The presence of images meant that each organism could create internal representations based on its ongoing sensory descriptions of both external and internal events.

In conscious creatures, the first tier of visceroception signals is delivered below the level of consciousness, and the corrective responses that the brain produces on the basis of unconscious surveillance are, for the most part, not consciously deliberated either.

the most interesting thing about an acorn is that it contains a whole oak. But the most interesting thing about a human—well, we’re not exactly sure. We do not know the full measure of what we might contain.

a playful excellence in the face of mortal consequences

At the world-class level, where talent differences are marginal, we estimate that 90 percent of success for elite performers is mental.

the autotelic nature of the activity—the fact that it drives him into flow—is the source code of his motivation.

visualization is an essential flow hack: it shortens struggle.

asking the question “Where do our limits lie?” is another way of asking, “How far can we stretch our imagination?”

Our society has spent centuries waging war against torment. We have become really good at negotiating with darkness, for certain, but how much do we really know about the light?

Society likes to pay for performance and flow definitely improves performance.

If we are hunting the highest version of ourselves, then we need to turn work into play and not the other way round.

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Ironically, flow considered is a radical and alternative path to mastery only because we have decided that play is a waste of time for adults.

Many have made the mistake of conflating the value of the vehicle that leads us to an experience (the surfboard, etc.) with the value of the experience itself (the flow state)?

Most people are so afraid of dying they never live.

The action and adventure community have made creativity so core to the culture that the culture is willing to die for their creativity.

Freeriding tilted the value structure of action and adventure sports. It overemphasized self-expression, de-emphasized winning, and de-emphasized the idea of a solitary winner.

with large swatches of the prefrontal cortex deactivated, we’re more receptive to novel experiences (the building blocks of new ideas) and much less inhibited (thus more likely to present those new ideas to the world).

The creative act (one that requires risk taking and pattern recognition) is itself an exceptionally potent flow trigger.

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Isaac Su

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