This episode is all about the tactics and tools that you need to be 2% better, and why life is really a battle between 49 and 51. Towards the end of the episode, we talk about the different conferences we’ve seen and the upcoming Biohacking Congress in London.
This episode is all about the tactics and tools that you need to be 2% better, and why life is really a battle between 49 and 51. Towards the end of the episode, we talk about the different conferences we’ve seen and the upcoming Biohacking Congress in London.
Creator and founder of 3-day-live-program and online program RESTARTS for synchronizing brain, nervous system and life purpose.
Cofounder of the biohacking.lv movement, community and organizer of the largest biohacking conference in the Baltics.
Serial entrepreneur, healthy lifestyle and top performance promoter.
Systemic improvement of wellbeing by science, technology and nature. Emphasizing the one neglected area of biohacking – social aspect.
Author, communicator, public speaker and mentor of strategies to self-improvement, to high performance, to longevity (through mental models).
Nowadays this biohacking is applied to raising 3 children, optimizing for sleep, right foods i.e. cooking, fasting, brain health, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular systems.
[3:12] Kaspars talks about the idea of how to be 2% better
[7:57] The casino analogy
[13:31] Practical tools that people can use to go from 49 to 51 percent
[20:53] Kaspars talks about his two to three-day retreats
[25:01] What exactly is the idea of rebirthing breathing?
[35:12] Insights from Kaspars’ talk for the Biohacking Congress in London in 2020
Making Sense of a Complex World through Mental Models with Kaspars Vendelis
Biohacking Conference in Riga, Latvia
Drinking to enhance rather than escape life with Todd White
Just Breathe by Dan Brule
Minimum effective movement with Pamela Gold
Boomer Anderson 0:06
Welcome to decoding superhuman, this show is a deep dive into obsessions with performance and how to improve the human experience. Twice a week, I explore the latest science, technology and tactics with experts in various fields of human optimization. I’m your host, Boomer Anderson.
Enjoy the journey. Super humans. It’s Boomer. We’re back. And that noise in the background is the lovely Asheville, North Carolina. By the time this episode gets released, I will be on the other side of the world in Manila, enjoying some time with a mentor and friend. My guest today is actually around two and it’s Kaspars Vendelis. He came on the show last time to talk mental models in a very, very detailed way and this time around We’re talking a little bit about how to be 2% better Kaspars and I came to know each other through the biohacking conference earlier this year in Riga, Latvia. And we’ve spoken on many stages and attended many of the same conferences since. So you can say we got to know each other a little bit better. And one of those conferences, the biohacking Fest in Kiev, Ukraine, Kaspars gave a talk about how to be 2% better, and I wanted you guys to hear it. So this episode is all about the tactics and tools that you need to be 2% better, and why life is really a battle between 49 and 51. We then get into rebirthing breathing and close things out by talking about the biohacking Congress in London this coming February the show notes for this one or a decodingsuperhuman.com/kaspars2 that’s k a s p a r s 2 as in the number 2 enjoy my conversation with Kaspars Vendelis. All right, it’s always nice to record with friends. So Kaspars is not to say that other guests are not friends but Kaspars is welcome back to the show.
Kaspars Vendelis 2:18
Oh, I’m so delighted to be a second time appearance on your show because I like talking to you and I expect this one to go really, really fun.
Boomer Anderson 2:29
So you and I have done a little bit of traveling together, Kiev. Where else Riga and a few other places. And, you know, we’ve had some great conversations of which I just wish I would have clicked record on that. So we can think of this as an extension of those conversations. Shall we get some Shall we get started?
Kaspars Vendelis 2:50
All right, right. Bring it on.
Boomer Anderson 2:53
So one of the things that I love about hanging out with you these past couple of months in Kiev, which is a town I’ve never been before, but your talk in Kiev, boiled down to when we’re talking about optimizing our day. You talked about this idea of how to be 2% better. And now that to some people may seem like such a small number, but do you mind just going into what exactly that means?
