Everyday I'm driving in the car for at least an hour, stuck in traffic jam, impatient, grumpily switching from one radio station to another. Usually the stations are either playing the same song for the hundredth time, or the hosts are cracking a really bad joke. This is frustrating, there must be something better to do than staring blankly at the car in front. So I figured, why not listening to podcasts?
In case you've never heard of podcasts, they are recorded conversations on numerous topics, ranging from finance, career, parenting, relationship, productivity etc. Listening to interviews about work and productivity have been really helpful, and a good use of my attention and time.
Image from Pinterest
Why podcasts? Well, if you want to learn but no time for books, can't attend courses, OR, if you want to improve your listening and speaking skills, then listening to podcasts seems like the right thing to do. I listen while I'm driving, waiting or running errands.
And they are so easily accessible. Most of them are available on iTunes, and Youtube. Usually what I do is to download the mp3 version, or offline videos on the Youtube app on my phone, connect to Bluetooth in my car audio system and listen while driving to work. The podcasts that I listen to are usually an hour-long, because that's how long each trip took me (insert grumpy face here). You can always pause and get back to it when you have time.
After scouring the internet for some time and cherry-picking the good ones, here are some podcasters or interviews that I find inspiring and informative.
Interviews with awesome people
I'd been listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and Chase Jarvis Live. From their casual conversations we can see the work process and strategies that make the cool people, well, cool.
Tim Ferriss is the best-selling author who wrote "The 4-Hour Workweek" which changed my view on work and recreation. Not only he is a successful author, learner, investor and speaker (Oh man, I like his voice), he extended his curiosity to people from all walks of life who are at the top of their game. Some guests on his podcast include Richard Branson and Tony Robbins. Here are some of my favourite episodes, check them out:
Naval Ravikant - The person I call most for startup advice: CEO and founder of AngelList. I feel so much smarter listening to this man.
Debbie Millman - How to design a life: Amazing story of how an abused girl made her way to be the top graphic designer in New York.
Seth Godin - How Seth Godin Manages his life: Basically I will listen to anything with Seth Godin in it. Yes that's how much I admire this man's vision, especially on education and marketing.
Maria Popova - Writing, Workflow and Workarounds: Maria is the author of Brain Pickings, one of my favourite sites. Her work is mind-blowingly smart.
Tim Ferriss' podcasts can be quite technical and geeky. I love technical and geeky stuffs but if you don't, Chase Jarvis is for you. Chase is a world-class photographer so I got attracted to his photos first. And on his Youtube channel he has a huge volume of interviews with innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. His interviews are very casual, friendly and sometimes funny.
Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton: Enough said. I love Brandon and his creation. Humans of New York is a priceless work of art in many ways. If you've never heard of this Facebook page, please list it on your to-do.
3. Tara Brach
Tara Brach has a PhD in Neuroscience and immense knowledge on Buddhist psychology. Her work is very useful for people who want to understand themselves, or how the mind works. Her audios had been helpful, but the one I constantly return to is her guided meditation for Vipassana, where for 20 minutes, she guided the listener to focus on breathing, live in the present moment with awareness and consciousness.
Everybody knows TED. Technically TED is not a podcast but it's the best place to listen to top thinkers and it's FREE. Quality is guaranteed. You can download the App, or save offline video from Youtube.
Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts: Simply life-changing. I was a highly insecure introvert.
Brene Brown - The Power of Vulnerability: My view on shame, weakness and fear shifted.
Hyeonseo Lee - My Escape from North Korea: How do peace and courage look like to you?
Amy Cuddy - Your body language shapes who you are: How to boost your confidence?
5. Business FM
Occasionally... I listen to podcasts by BFM to get insights on local issues in Malaysia.
Hope this post gives you an idea somewhere to start. Trust me, listening to podcasts is so much more meaningful than the cheesy pop songs intertwined with repetitive commercials on the radio.
There are so many other resources for podcasts and audios, such as the ones on Audible and SoundCloud. When I'm writing this post, I'm picturing a few friends in my head and what they would like. I decided to pick the ones above. Please share with me if you know any good podcast, I'd love to hear it.