the task at hand that everything … continue reading

1: Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered something fascinating.

The people who score the highest for overall well-being and life satisfaction are those with the most “flow” in their lives.

So, what exactly is flow?

Mihaly began studying high performance in the 1970s. He traveled “around the world asking tens of thousands of people about the times in their life when they felt their best and performed their best,” Steven Kotler writes … continue reading

1: Author Steven Kotler was on a quest. 

As a self-described “science guy,” he wanted to understand the “semi-mystical” experiences he was having while surfing.

Experiences that were literally bringing him back to life. At age 30, he contracted Lyme disease and was barely able to function for one hour a day.

Yesterday, we looked at the incredible recovery he experienced after he started surfing.

Steven wanted to decode … continue reading

1: Steven Kotler was ill. It was the end of the road.

“All I would be from this point forward was a burden to my family and friends,” he writes in The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer

“I had a sizable collection of barbiturates in the bathroom, a couple of bottles of whiskey in the kitchen. Suicide became a very real possibility. It was no longer a … continue reading

1: Many people are naturally “Either/or.” 

“Either extroverts or introverts, competitive or cooperative, smart or naïve,” Steven Kotler writes in The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer.

However, people with long-term careers requiring creativity are not built this way. 

Creatives are often “Both/and.”

“Creative people show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated,” psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes in his masterwork, creativity. “They contain … continue reading

1: Sir Ken Robinson had the opportunity to interview George Lucas. 

“Hey, George,” he asked, “why do you keep remaking all those Star Wars movies?” 

“In this particular universe,” George responded, “I’m God. And God isn’t satisfied,” 

Sir Ken is one of the leading proponents for creativity. “His TED Talk on the subject remains the most watched of all time,” Steven Kotler writes in The Art of Impossible: A Peak continue reading

1: Author Steven Kotler starts his writing sessions each morning at 4 AM.

Why so early?

“‘Non-time’ is my term for it,” he writes in The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer: “That vast stretch of emptiness between 4:00 AM, when I start my morning writing session, and 7:30 AM, when the rest of the world wakes up. 

“This is non-time, a pitch blackness that belongs to no … continue reading