Kaspars Vendelis 3:25
First of all, this 2% thing is quite odd as a percentage. 2% said even 100% it’s not 50% it’s like really something really strange. And that’s why I like the idea on by itself. But, but the main idea behind the 2% edge means that actually where we always try to do it on the daily basis, like every day, is to feel great. We want to be happy as long as possible, as often possible. So basically it’s all about how, how can we achieve this feeling that everything is fine, like hundred percent confidence is there, good feelings, everything. So but what? By the time like really when you analyze times when you really felt that everything is really really perfect. If you dissected all the things that are going on in your life, you probably would have seen that you have a lot of actually troubles as well a lot of problems, but that this feeling they have, everything is fine, is just a little bit more than those feelings of everything is bad. So basically, all you have to do is to have a little bit more than half of everything is fine things on your plate, as opposed to 5152 whatever percentage that everything is bad And even in those moments when everything is really bad, seems that everything just goes wrong. Actually, if you analyze, if you open your books, let’s use the accountant, very government terminology, you would see that not really everything so bad, you have definitely some nice things as well. So basically if you compare days when everything is good and everything is bad, sometimes it’s just that you have 50% 51% of being good or being bad. That gives you the impression that everything is either good or bad. So basically, all the all the challenge for yourself on a daily basis in your life in general is how to get from 49% being good to 51% being good, as often as possible, as as easy as possible. So basically, it’s like only working on 2% It’s not that we don’t fall into the traps, we don’t fall into the, into the some some bad days or something, it’s just an end it would happen at every time. You know, I mean, somebody cuts you off in the traffic somebody doesn’t invite you to party or speaking in different events or something. So instantly you feel everything is bad. So the idea is not to fall into this feeling bad idea would be to get the tools behind, like in your life to get those 2% back so that you feel 51% So basically, it’s it’s an idea how to increase your daily feeling good by 2% only. So and and that’s quite encouraging for people because if you talk about tools by hacking tools, some some self improvement, self fulfillment tools Basically, you know that you need those tools only to maintain 2%. reliably. So that’s that will be the simple description of the idea.
Boomer Anderson 7:13
So, one of the reasons why I wanted to have you back on was because of this idea, because I think many people have this general illusion that if they’re having a, or they need to be at 100% all the time, and they need to be 100% on and if they’re not 100% on as a result, their day is shit. It’s just gone to hell. And what I love about it is you very simply put, is that good versus bad. It’s just a trade off of 2%. And one of the analogies that used in the Ukraine was the idea of a casino, I believe, right?
Kaspars Vendelis 7:57
Yeah, well, yeah. Good that you remind me about that because definitely if you look at the statistics and mathematics arithmetics then you can see that for casino to rip you off, all they need to have what on their side, or let’s say it’s the algorithms how those machines and casinos are set up. It’s so that they have lock in on their side for 51% at least 51% of the times. And if you have luck on your side, it’s actually sufficient. If you only have luck on your side 50.00001 if you play enough times, you actually ruin all casinos in the world. So and that’s that’s the analogy of casino that and statistics. That’s all all you have to do as a little bit slight edge above 50% and you can see that also by decision making In companies that you have to have a majority vote 51%, you know, and things like that. So basically, this is just a model of course, and sometimes, sometimes people really fall into this 40% Everything is fine. So it’s really bad. But it’s just a model how to represent that it’s quite easy actually to get back on track, so that everything feels fine again, and, and, and to be honest, if we talk about all those tools, all those things that help bring us back to this feeling, everything is fine. It’s actually quite, quite useful to understand why people drink alcohol. Why do people take drugs and why people climb mountains where people do extreme sports, it’s all about feeling good as often as possible, and for some people, they feel so bad that sometimes they just drink one glass or two glasses of wine and they get back on this feel good again. And we, well, I can talk for myself and I have a drink right now, like, I mean, I am not a heavy drinker, but from time to time I have a beer or have a glass of wine. But I used to drink a little bit more, a few years back. So and I remember that once you feel stressed out, the life is not going well. And then you open the bottle, you drink a little bit. And of course, at that moment, everything just gets good. Yeah. Except you fall back. So when we talk about the tools that help us, help us improve our lives for 52 to do to get to the 51% it’s actually to get to this 51% sustainably, so so that it doesn’t throw us back to this 4030 20%. That’s the idea. So alcohol can help and sometimes it’s really good that you have this issue at hand. And I actually remember that Marianne Faithfull the mix Mick Jagger’s ex girlfriend, she once said that herring saved her life, otherwise she would have killed herself. And at that moment, heroin was actually quite powerful as a drug that brought her back to life. And, and at that moment, that was a tool that helped, you know, I’m not, I’m not building monuments to drugs. I’m just saying that all those tools are created and sometimes used, rightly so for getting to the 51% of feeling good.
