How to Become the Best Version of Yourself | Steven Kotler on Conversations with Tom

Last updated: Jun 1, 2023

The video is about Steven Kotler discussing his book "The Art of Impossible" with Tom Bilyeu, focusing on the concept of the habit of inferiority and how to become the best version of oneself.

The video is an episode of Conversations with Tom featuring Steven Kotler, a three-time guest on the show. They discuss Kotler's new book, The Art of Impossible, which explores the concept of becoming the best version of oneself. They delve into the habit of inferiority, a concept introduced by Harvard psychologist William James, and how it affects people's ability to push beyond their limits. They also discuss the philosophy of Nietzsche and his belief in the potential for all individuals to become supermen. Overall, the video aims to provide insights and strategies for personal growth and self-improvement.

  • Steven Kotler is a three-peat guest on Conversations with Tom.
  • Kotler has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
  • Kotler's book, The Art of Impossible, resonates with Tom Bilyeu's personal experience.
  • The habit of inferiority is a concept from Harvard psychologist William James.
  • Most people have second winds, but few realize they have third, fourth, and fifth winds.
  • Nietzsche is considered the first modern high-performance philosopher.
  • The Art of Impossible is about achieving the impossible.
  • Focus is the simplest and most powerful tool for peak performance.
  • Having a clear purpose is essential for achieving peak performance.

How to Become the Best Version of Yourself | Steven Kotler on Conversations with Tom - YouTube

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Introduction

  • Steven Kotler is a three-peat guest on Conversations with Tom.
  • Kotler has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
  • Kotler's book, The Art of Impossible, resonates with Tom Bilyeu's personal experience.
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The Habit of Inferiority

  • The habit of inferiority is a concept from Harvard psychologist William James.
  • Most people have second winds, but few realize they have third, fourth, and fifth winds.
  • Human beings are designed to work at greater speed and efficiency, but we have gotten used to performing at a mediocre level.
  • Neurobiology explains that our bodies are homostatic systems, and when we level set at mediocre, it takes extraordinary amounts of motivation and energy to become a super expert.
  • We are hardwired for extraordinary if we can break the habit of inferiority.
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Nietzsche and the Possibility of Greatness

  • Nietzsche is considered the first modern high-performance philosopher.
  • He believed that the mind and consciousness evolve and that we can become the superman.
  • James and Nietzsche disagreed on who should attempt to become the superman.
  • The general thinking in the 18th century was that culture and family were too repressive, and breaking with them was necessary to achieve greatness.
  • The habit of inferiority and breaking with repressive cultures are related concepts.
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How to Become the Best Version of Yourself | Steven Kotler on Conversations with Tom - YouTube

The Art of Impossible

  • The Art of Impossible is about achieving the impossible.
  • It is about the science of peak performance and how to achieve flow states.
  • Flow states are optimal states of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.
  • The book is about how to achieve these states and how to use them to achieve the impossible.
  • The book is based on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and other fields.
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The Biology of Peak Performance

  • Autonomy is important for peak performance, but culture can also be a factor.
  • There is a limited set of tools for peak performance, but they are meant to work in a sequence.
  • Everyone is biologically shaped by evolution and designed for peak performance.
  • Nietzsche had a four-step process for becoming a superman, which is about becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Reading "The Art of Impossible" can help people recognize the familiar tools they are already using for peak performance.
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Overcoming Weakness and Inferiority

  • Nietzsche believed that man is something to be overcome.
  • Peak performance is about getting your biology to work for you instead of against you.
  • Depression can be caused by not living with passion, purpose, and regular access to flow.
  • Using the tools for peak performance correctly can result in becoming a superman, while using them incorrectly or not at all can result in anxiety and depression.
  • The brain always wants to conserve energy, which can lead to mediocrity and a lack of focus.
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The Power of Focus

  • Focus is the simplest and most powerful tool for peak performance.
  • Focus takes a lot of energy, but intrinsic motivators can give us focus for free.
  • Flow is a state of complete focus and can be achieved by finding the right balance between challenge and skill.
  • Flow is important for peak performance because it increases creativity, productivity, and learning.
  • Flow can be achieved by setting clear goals, getting immediate feedback, and eliminating distractions.
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The Importance of Purpose and Passion

  • Having a clear purpose and passion is essential for peak performance.
  • Passion is a source of intrinsic motivation and can help overcome obstacles.
  • Having a purpose can give meaning to your life and help you stay focused on your goals.
  • Having a purpose and passion can also help you find your tribe and build a support network.
  • Having a purpose and passion can lead to a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
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The Power of Fear

  • Passion and fear have the same neurochemicals, making fear a great focusing mechanism.
  • Peak performers use fear as a compass to find new challenges.
  • Once you've laid in peak performance skills, fear can help you get a tremendous amount of work done for free.
  • However, when fear doesn't work, it can lead to anxiety and depression.
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The Art of Impossible

