Here is what’s working for me this week
WHAT I TRIED
Wim Hof method
A friend of mine, Murray McWilliams (who you may recall I interviewed a few weeks back about his year-long family sabbatical in South America) introduced me to the Wim Hof method.
Also known as The Iceman, Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete known for his ability to withstand extreme cold. He has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and holds the record for a barefoot half marathon on ice and snow.
Basically, the Wim Hof method is based on the belief that through cold therapy and practicing proper breathing techniques, you can unlock a multitude of benefits. These include reduced inflammation, a stronger immune system, balanced hormone levels, better sleep, less anxiety and improved mood.
Hof says that in clinical tests in which he and others following his method were exposed to e-coli bacteria, it was found that this bacteria had no effect on them due to their enhanced immune systems.
For the last few days I have been trying both his breathing techniques and his cold water therapy programme (which at the moment just involves taking a cold shower).
Murray reckons its really working for him although I’m somewhat afraid for the good people of South America, who may be exposed to a naked McWilliams bathing in full birthday suit in the glacial lakes of Patagonia.
WHAT I lISTENED TO
The Mindvalley Podcast with Vishen Lakhiani
Episode: Shawn Stevenson on how sleeping smarter helps you achieve holistic success
As someone who has had his fair share of sleep issues, I am always keen to better understand this strange phenomenon. Let’s face it, sleep is weird. I mean, what is actually going on when you drift off into dreamland? Why do we need to sleep and how much do we need? Why do we sometimes struggle to sleep and what can we do about it?
In this podcast, Stevenson explains the science behind how sleep affects everything in our lives, including relationships, business performance, health, energy and happiness.
He gives some great tips on how to improve your quality of sleep. You’re probably not going to like some of the recommendations (i.e. digital detox at night) but he makes a lot of sense and he explains the science behind all his recommendations.
I’m already trying to implement some of these sleep hacks – its proving difficult but I know it’s worth it.
Available on Spotify and itunes.
WHAT I READ
A Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Towles
I sometimes feel guilty about reading fiction because I feel I’m not learning anything. Then I remind myself that’s just bullshit. First, any reading is good for you. Second, reading fiction helps me relax and sleep better. Third, with load-shedding taking place every night this week between 8pm and 10:30pm, there’s a lot of time to read all sorts of things guilt free (just remember to charge your kindle). Finally, when you read a novel like “A Gentleman in Moscow”, you subtly learn more about human nature and yourself than any “self-help” book could ever teach you.
I first heard about this book in a passing comment made by a guest in a podcast I was listening to a few weeks back.
The story takes place a few years after the Russian Revolution in Russia. The main character, Count Alexander Rostov, is accused of writing a counter revolutionary poem and is sentenced to life imprisonment in Moscow’s Hotel Metropol – a grand Art Nouveau palace (which actually still exists).
The book follows the story of the Count and what he gets up to in the hotel, the colourful characters he encounters and the struggles he faces. Besides it being just a great rollicking tale, I think what its really about is the importance of finding your purpose in life and how you can change the world through the smallest of actions.
I also learned a lot about food, wine and the art of being a gentleman (my wife says I still have a way to go).
Available on Kindle:
Have a great weekend, Wealthwokers.