Boomer Anderson 11:58
Absolutely. And I do think On the discussion of alcohol, it can be useful. I think we’ve had Todd white on the show before, who’s co founder of dry farm wines. And he says it more in terms of tapping out versus tuning in. And if you’re using it as a tool to tune in, of course, that’s great. It’s the danger is is when you’re going into prolonged masking of an underlying issue, and that’s when you can slip back and actually slip back further. We are by no means here discussing how to cure alcoholism, if you want to do that. There’s other places where you can have that discussion. But Kaspars, what are some go ahead?
Kaspars Vendelis 12:41
But but but can I add to that one, because tuning in and tapping out. And if you combine this with alcohol as a tool, and you’re really cognizant of that, sometimes it can be really used as a tool, you know, maybe it’s like first aid and sometimes just to discharge from your total stress and so that you’re not break in plates and you know, furniture or whatever, sometimes it’s really good that you have that. But but then you are aware that you use that as a tool and not for and for tuning in, not for tapping out. So basically, you can you can abuse every single tool, I mean, everything that supposed to be healthy, you can actually overdose and then does harm.
Boomer Anderson 13:31
Absolutely. So what are some of the practical tools that people can use or that you have found effective in her own life to go from that 49 to 51?
Kaspars Vendelis 13:43
Yeah, well, most intuitively, what people usually actually do, but really, they’re aware of that as the tools that they can use. Consciously is like breath work. Just as simple breathing You know, sigh relief sigh is actually quite effective. When I talk in front of the audience in small lecture seminars, I just asked people to say in collectible, like and it lets a lot of tension go. So, basically there are so many different breathwork techniques that you can use. Sigh, you can use box breathing, you can do use warrior breathing, you can use Wim Hof, you can rebirthing breathing. I mean, really, there are plenty of tools that you can use as as as getting rid of tension in your body. That’s one thing. The second thing is we also sometimes know And today, to be honest, that was a really stressful day. I got some bad news in the morning and and basically almost ruined my day. And I know that I have an ice hockey training to tonight. And I’m looking forward to because I know one thing it’s it’s just it’s a pleasurable activity. I’m having fun, but also I know that after that everything is going to be restored. So physical activities, like walking, just just pull ups push ups, things like that. And this is all always available to us. It’s all times it’s with us. So and really I may be bored to death people telling you about the breath work and and movement. But that’s true. I mean, we are meant to walk to move and we’re meant to breathe so we can we should use that then called now the seasons open. At least in northern part of Europe. Yeah, cold plunges.
Boomer Anderson 15:58
So yeah, here in Asheville, North Carolina, which is where I’m recording this right now. The cold plunges actually it’s available, but it’s not quite like Riga what’s the temperature in Riga these days?
