Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof earned his “Iceman” nickname for his ability to withstand ultra-low temperatures, pushing the boundaries of human endurance. His extraordinary feats – which have not only set 26 world records, but helped advance scientific understanding of the body’s immune response – include running a half marathon barefoot above the Arctic Circle, swimming under ice for 66 meters, and climbing the world’s highest mountains in only shorts.

Armed with the mantra ‘what I am capable of, everybody can learn’, Hof has set out to share his insights via the Wim Hof Method: a combination of breathing techniques, cold therapy and mental commitment. Now a world-renowned wellness guru and motivational speaker, Hof travels the globe inspiring people to unlock their full potential by learning to control both body and mind.

In a Reading Lists interview on the books of his life, Hof shared some of his favorite writings to inspire and challenge oneself beyond fear. From Hermann Hesse’s classic quest for knowledge to the enduring power of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, explore his recommendations below.

Wim Hof’s Reading List

What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney

“I wanted to read it as it is written by somebody I became to know deeply, plus the content is well studied and investigated, besides of course well written. The theme of the book is very contemporary and I think what people need to know. I enjoyed it wholeheartedly as it is mostly about a mission I have had for a long time.” -WH

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (also rec’d by Bruce Lee, Hugh Jackman & Leonard Cohen)

“I would encourage young people to read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse or Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach. Both are books that can inspire you to go and challenge yourself beyond your fears. Be uninhibited and you will find great worlds.” -WH

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (also rec’d by Steve Jobs)

The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda (also rec’d by Rage Against The Machine)

“Carlos Castaneda opened the curiosity of many through the stories of other realms. They exist and can give an indication of a different, deeper consciousness.” -WH

The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali (also rec’d by Jack Dorsey)

“They leave little room for speculation, and that is what I love about them. They are 1300 years old and yet still up to date.” -WH

(via The Reading Lists)

Categories: Athletes