  • The book is evidence-based, but there are some sections that are based on the author's opinion.
  • Flow triggers can help you achieve more flow, but figuring out which ones work best for you is an art that requires self-awareness.
  • Long-haul creativity is an area with little research, so the author's opinions are included in the book.
  • The title "The Art of Impossible" was chosen because there is an art to achieving peak performance that cannot be trained.
  • Self-awareness is a key component of achieving peak performance, but it is something that individuals must bring to the table themselves.
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The Habit of Inferiority

  • The habit of inferiority is the belief that you are not good enough to achieve your goals.
  • This belief can be caused by childhood experiences, trauma, or societal messages.
  • The habit of inferiority can be overcome by developing a growth mindset and focusing on progress rather than perfection.
  • Developing a growth mindset involves embracing challenges, learning from failure, and seeking out feedback.
  • By focusing on progress, individuals can build momentum and achieve their goals.
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The Importance of Purpose

  • Having a clear purpose is essential for achieving peak performance.
  • Purpose provides motivation, direction, and a sense of meaning.
  • Individuals can find their purpose by identifying their values, strengths, and passions.
  • Once individuals have identified their purpose, they can use it to set goals and make decisions.
  • Having a clear purpose can also help individuals overcome obstacles and setbacks.
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Self-Awareness and Creativity

  • Self-awareness is an art form that needs to be brought into work and oneself.
  • Developing a personal style is an easy way to be creative.
  • Style is a choice, and making choices on a moment-by-moment basis is important for trading up creativity.
  • Not making choices leads to a lack of creativity.
  • Opinions are shared on how to bring creativity into life.
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Personality Doesn't Scale

  • Personality doesn't scale, and biology scales.
  • Peak performance and flow are learned, but giving advice can be dangerous.
  • Foundational things to peak performance are genetically hardwired by dopamine receptors and early childhood experiences.
  • Personality is shaped by early childhood experiences and has a huge impact on how to study and learn peak performance.
  • Personality cannot be changed overnight, and it is dangerous to try to do so.
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Learning from Failure

  • Failure is a necessary part of the learning process.
  • Failure is a sign that you are pushing yourself to the limit.
  • Failure is a teacher that helps you learn and grow.
  • Failure is a necessary step towards success.
  • Failure is not the end, but rather a new beginning.
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The Art of Impossible

  • The Art of Impossible is a book about peak performance and how to achieve it.
  • The book is based on the science of flow and peak performance.
  • The book provides a roadmap for achieving the impossible.
  • The book is about pushing yourself to the limit and achieving your full potential.
  • The book is about learning from failure and using it as a stepping stone towards success.
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Starting with Biology

  • Biology is the foundation for peak performance.
  • Neurobiology is the core basic mechanism that happens in the brain and body when performing at your best.
  • Training from personality or psychology is not as effective as training from neurobiology.
  • Focus and attention are the gateway to all performance.
  • Big intrinsic or internal motivators are necessary to get focused for free.
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Cultivating Curiosity

  • Curiosity is the simplest motivational fuel.
  • Neurochemically, curiosity is a little bit of norepinephrine and dopamine.
  • Curiosity can be cultivated over time by noticing anything that catches your attention and exploring it for one extra beat.
  • Passion is the intersection of multiple curiosities.
  • Passion on the front end is the result of cultivating curiosity.
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Training for Flow

  • Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where you feel your best and perform your best.
  • Flow follows focus and attention.
  • Flow is trainable by using the right kind of challenge and the right kind of support.
  • Challenge skills balance is necessary for flow.
  • Flow is a trainable skill that can be developed over time.
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The Habit of Inferiority

  • The habit of inferiority is the belief that you are not good enough.
  • The habit of inferiority is a learned behavior that can be unlearned.
  • The habit of inferiority is a result of negative self-talk and limiting beliefs.
  • The habit of inferiority can be overcome by using positive self-talk and empowering beliefs.
  • The habit of inferiority can be replaced with the habit of possibility.
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The Five Intrinsic Motivators

  • Passion is not what we think it is, it's the intersection of multiple curiosities.
  • Passion neurochemically is more dopamine and more nor epinephrine.
  • Purpose is attaching passion to a cause greater than oneself.
  • Autonomy is the freedom to pursue one's purpose.
  • Mastery is the skills to explore one's purpose.
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The Flow Triggers

  • Curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy, and mastery are all flow triggers on their own.
  • Flow state of optimal performance only shows up when all of our attention is in the right here and now.
  • All of flow's triggers drive attention into the now by increasing mostly focusing chemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine.
  • When all these triggers are in a row, it's flow 60-80% of the time.
  • Flow triggers do double duties as flow triggers and intrinsic motivators.
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