I’m very excited to bring Steven Kotler back on the show to talk about his latest book, Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad. He has been a guest on this podcast a few times before, talking about some of his books such as Bold, The Rise of Superman, and The Art of Impossible. He has written 12 books in the last 12 years, and his work has been very helpful for me not only in the corporate world, but also more broadly in life.
The title of Steven’s new book, Gnar Country, comes from gnarly, which refers not only to a very hostile environment in which he learned new action and adventure sports skills at the ripe age of 55. It also refers to the environment which at 55 you’re operating in – the reality of getting old and some of the challenges associated with aging. We’ve talked about action sports, peak performance, longevity and a number of other topics, where Steven turned on its head some of the conventional wisdom around the psychological and physiological decline that accompanies old age, and offered an extremely optimistic view of how we can turn this around to our benefit.
What Is Covered:
- The research experiment on peak performance aging that Steven engaged in before writing Gnar Country
- Why the new research completely overturns conventional perspective on aging and supposed physical and mental decline
- The key role of the state of flow in peak performance aging
- How to preserve, maintain, enhance and improve your physical and cognitive performance in older age
- Why changing our mindset around aging is key for longevity and quality of life as we get older
Key Learnings and Takeaways:
- The vast majority of human abilities that we used to believe declined over time are use-it or lose-it skills, and it applies to both cognitive and physical function.
- If you want to “rock till you drop”, you want to engage in challenging social and creative activities that demand dynamic, deliberate play and take place in novel outdoor environments.
- A properly trained person over fifty is the ideal workforce of the 21st century, and there’s a business revolution waiting to happen with older workers.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad by Steven Kotler
- Gnar Country Experiment Video
- Other books by Steven Kotler
- Breaking the Age Code by Becca Levy
- Steven Kotler: Hacking Flow – How to Make Outperformance a Habit on OutsideVoices
- Steven Kotler: The Art of Impossible – A Playbook for Impractical People in 2021 on OutsideVoices
- Chip Conley: AirBnb, Modern Elders, Navigating the Midlife Crisis on OutsideVoices