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THE WHAT

The Flow Research Collective is a research and training organization. Our mission: understand the science behind ultimate human performance and use it to train up individuals and organizations.

THE WHY

By decoding the neurobiology of flow—understanding what is going on in the brain and in the body when humans are performing at their best—we can open up a new possibility space for human potential.

THE WHO

We help entrepreneurs, executives and athletes get more flow so they can benefit from the performance enhancements that the state provides. Amplified productivity. Improved decision making. Heightened creativity. The list goes on.

A word on our beginnings

I want to tell you a story about the Flow Research Collective. It’s a story about broken bones and impossible dreams and all the weird ways that little things add up into big things. But it starts with death, or almost death—which was exactly the problem.
Read more about our story ⟶

A word on our beginnings

I want to tell you a story about the Flow Research Collective. It’s a story about broken bones and impossible dreams and all the weird ways that little things add up into big things. But it starts with death, or almost death—which was exactly the problem.

A long time ago, in a faraway land known as San Francisco, I was at a dinner party. It was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I was atoning in my girlfriend Allison’s living room, listening to one of her friends tell a story about how she nearly died in a car crash. 

The story had been going on for a while. There was pathos, pregnant pauses, other things that began with the letter “P.” But here’s the thing—there wasn’t a car crash. It had been a complete miss, a potentially fatal T-boning by truck that never took place. She was unscathed. I was baffled.

She’d been talking for forty five minutes, and counting. Did I mention the pathos? Every other guest—26 souls—were paying rapt attention. I went face to face, slowly. Were they faking?

My confusion grew. I broke into her monologue. I had, I was sure, a legitimate question: “What’s the point? I mean, who here hasn’t nearly died once every six months since they were in high school?” 

I raised my hand. I was absolutely serious. No other hands joined mine.  They all just looked at me with a look that seemed to speak volumes about Allison’s choice in men.

“It’s not a trick question,” I repeated. “Who here hasn’t nearly died once every six months or so?”

No hands went up. I felt sheepish, and even more confused. 

In my world, at least back then, if you didn’t nearly die once every few months, you probably weren’t doing your job. I was a journalist. When most people are running away, we’re running towards. Usually the only other people running towards are armed with guns. We were armed with pens.  This tells you something, I guess, about journalists, about Allison’s choice in men, about how small things add up into big things and how normal can come to mean different things to different people.

I was also an action sport athlete or, to be specific, a journalist dumb enough to cover action sport athletes. This was the 1990s. Back then, action sports were a home for wayward youth, and the journalists wayward enough to cover them. Catastrophic injury was another day at the office. The people I knew broke bones. Hell, just trying to keep up with the people I knew, I broke 82. Like I say: Most people call it trauma, I call it Monday.

And this became a problem when I learned a thing or two about high performance. That was a few years later, after I’d begun researching flow in earnest. I made the same mistake that everyone who learns a thing or two about high performance makes—I gave advice. 

It was a disaster. I screwed up lives. I nearly caused a divorce. I definitely caused, well, two words: Hospital bills. 

So what went wrong? Personality. I told people what works for me. But what works for me is almost guaranteed not to work for you. 

Why not? 

Nature, nurture, genetics, epigenetics, environment, etc..  In my case, if you don’t have my crazy risk tolerances, my ridiculous perseverance, and the kind of chronic anxiety required to create this crazy ridiculousness—whatever, you get the picture. Personality doesn’t scale.

Biology scales. That’s the point. And that’s the core of the Flow Research Collective.  

It’s what we mean by “Decode Flow, Recode Humans.” If we get below psychology, when we decode neurobiology, we get mechanism. Basic biological mechanism. Shaped by evolution, present in most mammals, and all humans. 

What’s wrong with the field of high performance today? It’s a bit of a cult of personality. And personality doesn’t scale—it puts people in the hospital. 

Biology scales. This idea drives our research, trainings and this organization. That’s also why we’re the Flow Research Collective. A collective is a group of people who have come together around a single goal. In this case: Decode the neurobiology of flow.  

Meet the team

We’re a collection of Ph.D.’s, clinical psychologists, entrepreneurs, athletes and citizen scientists.
Above all… we’re flow junkys.
Meet the team ⟶

What do others say about our thought leadership?

Elon Musk

Technology Entrepreneur, Investor, and Engineer
“Essential for anyone looking for a better tomorrow.”

Bill Clinton

CEO, Former U.S. President
"A visionary roadmap for people who believe they can change the world"

Peter Diamandis

Peter Diamandis
“A must for anyone interested in living up to their full potential. A user-manual for your hacking your brain to drive high performance.”

Michael S. Dell

CEO, Dell Computers
"Inspiring, filled with incredible insights... a practical how-to game-plan for going big and impacting the world."

Arianna Huffington

CEO, Huffington Post
“A reminder of the infinite possibilities for doing good when we tap into our own empathy and wisdom.”

Tim Ferriss

Angel investor, Entrepreneur, Author of The 4-Hour Workweek
"Steven and Jaime have done a wonderful job to balancing the promises, perils and how to perscriptions of engineering peak states such as flow."

Ray Kurzweil

Director of Engineering at Google, Author of How to Create a Mind & The Singularity is near
“A game-changing account of the secrets of ultimate human performance—a must for anyone interested in seriously raising the level of their game.”

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