“Effortless effort takes a lot of work” – Steven Kotler, The Habit of Ferocity.
Finally a personal development course that tells it how it is.
The Habit of Ferocity wants to teach you how to drop mediocrity and replace it with a habit for excellence. But beware, excellence has a cost.
The promise: By the end of the course you will know how to automate peak performance. No more inner blocks or lazy days that stand in your way, stealing your productivity and momentum.
But hang on, don’t think you’ll be given a free ride. “You want fame. Well fame costs, and right here is where you start paying.” **Cue theme song**.
Check out my honest review of The Habit of Ferocity, whether its big promises stack up and what it really takes to become unstoppable.
My overall verdict in a nutshell
Does The Habit of Ferocity vastly improve your performance?
I definitely noticed an increased focus and flow, where I was more productive and ‘in the zone’. As an example, the last Ideapod review I wrote took me over 10 hours to finish whilst this one poured onto the page in just a few.
Taking the course also helped me to try harder, push myself further, feel more motivated, and show greater dedication to the task at hand.
Whether I’ll keep that up is up to me. Because if this course taught me anything, it’s that what sets apart the best of the best from the rest is their willingness to do the things that other people aren’t prepared to do.
What is The Habit of Ferocity?
The Habit Ferocity is a 35-day peak performance program on Mindvalley designed to unleash your creativity, passion, and motivation so that you achieve your dreams.
In the introduction, you hear how we are hard-wired for inferiority. We’re hard-wired to take the path of least resistance and maximum pleasure.
Society takes full advantage of this by encouraging us to buy more stuff, have another beer, watch TV and forget about our troubles.
I’m pretty sure most of us can relate. Well-meaning intentions easily fall by the wayside. Rather than working on that side-hustle, learning that new instrument, going for that run, we find ourselves pouring a glass of wine and turning on Netflix.
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It’s not your fault either, apparently, it’s biology. But the big question is: how do we override this natural state?
The solution offered by The Habit of Ferocity is that we automate all the things we find challenging — motivation, grit, risk-taking, and flow.
We turn them into fundamental habits so that we don’t need to think about it, we just do it. By this stage, I was already giddy with excitement — potentially sad, but also totally true.
Using the latest findings in neuroscience, physiology, and psychology, this program says it will “rewire” you with a new behavioral formula of ‘ferocity’.
You automate all the things that you know you should be doing but find difficult to choose, so they happen before it is even a choice. But this goes beyond simply building habits or routines, it’s about changing your biological default settings.
Who is Steven Kotler?
The trainer for this quest is Steven Kotler. He’s an award-winning journalist, a New York Times bestselling author, and one of the world’s leading experts on peak human performance.
He works with both individuals and organizations who are considered at the top of their game, with clients including Google, professional athletes, and US special forces.
Much of his previous work has centered around ‘flow’ — a state of heightened concentration and productivity. He has brought this scientifically based research and teachings to the masses through books, talks, and his training organization called the Flow Research Collective.
If you haven’t heard of Mindvalley before, it’s an online educational platform, where the programs focus on different fields of personal development — whether that’s for the mind, body, or soul.
Mindvalley refers to itself as a personal transformation learning platform, covering the life skills that regular education ignores.
These life skills can be on anything from discovering how to double your rate of reading through Jim Kwik’s “Super Reading” program to understanding the body’s so-called natural healing system of meridians, chakras, and auras in the “Energy Medicine” program.
Normally one of the biggest issues with online courses is the incredibly low number of people who finish them. When the majority of us sign up for something online we give up before the finish line. But this is a trend that Mindvalley says they have managed to buck, with completion rates 333% better than the industry average. They attribute this to a scientifically proven system of daily microlearning combined with community support.
Mindvalley also recently came out with an All Access Membership where you can get almost all of their quests for $500 yearly.
Why I wanted to do The Habit of Ferocity quest
Growing up it felt like my family’s unofficial motto was “if you don’t try, you can’t fail”.
It wasn’t intentional. My parents — like all parents — just wanted me to have a safe and comfortable life. I’m from a very normal kind of place, where it seemed like extraordinary things tended not to happen. Almost every person I knew followed the path that was expected of them.
