字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント MALE SPEAKER: I'm really happy to welcome our two guests and my friends here today, Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal. As you know, wellness, optimum living have been big topics at Google for a while. And they are complex issues. I know my colleagues wrestle with these issues a lot, trying to figure out solutions. And today, what they will be presenting and what we'll learn more about, flow, I think is a big part of this complex puzzle. And so I want to give you a little bit of background with both of these folks before we get started. So Steven is a "New York Times" best-selling author. He's an award-winning journalist and co-founder of the Flow Genome Project. And he has many books, including "Abundance." And his new book, "The Rise of Superman" will be the focus on today. His books have been translated in many different languages. Articles have appeared in more than 70 publications, including "New Times Magazine," "Atlantic Monthly," "Wired," and "Forbes." Jamie Wheal is the executive director of the Flow Genome Project. And he's a leading expert in neurosemantics of ultimate human performance. And he works with Fortune 100 companies, leading business schools, Young Presidents' Organization, an also Red Bull, with their world-class athletes. So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Steven. [APPLAUSE] STEVEN KOTLER: Hello. Thank you guys for coming out. I very much appreciate you being here. I want to kind of just orientate you a little bit to what we're going to do. I'm going to kind of give you an introduction to flow and start breaking down some of the neurobiology, how it works under the hood and giving you kind of the broad spectrum of importance. And then Jamie's is going to take over and he's going to talk about practical applications about how you can get more flow into your lives. As a way to kind of begin, I want to tell you kind of where I began with this, which was when I was 30 years old, I got Lyme disease. And I spent the better portion of three years in bed. If you don't know what Lyme disease is like, imagine the worst flea you've ever had, crossed with paranoid schizophrenia. So by the end of it, the doctors had pulled me off medicines. My stomach lining was bleeding out. There was nothing else anybody else anybody could do for me. And I was functional, 5% to 10% of the time. My mind was totally shut down. My body was in so much pain, I could barely walk. I was hallucinating. My short-term memory was gone. My long-term memory was gone. It was all gone. And at this point, I was going to kill myself out of practicality. The only thing I was going to be from here on forward was a burden to my friends and my family. And it was really a question of when and not if at that point. And in the middle of all this kind of negative thinking, a friend of mine showed up at my house and demanded we go surfing. And it was a ridiculous request. First of all, it had been about five years since I had surfed at that point. And the last time I had surfed, I had nearly drowned in a big way of accident in Indonesia and wanted nothing to do with surfing. And as I said, I could barely walk across the room. And she was a pain in my ass. She wouldn't leave and wouldn't leave. And kept badgering me and kept badgering me. And after finally about three hours of this, I was like, what the hell, let's go surfing. What is the worst that can happen? And they she kind of walked me to their car. And they put me in their car and they drove me to Sunset Beach in Los Angeles. And if you know anything about surfing in Los Angeles, you know that Sunset Beach is just about the wimpiest beginner wave in the entire world. And it was summer. And the water was warm and the tide was low. And the waves were crap, like maybe two feet high. And no one was out. And they walked me out to the break, literally by my elbows and kind of helped me out there. They gave me a board the size of Cadillac. And the bigger the board, the easier it is to surf. This was enormous. And I was out there about 30 seconds when a wave came. And I'm not quite sure what happened, muscle memory took over, whatever. The wave came. I spun the board around. I paddled a couple times and I popped up. And I popped up into a completely different dimension. My senses were incredibly incredibly, incredibly acute, I was clear headed for the first time in years. I felt like I had panoramic vision. And time had dilated. It had slowed down. So that freeze-frame effect, if you've ever been in a car crash, that was my experience. And the most incredible thing was I felt great. I mean I felt alive, that thrum of possibility. And it was the first time in about three years that I had felt it. And that wave felt so good, I caught four more in a row. And after that fifth wave, I was disassembled. I was gone. They had to carry me to the car. They put me in the car. They drove me home. They had to put me into bed. And people actually had to come and bring me food because for 14 days, I couldn't walk again. So I couldn't make it 50 feet away to my kitchen to make a meal. And on the 15th day, which was the day that I could walk again, I got