#16: Peak Performance, Video Games, Hot Yoga & Vulnerability

Your weekly round-up of wisdom, habits, inspiration and practical solutions, including 8 Foundations of Peak Performance.
#16: Peak Performance, Video Games, Hot Yoga & Vulnerability
Welcome to issue #16 of The Power Up, the new curated email magazine from Man Body Spirit.

Every day I scour the Internet in search of wisdom, habits, inspiration and practical solutions to help improve the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of our readers, curating the best bits together in this neat little package – and delivered direct to your inbox. 

For many of us it was the first full week back at work after the holiday break – so I hope it went well for you, and you were able to stick to the best intentions you set for the New Year. 

And if, like me, you’re glad Sunday’s here, it’s time to make a cuppa, put your feet up, and enjoy this week’s eclectic bag that covers a range of topics, from Hot Yoga to Video Games and beyond.
Podcast: Eight foundations of Peak Performance
I’m a big fan of the Unmistakable Creative podcast, and this episode, an interview with Olympic coach Jeff Spencer, is one of the best.

It echoes a lot of the lessons I’ve learned on my own personal journey, covering such topics as the power of having coaches and mentors, changing our relationship with pain and fear, and the importance of legacy, vision and mindset. 

Give it a listen on your next run or commute. It’s full of valuable take aways you can put to practical use right away.  
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Mind
The unexpected benefits of Video Games
I have a fraught relationship with video games.

On the one hand I’ve enjoyed playing them on and off since my childhood. And I’m increasingly fascinated by how the sophistication of gameplay, graphics, and immersive storytelling continue to evolve with every passing generation.

But given how many other responsibilities I have in my life these days, I can rarely truly enjoy playing games without a heavy feeling of guilt that I should be spending my time more constructively. 

Enter this article from ‘Menprovement’! Which, drawing theory from Zen Buddhism and world-renowned Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, presents the case for playing video games as a way of entering Nirvana, and Flow State – both of which share some common benefits.

Could a game of FIFA or Overwatch provide the same benefits as meditation? 

If you’re looking for justification to finally complete Red Dead Redemption 2, then here it is.
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Body
Hot Yoga: A guide for newbies
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I practice a lot of yoga and have done for more than 10 years now.

Yet it was only last autumn when I tried hot yoga for the first time. I think I thought it might be too gimmicky – or somehow ‘less authentic’ or something. 

But I left my first sessions (at Y7 in new York) feeling fantastic. Absolutely drenched in sweat, yes! But with such a high, having worked and stretched my muscles more than ever before – that I couldn’t wait for my next class. 

So if you have goals to push your body, improve your flexibility, to try new things, and improve your overall health and fitness this year, I highly recommend it.

Interested? Well, this article tells you everything you need to know about the intense and invigorating workout that breeds many benefits, including strengthening your immune system, increasing lung capacity, cleaning toxins, and of course, improving muscle flexibility.
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Spirit
Vulnerability: The Key to Better Relationships | Mark Manson
Maybe you’re one of those people who cringes when they hear the world “vulnerability,”” begins Mark Manson, bestselling author of ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’.

“Maybe the very thought of being more vulnerable nauseates you, conjuring up images of holding hands around the campfire while you cry over how your best friend doesn’t love you like you love him, or whatever. ” 

In this great piece from his blog, Manson explains how vulnerability is far simpler, more mundane, and yet way more powerful than all of the preconceived, wishy-washy notions many of us have. 

Well worth a read…
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Bonus content
Video: Are your curious or closed?
This short video could change the way you think.

It presents a super simple model we can use to check-in with ourselves periodically to assess if we are operating from a place of open-minded, creative, collaborative curiosity, or with a more closed, defensive, serious, fixed, ‘survival’ way of thinking.

It’s a simple yet impactful check that can help us identify why, for example, we’re maybe not making the progress we’d like, whether in our personal life or career.

It could be the most valuable 3 minutes 36 seconds you spend this week.
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5 tips to be more disciplined
Do you consider yourself to be a disciplined person?
Discipline is extremely important if we want to increase our chances of achieving longer-term goals. 

It’s what keeps us focused on the bigger picture rather than caving to the temptation of short-term cravings. 

But discipline isn’t something that we’re born with or not. With a little knowledge, we can train it and create the conditions for stronger self discipline.
 
With that in mind, here are 5 scientifically-backed recommendations from the Self Improvement Blog on how you can strengthen your discipline muscle.
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Final thought
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks for reading, I hope you found some great value within this week’s edition. If so, please pass on a recommendation to your friends. If not, then please give me feedback on what more you would like to see. See you next time, Adam.
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