I knew that I wanted “more” from my life. Yet learning to push myself and grow beyond the comfortable limited expectations I’d been exposed to has taken a lot of years of effort.
I’ve seen the impact of daring to go for what you really want rather than just settling for what you think you can get. I know that incredible opportunities and experiences follow from being able to let go, feel the fear, and do it anyway. But as bold as some of my life choices may have been up until now, I know that I’m still not anywhere close to living my potential.
Apathy, fear, and a lack of confidence hold me back on more days than not. I want to be able to lean into challenges and turn them into something that actually fuels me, rather than scares me.
Despite sounding almost aggressive upon hearing it, to me, ferocity is about embodying an inner strength. So if you’re also looking to roll with the punches and stand up even stronger than before you got knocked down, this course could be for you too.
The Habit of Ferocity is for you if…
… You are at a stage in your life where you are feeling compelled to up-level.
… You feel like you have 1001 genius ideas but you never seem to follow through because you’re unsure of the practical steps to take to turn them from fantasy into reality.
… You’re in need of some tough love to give you the incentive to drop procrastination, move past overwhelm, and make real progress in life — especially in your career, business, or creative endeavors.
… You enjoy learning the science behind what is going on in your body and mind. I do have a spiritual belief, but I also love the language of science and so I really enjoyed delving into neuroscience, psychology, and physiology.
… You appreciate straight-talking. I found Steven Kotler’s direct approach very refreshing. For example, during one of the coaching Q+A’s, in reference to whether sound can effectively be used to enhance performance, he declared: “We don’t have a friggin’ clue and anybody who tries to tell you differently is trying to sell you crap so that they can steal your money.” It literally made me laugh out loud.
Why The Habit of Ferocity might not be a good fit for you…
… You aren’t prepared to free up 30-60 minutes daily to do the recommended work. If investing half an hour each a day sounds like too much to you, forget a lion, you’re going to be lucky to come away from this program with the ferocity of a kitten.
… You don’t enjoy self-reflection. You’re going to be asked some thought-provoking questions about yourself, your values, your motivators, etc. If you’re not up for that introspection, this isn’t for you.
… You’re easily offended. If you can’t handle the odd curse word or you aren’t willing to be potentially confronted over some of your beliefs, then Steven Kotler’s communication style might not work for you.
… You don’t like using journaling as a tool for self-inquiry. Writing is one of the core exercise techniques that you utilize.
… You’re a “bliss junkie”. Kotler uses this expression to refer to people who only seek out personal development that feels good. Anyone who is just looking for the next “high” rather than getting down to do the hard work, won’t find it here.
How much does The Habit of Ferocity cost?
At the time of writing, The Habit of Ferocity is available to buy on Mindvalley’s website for $549, or $599 if you would like a completion certificate. But you can get the discounted price via this special link.
In my opinion, the quality of information and the potential impact this course can have on your entire life makes it easily worth the money.
Having said that, you shouldn’t buy this course on its own. That’s because, as well as selling quests individually, Mindvalley also offers the option of an All Access Membership. It’s not only cheaper but it includes access to a wide range of their other popular programs.
When you buy the All Access Pass for $499 it unlocks 30+ quests on Mindvalley for a whole year.
Other Mindvalley programs you might like
There’s a good range of programs on Mindvalley that focus on performance if that’s what you are looking for. If you like the sound of The Habit of Ferocity then you may also enjoy:
Superbrain with Jim Kwik – an accelerated learning curriculum designed to activate your brain’s limitless potential and help you achieve a bulletproof memory.
Ultimate Leadership with Keith Ferrazzi – which introduces you to the paradigm shifts and emerging strategies being harnessed by today’s most inspiring and effective leaders.
Hero. Genius. Legend – Focuses on the key habits, techniques, and skills to become a so-called super performer in life.
What exactly do you learn during The Habit of Ferocity?
So what do you actually come away with from this quest? Here are the topics you’ll cover and what they aim to do:
1) Grit & Resilience
Deepening your grit is all about learning how to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. When others may admit defeat you will handle setbacks and keep on going.
2) Career Growth
Focus your ferocity into your work to achieve more external success — whether that’s getting a raise, landing a dream client, or becoming the star performer at work.
