Here’s my third weekly update!

I explained in my first weekly update about why I’ve decided to write these posts and last week I talked about how to learn skills quickly (plus lots of other stuff).

So here goes…

I’ve been watching…

Wim Hof: Inside the Superhuman World of the Iceman

Wim Hof, AKA the Iceman, is a Dutch guy who has achieved some pretty incredible feats, including:

  • Completing a full marathon in the desert without water
  • Climbing to 22,000 feet on Mount Everest wearing only shorts and shoes
  • Being fully immersed in ice for nearly 2 hours

Although the feats are cool, what’s really interesting is his method for achieving them. He combines exposure to cold, breathing techniques and meditation in the Wim Hof Method, a toolkit that has allowed many of his student to complete similar feats.

He’s also been tested in a laboratory setting — he was injected with a dead bacteria that would normally make someone ill (shaking, sweats, etc) for several hours. He was able, through his breathing techniques, to prevent his immune system from reacting. The test was then repeated on a group of his trainees (who achieved a similar result) and a control group (who did get ill). It seems that by hyperventilating he is able to control his heart rate and adrenaline levels.

There’s a VICE documentary about him that explains the science behind what he does, shows what his training involves and more. It’s well worth a watch.

I’ve been reading…

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness

Last week I mentioned that I’d been reading Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I published a post last Thursday based on one of the key ideas from the book — how to balance pleasure and personal growth:

Pleasure or enjoyment?

I’ve been learning…


I’ve been slowly accumulating a German vocabulary for a while now, using a few different tools.

I previously wrote a guide to getting started with language learning which recommended using the Memrise app. Memrise is great because it’s a simple and fun way to start using spaced repetition, a learning technique that involves testing yourself on material just before you’re likely to forget it (meaning you’re learning as efficiently as possible). Memrise uses flashcards to test you on vocabulary, grammar and more.

Recently I’ve graduated to Anki, a free programme that allows you to create your own flashcards. Memrise has tons of flashcards available for download, making it super easy to just get started with a new language. Getting started can be the toughest step, so making things easy makes sense — I still think Memrise is a great place to start. The downside to downloading pre-made flashcards is that you miss out on the valuable learning experience you get when you create them yourself. That’s why I’ve now moved on to Anki — it’s more time-consuming but I actually retain way more information.

My routine is pretty much completely based on the method explained in Gabriel Wyner’s book Fluent Forever. Well worth a read if you’re considering learning a language / already learning but feel a little stuck.


Another week has passed. I’ll say it again — if you like this, please let me know! The simplest way is by liking the post on Facebook. The more likes my posts get, the more people Facebook decides to show them to. So it really does make a difference — I really appreciate it.

Next up: A post on Thursday about finding your passion.