The Art Of Impossible Book Summary By Steven Kotler

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The Art of Impossible (2021) is an essential guide to smash any goal you may have.

Aim high, because with this book, you'll learn how to take giant strides towards turning the impossible into possible.

With four powerful skills at your disposal – motivation, learning, creativity and flow – you will be able to unlock your full potential and reach new heights.

So if you're looking for a book that will enable you to not only develop but also actualize grand visions, then this book has your back!

The Art Of Impossible Book

Book Name: The Art of Impossible (A Peak Performance Primer)

Author(s): Steven Kotler

Rating: 4.7/5

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Categories: Personal Development

Author Bio

Steven Kotler is an acclaimed author, journalist, and entrepreneur whose body of work is incredibly impressive.

He is the co-founder and executive director of the Flow Research Collective, a pioneering establishment dedicated to the study of optimal human performance and training its members in proven techniques.

He has contributed to over seventy publications over time, most notably his best-selling book Abundance.

His latest work The Art of Impossible dives into creative problem-solving methods that Kotler himself has used successfully in pursuit of peak performance.

How To Achieve The Impossible: A Formula Backed By Science

Achieve The Impossible

The Art of Impossible explains that no dream or goal is impossible, and that you can reach your maximum potential through the four-skills formula.

This formula utilizing motivation, learning, creativity, and flow provides a scientific structure for achieving whatever “impossible” feat you are striving for – be it personal or on a worldwide scale.

In these sections, readers will gain insight on how to determine their purpose in life, understand creativity from a different perspective, and increase their productivity by 500%.

With this book as your guide you can learn to reach your maximum potential and achieve the impossible!

The Key To Achieving The Impossible Is To Harness Intrinsic Motivators Of Curiosity, Passion, Purpose, Autonomy And Mastery

When chasing the impossible, it’s essential to understand the drivers that can get you there.

In order to make this journey, you’ll need fuel to keep going – psychological fuel.

That fuel is motivation which comes from an evolutionary perspective and our need to survive in a world where resources are scarce.

Moreover, your motivation will come from both extrinsic and intrinsic drivers.

Extrinsic or external drivers are mostly things like money, fame, food or sex; while intrinsic or internal drivers are psychological and emotional concepts such as curiosity, passion, meaning and purpose.

Psychological research has identified that once you have enough resources to pay for food, clothing and shelter; it’s the intrinsic motivators that take over.

Five of the most powerful intrinsic motivators are curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy and mastery which when stacked together can help you reach your goals and achieve the impossible.

To tap into these motivators start by making a list of 25 things you’re curious about then hunt for overlap between them – this will help you identify your passions.

Finding And Fueling Your Intrinsic Motivators: Exploring Your Curiosity, Finding Your Passions, And Cultivating Autonomy And Mastery

Finding the perfect niche that activates all of your intrinsic motivators is an important step in pursuing the impossible.

Intrinsic motivators include being curious, passionate, and having purpose in life.

To find this niche, understanding your curiosities and passions are key.

When exploring your curiosities, fill yourself with small amounts of dopamine – a feel-good chemical responsible for drive.

But if you’re looking to achieve something extraordinary over the long-term, passion is what you need for a major dopamine boost.

Identify intersections among your curiosities and passions and then explore it by reading articles or watching videos to feed your curiosity.

Doing this will give your brain time to process the information and develop purposeful goals that help make the world a better place while also satisfying an innate desire to care for others.

Lastly, implement autonomy into your life by reserving at least 15% of each day for yourself in order to learn new things, perfect them and enter the flow state – a special psychological state that can be achieved when one’s skillset meets an appropriate challenge level.

With these levels of intrinsic motivation combined with determination and effort, anything truly is possible!

How To Use Goals To Find The Strength To Pursue Your Passions And Purpose


When it comes to making the impossible possible, one of the best strategies is to break up your impossible into smaller and larger goals.

This strategy has been backed by psychological studies conducted in the 1960s, where lumberjacks were asked to either collect as much wood as they could or reach specific quotas.

The group that had a goal quota collected far more wood than the group without any quota.

This proves just how powerful and important it is to have clear goals if you want to achieve something great.

When setting up your own goals, make sure you set one large, high and hard goal with smaller daily targets to complete along the way – this will help fuel your motivation and productivity levels.

It could be enrolling in a degree for nutrition or starting a company for those looking for long-term goals; whereas writing 500 words a day for those trying to get an idea written down on paper would be another example of breaking an “impossible” task into something achievable.

Additionally, stay motivated with grit: a combination of energy, willpower, small rewards and sticking around your natural energy level will ensure success over time!

It Takes More Than Motivation To Achieve Mastery: Get The Right Tools For Lifelong Learning

When it comes to learning how to achieve the impossible, one of the key elements is having a growth mindset: believing that your talents and abilities can improve with practice.

This has a huge impact on cognitive ability- scans from Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck show that people with a growth mindset had significantly more active brains when faced with hard problems than those who did not believe they could improve.

The next step in learning is having a truth filter: that is, being able to trust and evaluate the information we receive.

