This week’s conversation is with Steven Kotler.

The name may ring a bell because he’s been on the podcast twice before and it’s a joy every time we have a chance to connect.

As a refresher, Steven is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and founder of the Flow Research Collective.

His books include The Rise of Superman, Stealing Fire, Abundance, BOLD, A Small Furry Prayer, and West of Jesus.

He is also the cofounder of the Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary.

If you’d like to learn more about Steven’s journey and framework for how he’s become, check out the first podcast we did – Finding Mastery #017.

The nature of today’s conversation focuses on his new book, The Last Tango in Cyberspace.

It’s a novel about future technology, counter-cultural evolution and the rise of empathy — all wrapped up in a thriller.

While the book is fiction, many of Steven’s ideas for it come from real-world experiences and his outlook on the future of humanity.

We discuss his writing process, which skills are necessary for mastering his craft vs. mastering his own life, and the psychology of how we relate to our environment through plants and animals.

“I want to find people who are doing the impossible, and I want to celebrate them for that and try to figure out what the hell they are doing and how they are doing it.”

In This Episode:

  • The tension between mastering craft and mastering self
  • Why those that master craft first experience dopamine overload
  • What’s been his cost of pursuing mastery?
  • How being poor in his early career shaped his work ethic
  • Is he more interested in what he knows or what he doesn’t know?
  • What skills are necessary for mastering craft vs self
  • The power of self-determination theory
  • The skills you need to be a great writer
  • The meaning behind his new book, “The Last Tango in Cyberspace”
  • The psychology of how we relate to the environment including our relationships with plants and animals
  • Utilizing empathy with animals and how that can change your perspective
  • How do we define life and consciousness?
  • Where do beliefs come from


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“To me, the goal is you want a life that doesn’t just exceed your expectations. You want a life that exceeds your imagination. You want a life where you look around and you go, I did not know that the shit I’m doing today was even possible for me to do.”

“If you have lined up motivation with grit and understand proper goal setting technique, high and hard goals, clear and chunk goals, I think it develops into what I call the habit of ferocity- the ability to automatically and instinctively rise to any challenge.”

“If you’re not going to get in the ring, shut the fuck up.”

“I am as good as I think anybody in the world at explaining really complicated ideas to anyone.”

“There are five super potent intrinsic motivators: curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy and mastery.”


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Executive Director at Flow Research Collective |

Steven Kotler is an American bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is best known for his non-fiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Abundance, A Small Furry Prayer, West of Jesus, and Bold.