Kaspars Vendelis 16:12
I’m on last Sunday I went for a cold plunge in at sea in the sea, you know, and that was it was really cold this time. I have to admit it was really cold. But still, the idea behind that is of course it increases immune system it does a lot of many many things. You can Google and see what whatever benefits you get from the cold water but the main thing what I what I use, cold plunges as a tool is to train my nervous system calm down in stressful moments. That means instead of just running into the water and and shivering and doing that on the adrenaline base, when you can do a lot of things that On adrenaline, because you then don’t feel anything, or at least don’t feel that cold. But the idea is actually to go into the water as calm as possible, okay, and you should be there. As long as you get the calmness in your body, which is you, your natural, your natural inclination would be just breathing like like that. Because if in case you fall into the water in the cold water in the winter, or the last thing you should do, in terms of body and physical bodies to hold the breath, so, so nature does know how long you should be able to keep underwater. That’s why it’s so and you get into the sympathetic nervous system mode. But if you focus on the breeze out, like just only only you think about breathing out, you actually train your body To respond in a calm and stressful way. And this is this is how you signal to your nervous system that whenever comes something stressful from outside like external stimuli, then your body knows to react to that calm because it’s really no danger. So that that that’s the instrument that are using that’s a tool that is very effective. I do that every morning in the cold shower, but it’s not complete. So once a week ago really go into a lake or or C or something. So yeah. And, and basically, there are actually many other things like fasting and you can do a lot of nice things. Also, by fasting you can increase the brainpower, the focus abilities and things like that. And and actually all those tools, I have gathered together as an one toolbox. And this is what I do when I do my two, two or three day events and local retreats. I call them restarts. And the idea would be basically to get people unstuck. So and I tried to, to teach not me only I work with different trainers and coaches, some of them Olympic level coaches, so I work with business people, to to show them that the top performance in professional life as well as in, in private daily life. You have to be aware of what’s going on into your in your nervous system in your body, your brain and how this is all connected. So basically this, this is how I address how I expose 2% edge to to the majority of people That I work with
Boomer Anderson 20:01
before we go down some of these restarts because I want to ask you about what the experience is like for people but ice hockey, I didn’t know this about you what position you play.
Kaspars Vendelis 20:15
I must center and am I am a not stay at home defenseman when it’s needed sometimes nobody wants to play in defense. So, as a center I’m non stay at home defense players sometimes So
Boomer Anderson 20:31
yeah, I was left defense so I was that person that wanted to play defense but you can say I was very forward thinking or forward moving defenseman. So, moving next time I’m in Riga, we’ll have to go for a little bit of a an ice hockey match.
Kaspars Vendelis 20:49
but didn’t know about that about you to say yeah,
Boomer Anderson 20:53
yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been on the ice that’s for sure. restarts. Take me through These two to three day retreats, what are people going to experience? And I have a very specific question around rebirthing once we get to it,
Kaspars Vendelis 21:12
okay, so it’s usually, for a very limited amount of people, it’s 12 to 15 people. At one event, it’s usually they are called retreat, but I call them restart because the idea is to reboot the system. And as it’s often known that consciously with our mind, we control about three to 5% of what’s going on in our lives. And the rest 95 to 97% is unconscious subconscious, or let’s let’s say it’s a nervous system that has registered everything that happened with us before. In the previous life, so basically if we fall into the trap of being stressful, angry, fearful, unconfident, this is very often related to what is our nervous system bringing to the, to the external to our external bodies. And basically, as we know that people are sense making machines after the fact. So basically we justify every single action after the fact after the something is happened, then we know that whatever you feel, whatever you think, is very often triggered in the beginning in your body and your nervous system and only then it’s available to your mind to your conscious thinking processes. And that is why in this this restart event, I have Not only have gathered different trainers coaches around the idea to activate the nervous system so that people if if people think something’s wrong with me I want to improve my life and usually just by sitting at the desk and thinking about what to do in your life is normally not enough. And it’s really actually brings you to work towards your goal. And once you start moving, once you start getting juices flow, to say to figuratively in your body, then you kind of get more insights to, to to new feelings to new ideas, you know, and, and so, I have set up this event those three days, so that all the workshops or the master classes are around the idea how to activate the nervous system. How to train people feel that when they are in sympathetic nervous, nervous system mode when how they can get into the parasympathetic, it’s taught, it’s taught a lot of talking about the sleep, nutrition movement, breath work called it’s it’s increasing the or extending the comfort zone. I don’t like the word bringing out of the comfort zone because if if I just bring you to Afghanistan, people fight and shoot, it’s definitely some out of your comfort zone. The idea is actually to extend the comfort zone because the idea is not to be constantly out of the comfort zone but so that you feel comfortable with with something that previously you thought was discomforting for you. So that’s, that’s, that’s how I think about that. The philosophy and the idea behind the one of these
Boomer Anderson 25:01
things that you educated me on? Was this idea of rebirthing breathing? Can we go into that? What exactly is it? I know you have a trainer that you work with for this. Queen educate just the audience a little bit as what is rebirthing?
