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At a fundamental level, then, coming up with original, valuable ideas always requires risk taking and pattern recognition—and this means dopamine.

The first thing to know about coming up with original, valuable ideas is how deeply this process scares us. It invokes some very primal terrors: fear of failure, the unknown, social ridicule, loss of resources. There’s significant risk involved in every step of this process.

Creativity: the process of developing original ideas that have value.

Those physical risks are a by-product of a much deeper desire to take creative risks.

They leveraged powerful neurobiology to build tighter communities,

leveraged those communities to drive innovation,

then open-sourced innovation to much larger communities

and collectively rode the reverberations into the history books.

In action and adventure sports, the arrival of the VCR marked the moment innovation became open sourced.

10 triggers to induce group flow:

1. Serious concentration
2. Shared, clear goals
3. Good communication (lots of feedback)
4. Equal participation
5. Element of risk
6. Familiarity
7. Blending egos
8. Sense of control
9. Close listening
10. Always saying yes

Group flow is a social unifier and social leveller, creating "communitas"—that deep solidarity and togetherness that results from shared transcendent experiences.

Companionship drives focus into the now—it’s arguably the simplest flow hack in the world.

Action and adventure sports athletes discovered that one of the easiest ways to find flow is to band together to chase the state.

If we want to flow from cycle to cycle, we need to take full advantage of recovery to regroup and recharge. On this path, you have to go slow to go fast.

Four phases of flow:
1. Struggle
2. Release
3. Flow
4. Recovery

Flow appears near the emotional midpoint between boredom and anxiety.

Attention is most engaged when there’s a very specific relationship between the difficulty of a task and our ability to perform that task.

When feedback is immediate, the information we require is always close at hand. Attention doesn’t have to wander; the conscious mind need not get involved.

Immediate feedback, our next internal trigger, is another shortcut into the now.

Applying this idea in our daily life means breaking tasks into bite-size chunks and setting goals accordingly.

Clarity gives us certainty. When goals are clear, metacognition is replaced by in-the-moment cognition, and the self stays out of the picture.

When you’re arrogant and egotistical, you’re shutting out complexity, novelty, and unpredictability to preserve a distorted self-image. It’s a massive data reduction.

Humility moves in the other direction, it opens us up and increases incoming information.

He knew how to leverage risk to access flow.

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Isaac Su

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