Stealing Fire, Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal
Steven Kotler,Jamie Wheal

Stealing Fire

362 printed pages
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CNBC and Strategy + Business Best Business Book of 2017
“A mind-blowing tour along the path from sex and drugs to R&D.” – Financial Times

It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They're harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.
New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.
Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.

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Holden Steinberg
Holden Steinbergshared an impression2 months ago
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The first is do the exact opposite of what the guy in front of you is doing—so if he looks left, then you look right. The second is trickier: the person who knows what to do next is the leader. We’re entirely nonhierarchical in that way. But in a combat environment, when split seconds make all the difference, there’s no time for second-guessing. When someone steps up to become the new leader, everyone, immediately, automatically, moves with him. It’s the only way we win.”
Cicero went further,6 calling the rites the pinnacle of Greek achievement: “Among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions which . . .
Prometheus,9 the original upstart rebel, who stole fire from the gods and shared it with humankind. And he didn’t just steal a book of matches, but also the power to seed civilization: language, art, medicine, and technology. Enraged that mortals would now have the same power as the gods, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock, letting eagles rip out his innards for eternity.
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