For the author, this is validated through the five-expert rule: consulting at least five experts to know if what he’s been told is correct or not.

You can develop your own truth filter according to your own needs and preferences.

Lastly, one must also be willing to read – yes, books!

Studies have proven that reading books can do wonders for concentration, stress reduction and even reduce age-related cognitive decline.

With these three tools – a growth mindset, a truth filter and lots of reading – you’re ready to start learning and achieving whatever goal you have set for yourself!

The Key To Learning Effectively Is Using The Five-Step Process And Embracing Frustration

If you’re looking to learn something new but feeling frustrated by the amount of unfamiliar terms and concepts, take heart: it’s perfectly normal – and even beneficial!

That’s because an increased level of frustration can trigger the release of norepinephrine in your brain, which helps prepare your brain for learning.

For those seeking guidance on how to go about absorbing that information, The Art of Impossible has crafted a five-step process.

To start out, read at least five books related to the topic – increasing in difficulty as you go – without judging yourself.

This will help familiarize you with important terms and language pertaining to the subject.

From there, you should make explicit notes listing any questions left unanswered after reading each book.

Now it’s time to seek out experts in whatever field you’ve chosen and ask them thoughtful questions based on your notes (such as elaborating on a specific paper they wrote).

After that, stack up more research on the subject, looking for broader patterns and ecosystems in which it exists.

Challenge yourself further by hunting down conflicting arguments then forming opinion backed up by rational thought.

Lastly, find an overarching narrative between all of these elements by telling someone else about what you’ve learned in a story-like fashion as this will trigger dopamine release and ignite a desire for further pattern discovery.

By following these steps of The Art of Impossible Book Summary, learning almost anything becomes possible!

How To Unlock Your Creativity: Understanding The Brain Networks Involved In Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

Creativity is often hard to define, but neuroscientists have a good handle on what goes on in the brain when creative ideas are generated.

It turns out that creativity involves activating three different networks in your brain.

The first two are referred to as the attention and imagination networks.

Attention helps you focus and make choices, while imagination takes care of daydreaming, planning, and imagining future scenarios.

When these two mysterious intermingle, creativity sparks!

Finally, there’s a third network known as the salience network.

Its role is to alert you when an idea merits further consideration and also help you switch between your attention and imagination faculties effortlessly.

It also performs repetition suppression so that stimuli don’t become boring or distracting with excessive repetition.

However, creatives tend to not be affected by this process like non-creative individuals do – they can constantly appreciate novelty or beauty whether it’s familiar or new to them!

Now we know how it all works inside our brains and how creative people access this brain function but…

How can we access creativity like creatives? Stay tuned for more information!

How To Cultivate Insight And Unlock Creativity: Find A Good Mood, Practice Gratitude, And Enjoy Solitude

When it comes to cultivating creativity, research has shown that a positive mood can make all the difference.

This is because of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) which is part of your brain’s salience network and is the area that lights up when we experience those “aha” moments of insight.

When you’re feeling good, the ACC is more active – and this leads to more creative thoughts and new ideas.

What are some simple ways to boost your mood? It turns out they don’t have to be too complicated or involved.

A daily gratitude practice –– where you write down ten things you’re grateful for each day –– has been proven to help train your brain to focus on the positive rather than on negativity.

Additionally, taking time away from your usual routine provides much needed psychological space which allows you to process new information in new and inventive ways.

Having a positive attitude can help unlock insightful thinking, while also providing a natural energizer leading to greater creativity.

So get out there and cultivate your own unique creative spark!

How To Have Flow And Achieve The Impossible

Achieve The Impossible

For anyone striving to achieve the impossible, flow is essential.

Flow is a state of complete immersion and focus in the present moment, and has been scientifically proven to amplify productivity by up to 500%, while learning rates soar 230%.

It’s no wonder that this heightened state makes us feel like we can conquer anything!

The author of The Art of Impossible experienced this first-hand after becoming ill with Lyme disease.

Riding waves on a beach seemingly transported him out of his physical illness; the pain was gone and he became completely entranced in the experience – he had accessed flow.

Accessing flow requires you to go through four stages: struggle, where you’re taking in loads of new information and feeling frustrated from learning; followed by release, during which time your brain processes what you’ve learned; then flow itself; before finally finishing with recovery for replenishing energy lost in the process.

By devoting time away from external distractions and allowing yourself room for creativity, you will find yourself more capable than ever before when making amazing things happen – breaking through impossible barriers without even thinking about it.

Wrap Up

The Art of Impossible by Steven Kotler offers an inspiring journey to all those looking to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Whether you are trying to master a new skill, trying to boost your creative output, or aiming for a flow state, this book will offer you actionable advice and tips to help you along the way.

Kotler’s key message is that everyone has within them the power to achieve that which may seem impossible – it just requires dedication and perseverance.

The 80/20 approach really emphasises this point as it reminds us that 80 percent of our results come from 20 percent of our actions; this means we should focus on getting the most out of the small amount that matters.

Of course, sometimes it can be painful process, but with guidance from The Art of Impossible and a willingness to try something new, there is no doubt success will eventually come!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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