back in my car and I went back to the ocean and I did it again. And again, I had this kind of crazy, quasi-mystical experience. And again, it felt great. And the cycle kept repeating itself. And over about six months' time, when the only thing I was doing different was surfing, I went from about 10% functionality to about 80% functionality. So my first question was what the hell is going on? Because surfing is not a cure for chronic autoimmune conditions, first of all. Second of all, I'm a science writer by training. I'm a rational materialist. And I don't have mystical experiences. And I certainly don't have them in the waves while surfing. The whole thing seemed ludicrous. Lyme is only fatal if it enters your brain. And I was pretty certain that the reason I was having these quasi-mystical experiences out in the waves was because I was dying. So where all this started for me was a giant quest to figure out what the hell was going on with me. What I discovered was this altered state of consciousness I was experiencing had a name, flow states. Now, you may know this by other names, being in the zone, runner's high. If you happen to be a beatnik jazz musician, then you're in the pocket. If you're a stand-up comic, it's called the forever box. The lingo goes on, and on, and on. The term researchers prefer is flow. And they prefer this term for a reason. It's actually a technical term. And we'll come back to why in a second. But in flow, what happens is attention becomes so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears. Your sense of action or awareness merge together. So the doer and the beer become one. A sense of self, our sense of self-consciousness disappear completely. Time dilates. So that means it slows down like I mentioned. You can that freeze-frame effect, like in a car crash. Sometimes it speeds up. And five hours will go by in like five minutes. And throughout all aspects of performance, mental and physical go through the roof. I'm not going to dwell too much on it. I'm just going to kind of explain it. And we're going to go on to a lot of things. But I want to talk about why flow actually healed me from Lyme disease, just so you guys understand what was going on. We're going to talk later about the neurochemicals involved in flow. All of them significantly jack up the immune system. More importantly, they reset the nervous system back towards zero. So they calm you down. An autoimmune condition is essentially a haywire nervous system. So the fact that periodic flow states were calming my system back down is allowing me to form new neural nets. Neural nets that didn't lead immediately back to illness. And this is what kind of gave me a toehold and possibility to get better. What I also discovered when I was researching flow and learning all this stuff is that the exact same state that helped me get from seriously subpar back to normal was helping a lot of other people go from normal up to superman. Another thing that I learned very quickly on is that I really was not the first person to come to this conclusion. Flow science dates back about 150 years, to the early 1870s. By the turn of the century, Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James was looking at the state. And he was the first person to figure out that the brain can radically alter consciousness to improve performance. More importantly was the work of one of James' students, Walter Bradford for Cannon, who was a great physiologist. Bradford Cannon discovered the fight or flight response. And in doing so, he kind of give us our first window into where this accelerated performance might be coming from. This was a very, very big deal. Before that moment in time, performance enhancement was essentially a gift from the gods. You want a better time in 100-yard dash, Hermes can help. You want to write a better poem, talk to the muses. But Walter Bradford Cannon turned a gift from the gods into standard biology. He give us our very first toehold into the mystery. In 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow picked up on this thread. He discovered that flow was a commonality among all successful people. And then in the 1960s and '70s, the real revolution began, a guy named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is then the chairman of the University of Chicago psychology department. Csikszentmihalyi sort of-- well, Maslow discovered the state in successful people. Csikszentmihalyi got curious about kind of everybody else in the world. So he made what is now considered one of the largest global psychological studies ever. He went around the world, asking people about the times in their life when I felt their best and they performed their best. And it was a huge group. He started out talking to experts. He talked to expert rock climbers, ballet dancers, artists, surgeons. It didn't matter. They all said same thing. They felt their best. And they performed their best in the state he termed flow. Then he blew it out to everybody else. And by everybody else, I really mean everybody else. He talked to Navajo sheepherders. He talked to Italian grape farmers. He talked to elderly Korean women. He talked to Japanese teenage motorcycle gang members.