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August 14, 2023 60 mins

When life feels hard, does “peak performance” mean anything? 


Steven Kotler is known as the NYT best selling author of books like Stealing Fire and The Rise of Superman, but can the science of stretching limits apply to grief of any kind? If you look beyond the slick language of bio-hacking and extreme sports typically found in discussions on peak performance, it turns out there’s something here for all of us. 

In this episode we cover: 


  • How peak performance applies to your life - even if you’re not an athlete
  • Why gratitude tends to work better than affirmations
  • The scientific reason why play is good for you - and important for healthy aging
  • The first three days of grief: what loss is like inside a hospice-based dog rescue
  • How a change in mindset can extend your life by eight years (but that’s not the same as toxic positivity)


Related episodes:


What’s It All For? Loss and Meaning in Midlife with Chip Conley


Pet Loss and Veterinarians Who Cry: with Veterinary Oncologist and Author Dr. Renee Alsarraf


Connection is the Best Medicine: with Dr. Rana Adwish

Notable quotes: 

“Limits are liberating.” – Steven Kotler


“Hope is about the collaborative effort.” – Steven Kotler

About our guest:

Steven Kotler is one of the world’s most renowned experts on human performance. His NYT best selling books include The Art of Impossible and The Rise of Superman. He’s the co-founder of Planet Home and the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. Steven’s work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, and appears in over 100 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, TIME, and the Harvard Business Review. His latest book, Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad, details the application of peak performance tenets on an aging body. Find him at 

About Megan: 

Psychotherapist and bestselling author Megan Devine is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on grief, from life-altering losses to the everyday grief that we don’t call grief. She helms a consulting practice in Los Angeles and serves as an organizational consultant for the healthcare and human resources industries. 


The best-selling book on grief in over a decade, Megan’s It’s Ok that You’re Not OK, is a global phenomenon that has been translated into more than 25 languages. Her celebrated animations and explainers have garnered over 75 million views and are used in training programs around the world.

Additional resources:

The Art of Impossible: a Peak Performance Primer 


Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work


The Future Is Faster Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler


The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance


A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life


Rancho de Chihuahua - Joy and Steven’s non-profit dog sanctuary


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