Kaspars Vendelis 25:20
Um, there’s one book. It’s, it’s by Dan boulais. It’s called breeze. I know, it’s just brief. The name of the title is just breathe. And then Blake talks, talks about this reversing breathing quite a lot. And it’s actually in general, quite a good book that summarizes a lot of different breathing techniques. And it’s for everybody who is interested into breathing in general, it’s an absolute must read. And for that matter, it’s for everyone.
Boomer Anderson 25:55
not breathing. You got in trouble.
Kaspars Vendelis 25:57
So yeah, yeah. Lee and well sometimes, especially about the breathing, if you tell to somebody that you go to a master class of breathing of breath work, people sometimes laugh and they asked Ken to breathe. Why should you go to a master class? Learn some breathing. So yeah, but reversing breath work is about basically it’s a little bit like a therapeutic breath work technique. Although it’s done in my events in groups, it’s like many master classes workshops in my event is more like opening a little bit, a tiny bit of the door to show what’s behind the door. So and usually people reset their nervous system their conscious, subconscious relationship in their body, just by attending this to our breath work. Basically, it’s continuous. It’s connected breath. When you breathe in, breathe out, only your breathing, only 80% of the oxygen like you could bring, bring a little bit more but to keep it that way, and you breathe out without pauses in between. So and as with almost any breath work that you do intensely with those sessions, you basically start feeling thinking in your fingers and you’ll start feeling that nervous system is kind of getting a little bit activated. And you also can fade out, as usually happens, but it’s not that to fall unconscious, it’s actually you get into those deeper layers of your consciousness of your subconsciousness and what it is it’s very important actually for almost anything that we do but especially for this one, you have to set the intention for what you’re doing that I mean you can intend to get rid of different mental, emotional or psychological blocks the to have an inside you. Sometimes people know already what childhood trauma they have to address. Sometimes it’s also you know, some some practical things like money shoes or something like that. But what very often keeps us from achieving our goals or actually start with whatever is healthy for us. I mean, start eating healthy exercising and things like that. Sometimes it’s not because they are lazy or they don’t have they don’t know what to do. Sometimes it’s registered very deep from the child trauma If we have time we’ll have I can expel for just in short detail. Like for instance, if if, let’s say one financial accountant or something who works with spreadsheets, and at the age of 3540, which is typically age when people start noticing that everything gets gets worse. It’s the time when people can start questioning is this really thing that I need to be doing in my professional life and in general, and sometimes if they get deeper into themselves, they can sometimes find out that their creativity has been blocked. During the trials, let’s say it can sometimes happen just in one episode. I’m just trivializing that a little bit. But the just to illustrate how it works, let’s say you are five years old and you draw picture and you just bring bring it to your mother’s show will tell nice what a cat I draw drew here and and your mother is somehow busy or occupied with something different I don’t know dishwashing or whatever and and somehow just I don’t know just says oh just let me let me work let me do whatever I do and you register in your because at the age of five you almost you don’t you don’t create in anything new you just as a sponge you soak up everything that happens with you. So, you you register in your nervous system that when you are creative, you get rejected.
So creativity is rejection and because nervous system is there to protect us in the case of some some danger. So be rejected this actually The ultimate danger we are social creatures and to be rejected means you cannot survive. So we are tribal people. So you know, rejection means you go outside your tribe and you you die, basically. So but and that’s why rejection, creativity rejection, no creativity spreadsheets, no creativity, just go for accountancy. So you basically unconsciously chose all the professions that doesn’t have to do anything with with creativity per se. I don’t say accountants can be creative. I’m just saying that creativity as being an artist or something, you know. So, when you tap into your unconscious by by breath work, sometimes it gets revealed to you by doing this breath work, you know, sometimes you are totally not aware Why, why do you act, the way you act, why you behave the way you behave. And sometimes those therapeutic breath works like reverse engineer thing can help you at least see what happened. Like, for instance, for me was realization that I used to play basketball when I was a kid. So, and I remember right now that they actually never, no, no single time ever came to a game. So imagine this is I, this is now in my mind, in my conscious mind. I’m aware of that. But I’m not completely aware of what that creates in my nervous system. So I have to work with that. So sometimes these limitations that we have, are basically deeper than we think initially. So if this explains a little bit, what is it address, addressing what issues what ideas what problems, then? I hope I did the good justice of
Boomer Anderson 32:56
to the episode. Just a couple of sources For people if they want to delve more into these hidden traumas, a book that you and I have talked about the body keeps the score, but also letting go, which I believe is David Hawkins. And then we’ve had Pamela gold on the episode on the podcast before it was talked a lot about this as well. And has been very helpful with me specifically, and just sort of guide him through this, but Kaspars, thank you for sharing that. Where can people find out more about restarts?