3) Purpose & Passion
Understand what really energizes you so that you can align with your purpose and find the inner strength to dare to go after what you truly want.
Wake up with energy and enthusiasm to push yourself further and perform at your highest level.
Learn how to get more done in less time through optimized daily systems and processes.
Harness mental frameworks that give you incredible focus to get any task done, regardless of what’s going on around you.
Learn how to unleash creativity and inspiration from deep within your subconscious mind — even if you don’t see yourself as a creative person.
8) Getting and Staying in Flow
Get to grips with this elusive state using a researched methodology to help you continuously get in the zone.
How is The Habit of Ferocity structured? Here’s what to expect:
During this quest, you are introduced to three or four new concepts each week. There are also days when you move from theory to practice and take action.
All of the information is broken up into 5 distinct parts, which coincide with every week:
Part 1: Prime yourself for the work you are about to do. This groundwork includes a deeper dive into the flow state and how it will apply to the habit of ferocity.
Part 2: How to automate motivation, which is essential in moving past challenges towards success. You will learn the neurobiology of turning curiosity into passion, how to become an “expert” in something (hint: it’s not as impossible as you think), how connecting with others can 10x your motivation and how to turn passion into purpose.
Part 3: How to automate flow. Learn how to master this state of peak consciousness so that you amplify your productivity and focus. Some of the highlights from this week include the simple daily habit that puts you in flow more often without having to think about it, the neuroscience of goal achievement, and understanding the difference between goals that will encourage flow and those which will break it.
Part 4: How to automate grit. This is going to teach you to retrain your neurology and physiology so that you can deal with whatever life throws at you. Expect to learn about 6 different types of grit, how to use fear to your advantage, and building a growth mindset.
Part 5: How to create a lifetime of ferocity. This section wraps up the course by bringing everything together, to turn this from a 35-day program into a life-long habit.
The pros and cons of The Habit of Ferocity
The structure of this course effortlessly flows. It builds upon concepts to give you a progressive step-by-step route to take. In the process, it turns all those initial “I don’t know” thoughts into clearly defined ideas and action plans.
The video content is particularly engaging. As an ex-journalist, Steven Kotler is a natural communicator, great motivator, and compelling storyteller. Watch out for the story about the Xprize — a $10 million reward for the first person to create a space shuttle capable of landing more than once.
Complex ideas are broken up into digestible bite-sized chunks. Despite some big concepts, scientific terminology, and deep-diving introspection, everything is taught in 30-60 minutes of daily content and exercises, which can fit into busy schedules.
It’s nice and interactive, with fun quizzes that give you a greater understanding of how you tick and what learning methods may be most effective for you.
There’s lots of moral support and added accountability in the form of the “Tribe”. This is a community of fellow students who start the quest at the same time as you. You will regularly be prompted to “share your thoughts with the Tribe” and are encouraged to start your own small accountability groups.
This is less of a “con” and more of a fair warning: this course is a long-term commitment, not a quick fix. Let’s just say if it were a weight loss program, it would be a lifestyle change rather than a crash diet. Becoming truly ferocious will be a lifelong project which doesn’t end after this 35-day course finishes.
Although it factors in sleep, the program doesn’t talk about diet as playing a part in optimal performance. I can’t help but feel that how you fuel your body is surely important. The reason for its absence is explained by a lack of real research on the matter. Steven Kotler argues that other than talking about basic nutrition, there wouldn’t be anything more to say.
You have to pay another $50 if you would like a completion certificate to say you’ve done the course. I don’t think a certificate is particularly necessary, but if one is going to be offered, I’d rather see it just included in the price.
Is The Habit of Ferocity worth it?
This quest was 100% my cup of tea so it’s a very easy big fat yes from me.
I not only devoured the course but also bought a few of Steven Kotler’s bestseller books and signed up to his Flow Research Collective newsletter — I think I may now officially be a superfan.
I guess I’m in good company, with Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson, Space X founder Elon Musk and Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington amongst the big names singing his praises in testimonials.
Will I become a limitless superhuman? Perhaps, who knows — I guess watch this space. What I am more confident to say is that this program gave me the kick up the ass that I needed, along with the practical strategy for building habits that encourage better focus, productivity, and motivation.