Flowing to the River of Ultimate Performance: The Science of Productivity

Steven Kotler

May 14, 2014

Share Download

"Researchers define flow as an 'optimal state of consciousness,' a peak state where we feel our best and perform our best. ... If you've ever lost an afternoon to a great conversation or become so involved in a work project that all else was forgotten, then you've tasted this experience. In flow, we are so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Time flies. Self vanishes. All aspects of performance—mental and physical—go through the roof. We call this experience flow because that is the sensation conferred. In the state, every action, each decision, leads effortlessly, fluidly, seamlessly to the next. It's high-speed problem solving; it's being swept away by the river of ultimate performance. This last bit is no exaggeration. Over 100 years of research shows that flow sits at the heart of almost every athletic championship; underpins major scientific breakthroughs; and accounts for significant progress in the arts. ... In recent years, flow has also become exceptionally critical to business."

We have updated our privacy policy. Click here to read our full policy.