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Get Into Your Creative Flow

Lesson 29 of 32

Minimal Feedback for Flow

Steven Kotler

Get Into Your Creative Flow

Steven Kotler

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Lesson Info

29. Minimal Feedback for Flow

Lesson Info

Minimal Feedback for Flow

I have discovered that the three things I need to know, to steer my writing, is: is it boring, is it confusing, it is arrogant? I call that the minimal feedback for flow. So what you want to do, is you first want to figure out what the minimal feedback for flow is. Now I have somebody in my life, my editor, who's sitting back there. Michael reads everything I write. Usually a couple days after I write it, and he gives me three bits of information. Is it boring, is it arrogant, is it confusing. That is the minimal feedback I need to course-correct, to stay into flow. I don't want overwhelming amounts of feedback. That's too much. I want the minimal feedback for flow. If you don't want to hire an editor, if you don't have that kind of relationship at work, if you don't, find a feedback buddy. Find somebody in this class. Find a friend to partner with. Get somebody in your life who can give you that kind of feedback, work feedback, creative feedback, when you need it, as fast as possible.

Figure out how often a week you want it. And now here's, we're gonna future-cast, we did retro-casting exercise earlier, we're going to future-cast a little bit to try to come up with the minimal feedback for flow for each of you guys. So, one, when was your last great creative flow state? Just write it down, think about your last really great creative flow state. Now, I want you to think about that, when you were in your last great creative flow state, how often did you get feedback when you were in that flow state? Finally, what kind of feedback was most effective? This is a really critical question. And these are not easy things to think about, and you are probably not going to get the most rigorous minimal feedback for flow answer out of this exercise. You will get a little bit of direction to steer from, what I would tell you is to pay attention over time. When you find yourself in a deep flow state, figure out what kind of feedback you've been getting. Where has it been coming from? What was it? In which way did it come? Figure out what it is that you need to know about your performance to make it better. figure out what style of feedback you like. Some people respond really well to harsh negative criticism. Maybe you're not wired that way. Maybe you need positive encouragement. Maybe that's the kind of feedback you need. Maybe you need somebody to look at your work and go, "Oh my god, this, this, and this, those were the amazing things. Everything else, whatever, these things drive them forward." Whatever it is, figure it out. And when you guys are done, I'm curious to hear, I'm always kind of curious about what kind of feedback works for people. So, I want a couple examples. So I just want a couple people just to stand up and read me through your answers. First, tell us what it is that you do creatively, tell us what your last flow state is, and how often do you receive feedback, and what kind of feedback worked for you. Love to hear from you guys. So, my last creative flow was, I made a number of videos to promote my new book, and it just flowed really easily. One of them was really funny, and the two most effective pieces of feedback I got, were one was from myself. It felt good, and I was laughing doing it, and laughing afterward. So I knew I was on the right track. And the other successful feedback was from a friend of mine who gave me constructive criticism, saying here's what you can change to make it better. And I didn't take that personally, I said that's really valuable. Okay, so A, humor is the sign for you that you're moving in the right direction, and B, you like more positive feedback than negative feedback. It was negative, it was, "Here's what was crappy about it, and you need to fix, actually." Oh, okay. Inverse. So it was constructive, but it was, "This sucks, and change it." (laughing) I've gotten that criticism before.

Class Description

Do you want to learn more about flow? Take the Free Flow Profile to find out if you are a Deep Thinker, Crowd Pleaser, Hard Charger, or Flow Goer.

If creativity is already core to your life, then this program is perfect for you. This could mean you’re a copywriter at an ad agency, a scientist hunting a breakthrough, a coder designing software, an entrepreneur dreaming up your next start-up, a writer aching to finish that novel or a landscape painter trapped in the life of an accountant — all that matters is that generating novel ideas (and putting those ideas out in the world in some form or another) is core to your life and purpose.

Why Does “Flow for Creatives” even matter?

  • You keep losing the battle to be innovative in the rush to be productive.

  • You have writer’s block or coder’s block or painter’s block and the thing you used to love most in your life has become a source of pain and frustration.

  • You have trouble managing your emotions and fear keeps getting in the way of your good ideas.

  • You have trouble sustaining momentum on projects and tend to quit early rather than to finish what you started.

  • You have no idea how to gain access to groundbreaking insights and ideas when you need them most.

  • You don’t actually believe creativity is trainable.

  • You’re numbing yourself with substances and placating yourself with distractions as a way to ignore the fact that you’re not living up to your creative potential.

  • You get lost in the fixing to get ready phase, and never get down to business.

  • You keep bashing into creative walls but never breaking thru.

  • Your emotions keeping getting in the way of your desired outcomes. Fear of failure keeps you from committing to projects; perfectionism keeps you from making your work public.

Flow For Creatives can help.

It’s like an inspiration turbo-boost training program. It’s practical, experiential and experimental. You learn a new idea about Flow and Creativity, apply it to whatever problem you’re trying to solve, see what happens, then make it your own.

And, did you know…

  • When in Flow, your creative problem-solving abilities can spike by over 400 percent.

  • Research done at Harvard shows that the heightened creativity produced by Flow can outlast the state by a day, sometimes two—suggesting that Flow actually trains the brain to think more creatively over the long haul.

  • Creatives are more prone to depression than most people, but an understanding of the process can protect against this liability.

  • Creativity tops the list of 21st-century skills—meaning those skills that are essential for thriving in the modern world—yet 75 percent of people think they’re not living up to their creative potential.

  • The baseline brainwave state produced by Flow is also the ready condition for “Ah-ha” insight, meaning being in the zone makes you primed for breakthrough insight.

  • Fear blocks creativity, while Flow resets the nervous system, calming us down so we can avoid burnout and gain access to much-needed insight.

  • Unless you know how to train the brain properly, most people tap into their deepest creative potential at age 5.

  • Frustration is actually a built-in component of the creative process—it’s a sign that you’re moving in the right direction not a sign that you’re going about it all wrong.

Life is better than ever and we are feeling worse than evener. We are neurotic, stressed, unmotivated and it’s literally killing us. This class is for anyone that is serious about staying in their highest performing state.

*Warning: this instructor occasionally uses strong language. Viewer discretion advised*


Jeremy Richardson

I've watched and participated in many webinars and online classes, and this was by far one of the best. The depth and breadth of information that Steven covers in this class is not only really important, but he structures it in a way that is engaging and most importantly: PRACTICAL. I'm coming out of this with a clear list of ways to improve my ability to get into Flow while accomplishing all of my creative endeavors. I highly recommend this to anyone who would like to do the same!


This is amazing. Steven is hitting so many pain point for me about reframing my fear. He is also an amazing presenter. Thank you, Steven! I am excited, I am excited, I am excited!

Isaac Freed

Utterly mind blowing. Wow. A few hours listening to Steven Kotler felt more like a few days. He has done his research, and offers so much practical application advice that I will review this material several times. Well worth it, and highly recommended. Thank you, Creative Live!