Ilya Vasilenko
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My Best Of 2022


"Daily Stoic", Ryan Holiday

This is the book that I've highlighted, commented on, and gifted to friends the most in recent years. It contains a short one-page article per day that references one of the Stoics and provides a contemporary interpretation for our daily life. It is an incredible source of daily wisdom. For me, the best way to read this book is to read a page in the evening, write down my thoughts at the bottom of the page, mark the pages that stood out the most for me, and revisit the best pieces on a regular basis. Wisdom is not just about understanding, but also about execution.

"Never split the difference", Crys Voss

This is one of the best books on negotiations of all time. There are many other great sources, but you should definitely read this one as it contains very hands-on tips that you can start using in your daily life straight after reading it, not just in contract negotiations, but in daily conversations. It is also very interesting to read because Chris Voss provides many examples from his own practice to illustrate the techniques.


Garmin Forerunner

This is a water-resistant watch and is one of the most affordable models in the Garmin series. However, it fully meets my needs. Buying it has been a real improvement in various aspects of my life. I primarily use it:
  • As an alarm clock. In the past, I used my iPhone as my alarm clock. However, having it next to me, I often found myself using it right before sleep, which is not recommended for better sleep quality. With the Garmin watch, I can keep my iPhone outside of the bedroom and avoid using it for at least an hour before bed to slow down and relax after the day.
  • For my morning exercises. I don't need a more sophisticated training program on my smartwatch, because I follow instructions provided by a trainer. But I do require a timer, and that's where my Garmin watch helps.
  • For cold showers. Currently, I usually take 2:20 minutes of cold showers in the morning. I use the watch to monitor the time.
  • For cold swimming. I go cold swimming with my friends every week. I use the timer to ensure we can enjoy ;) the coldness long enough in the water.
  • For wakeboarding. Having a timer helps a lot to structure a wakeboarding session, which is usually 15 minutes. Using a water-resistant watch helps me know how long I take for a warm-up, how much I can invest in the main part, and when the session is coming to an end, so I can use the rest of my energy to try something new.

Oura ring

This thing has greatly improved the quality of my sleep! It is more accurate in monitoring sleep cycles than, for example, a smartwatch because the ring is closer to the blood vessels. It helped me understand when I am getting enough sleep and when I am not, and what the quality of my sleep is like. It actually made me aware that I don't sleep enough very often - I changed it. The ring comes with an app that includes great meditations for various aspects of life. It's definetely worth checking out!


The GoPro MAX is a 360-degree camera that has several advantages for me:
  • It has an amazing stabilizer. It is very useful when filming while walking, and it is also extremely stable when mounted on a boat to film any water sports - you don't notice any shaking at all.
  • It is extremely good for filming activities where you want to capture the entire room and choose where to focus (dynamically) afterwards. One of the use cases we found is filming Salsa Rueda - here is a video from one of summer salsa classes where I tested it:  Rueda de casino - testing GoPro MAX 360° camera


Cold swimming

I started practicing cold swimming, also known as cold water immersion, with two of my friends in September 2022. Our goal was to gradually decrease the temperature as the outside temperature naturally decreased. We went from a water temperature of 24 degrees Celsius in September to 6 degrees Celsius in December (with outside temperature of -4 degress Celsius) and achieved a long-time dream of mine by swimming on the 1st of January 2023. It feels right now that it is only a beginning of a longer journey. But I will not reveal all the secret goals right now ;) According to what I know about cold swimming, it strengthens the immune system, helps build brown fat, which we have as children but lose as we age due to lack of exposure to coldness, and it also helps with relaxation and focus. Here are a couple of videos:


I started to meditate more consequently to resist the stress and focus on what matters. As a part of meditation, I also explored habits of letting goal, a feeling of the body, and theories about time management. What did it bring to me? A better sleep, less worries, and understanding what matters. Quite a good result, and definitely one to consequently continue on. I primarily used the following apps (which I will continue to use because there is a clear benefit):
  • Meditations included into the   WakingUp app. The "Introductory course", "Fundamentals", "Time Management for Mortals", and "The Stoic Path" are a good start.
  • Meditations included into the  Oura Ring App. Check out the "Letting go" one, "Full Body Relaxation", and "Quiet Your Mind Into Sleep".

Apps and Services

There are several apps and services that I want to mention:


Films, Videos, Podcasts

Ilya Vasilenko