Picks of the Month - July 2017

Posted by Gjermund Bjaanes on August 5, 2017

Welcome to Picks of the month, where I share a few things I have found useful the last month.

It can be anything from blog posts and software tools to books and techniques.


#1 Cold Showers

I briefly mentioned on the last picks of the months that I had gotten into the habit of taking cold showers in the morning. I wanted to expand a bit on that in this post.

The reason I got started with it at all was that I had read a few places over the last years that cold shower has several significant benefits. The main one I was aiming for was better self-control and the ability to face any uncomfortable situation without hesitation. This article made me take the plunge: How to Build a Bulletproof Mind in 5 Minutes a Day

There are supposedly many health benefits like

  • Alertness (you WILL wake up)
  • Better immunity
  • Weight loss
  • Reducing stress
  • Reducing depression
  • Good for you skin

I don’t know about most of them. I can’t tell at this point at least. I will, however, say that I become tougher because of it. Because let me tell you, some days you are seriously going to dread going into that ice cold shower in the morning. I do it every single day. No excuse. Even when I need to take a long shower to get dirt and stuff off, I still have to do it cold. I have not had a single warm shower or bath in several months. This is the dedication level we are talking about here. And I think it is important to do it exclusively, at least for a while.

Pushing through when things are hard is an important skill to have - and you will develop it if you start taking cold showers. For sure!

If you want to give it a go, just do the following. Set the shower to the coldest setting (yes, all the way). Take a shower as normal. You will hate it, but you will feel very energized afterward. When you get in you will probably feel a bit of a shock the first times. You will gasp for air, and a ton of excuses to get the hell out of the shower will come rushing in. Try to breathe as normal and slowly as possible. Ideally, breath for 5 seconds in, hold for 5 and exhale for 5. That way you slow down your heart rate, and you’ll calm down.

Most of the articles talking about cold showers or cold water immersion of some kind have to mention “the Iceman,” Wim Hof. He has learned himself the ability to withstand cold for hours without… well, dying! If you are interested in Wim Hof, I suggest watching this TEDx talk:

Either way, I suggest you try it for yourself. As a test. Are you able to do it?


#2 Introduction to Classical Music

I recently finished a course on Coursera about classical music. It was called “Introduction to classical music.”

I always have sort of enjoyed classical music, but it has not been something I spent most of my listening time on, mostly because I was not too familiar with it. I just felt that I didn’t know it. So I started this course to learn more about classical music. Just for fun really.

It turns out; the course has really transformed my appreciation for classical music. I now listen to it all the time. I have gone to several concerts and enjoyed them immensely.

You’ll learn some music theory, some ideas and thoughts about the craft, quite a bit of classical music history and you get to listen to a lot of great classical music.

The course is 24 hours of footage with quite a few quizzes, so it’s an investment of time for sure. But if you want to get into classical music or want to be able to enjoy it, even more, it’s well worth it.

Introduction to Classical Music on Coursera

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