Why did I pick this book?

I have an academic interest in understanding the limits of human performance. I am fascinated watching a music performance, a great sporting moment, or a master orator in action. I wonder how these people can cast a spell around us with their performance and I am intrigued by what state they would be in if they can cast a spell to millions around them in minutes. They seem to repeat that performance at will most of the times. Scientists have called this as the Flow state. So when a book promises that a lesser mortal like me can get into this state, I was curious to explore.

What do I like about the book?

I will be frank here. I could not get what I was looking. While the book talks about the evolution of the four fields (Pharmacology, Psychology, Technology, Neurobiology) and their impact on how we can get into ‘Flow state’ at will, the book raised more questions than it could answer.  It is possible that I did not understand or appreciate the essence during the first pass. I will take a second look at it. However, I thought the evidence presented, necessitated a warrant to highlight this book in the weekly review. I am of the view that you might get the essence in the first pass.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

I can get into a flow state or an altered state by a spoonful of clinically approved syrup. It is just like having woodwords gripe water!

How long would it take?

3 – 4 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked


“First, creativity is essential for solving complex problems—the kinds we often face in a fast paced world. Second, we have very little success training people to be more creative. And there’s a pretty simple explanation for this failure: we’re trying to train a skill, but what we really need to be training is a state of mind.

By stepping outside ourselves, we gain perspective. We become objectively aware of our costumes rather than subjectively fused with them. We realize we can take them off, discard those that are worn out or no longer fit, and even create new ones

You start . . . constructing a world that is much more friendly to contradiction, to oppositeness, to being able to hold onto multiple systems of thinking. . . . This means that the self is more about movement through different forms of consciousness than about defending and identifying with any one form.”

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)