Kaspars Vendelis 33:29
The web page is quite easy and simple. It’s yourestart.com. And yeah, and I’m going to be sharing and posting the calendar of the announced announced events that would be like available to anyone. And what’s very, maybe interesting that I do those events in the mentors and castles. I do that in here in Latvia. It’s outside Riga and And the reason why I do that in castles and why I find this idea quite matching to the, to the idea of getting unstuck is because all those matters and castles have been renovated, they have been lost for the Soviet times, you know, because Soviet times are against the capitalism against some luxury and things like that. So all those places are renovated, rebuilt and restarted. So it actually reflects the whole spirit behind the idea of everybody, every single person being on getting unstuck. And also, I’m going to be also probably offering some some team or corporate organizational coaching and, and events as well. So basically, if anybody’s interested in that is welcome. I’m gonna have to work I’m going to be working with high level professionals and trainers not only from Latvia from Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and you the us a
Boomer Anderson 35:12
very go, there we go. And you and I are going to be at biohacking Congress in London in February, what are you going to be talking about?
Kaspars Vendelis 35:25
I’m going to be talking about how to live to 100 years of age, My idea is actually to to live to 120. But everything’s going to be revolving about how to distribute your energy throughout the day, which was actually also my, my my talk in Kiev. So that it’s not just the years that you achieve, it’s that you achieve every single day, as as good as possible because You need to live right now because tomorrow is gonna be another today again so it’s the today that we have to be focusing on so it’s it’s the focus on today. Awesome to live to 100
Boomer Anderson 36:13
beautiful and all linked to all our listeners show notes but biohacking Congress is going to be in London. anybody listening here can join will link to tickets in the show notes and can certainly find out more about restarts in the show notes as well. Kaspars is going to be
Kaspars Vendelis 36:29
the biohacking by hacking Congress is going to be it’s easy to remember it’s actually quite a nice date. It’s 2020. It’s 20.2.2020. so special. Yeah. Excellent.
Boomer Anderson 36:43
Excellent. Kaspars. This is round two. It’s been so much fun. And I know you and I will continue these conversations. I if I don’t see you before London. I will see you in London in February. Thank you for joining my friend.
Kaspars Vendelis 36:59
Yeah. Thank you. You very much and talk to you soon.
Boomer Anderson 37:02
Absolutely. superhumans listening this is Boomer Anderson on behalf of Kaspars Vendelis, signing off, have an epic day.
Don’t you just love a simple life can be sometimes it’s a battle of 2% 49% you’re having a bad day 51% you’re having a good day. And I love how Kaspars boils it down to a few simple actionable steps, including cold showers that you can do be 2% better. The show notes for this one or again at decodingsuperhuman.com/kaspars2. And you can find all the links there to everything that we mentioned the episode. If you enjoyed the episode, please head over to iTunes and leave us a five star rating with a comment or head on over the social medias and share this with everyone you know. Thank you guys for tuning in. And have an epic day!
One of my favorite tools for cognitive enhancement, especially after long plan rides, is Blue Cannatine. The delivery mechanism is unique (buccle troche). It is especially effective for me on improving short-term memory, focus, and verbal fluency. It’s the closest thing that I found to NZT and I think you guys should try it out. Enter the code BOOMER for 10% off your purchase. Full disclosure: I am involved with the company (I like the product that much).View Company
I’ve been fascinated by blood flow restriction training for a very long time. And the guys at Bstrong did some really cool innovations with their technology. I use it just about every day, high reps, low number of sets, a few exercises. And in 20 minutes I have a fantastic workout, which I know is triggering an anabolic response and who doesn’t like that. So if you want to get your Bstrong blood flow restriction device, head on over to bstrong.training and enter the code BOOMER for 10% off.View Company
The Signal is my weekly newsletter dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve improve decision making, focus, health, and kick more ass with little time.