We’re drowning in information—about how to live better, eat right, earn more and find true love—but we’re still starving for motivation. One Harvard Medical School study found that when patients were faced with “change or die” medical advice to stop smoking, drop their blood pressure, lose critical weight or manage their diabetes, only 12 percent were able to pull it off. That means seven out of eight of us would die rather than change.

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Is the heightened state of consciousness a chemical reaction or something more ineffable? In the 1970s, Hungarian psychologist
 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi popularized the term “flow” to describe a heightened state of consciousness. Since then it’s been adopted by everyone from Microsoft to Laird Hamilton to explain peak performance. But what exactly is flow—a chemical reaction or… Continue reading

The “runner’s high,” or “flow,” the term for our optimal state of consciousness, is real.

The science of ultimate human performance has a bad name–literally. “Flow” is the term used by researchers for optimal states of consciousness, those peak moments of total absorption where self vanishes, time flies, and all aspects of performance go through the roof.

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Surfing is a 1,000-year-old sport, and 20 years ago the biggest wave ever ridden was 25 feet. Today surfers push into waves 100 feet tall. Or consider snowboarding: In 1992, the biggest gap ever cleared was 40 feet; today that jump is 230 feet. Continue reading
Over the past few blogs, I’ve been writing about the state of optimal performance known as flow. This offering continues with that theme, though I’m turning over the reins on this one to Jamie Wheal, the executive director of the Flow Genome Project. Continue reading