Podcasts are a great on-the-go auditory source of learning, perfect for those who dislike or struggle reading. Distilling bite-sized insights from various topics and thought leaders, I initially didn’t see the appeal in podcasts.  Upon some encouragement, I jumped on the bandwagon 2 years ago and have not looked back. I’ve realised podcasts are extremely useful and complementary with other forms of learning.

Following my must read books list let’s delve into the world of podcasts and my top recommendations for reinventing yourself.

1. The School of Greatness

Mask of Masculinity author Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness podcast follows inspiring stories from different business minds, successful athletes and interesting celebrities. Howes’ doesn’t shy away from his humble beginnings; from being sexually abused as a kid to being broke and living off his sister’s couch following a professional sports career. With an interview and sprinkle of Friday motivation each week, the SOG is a top podcast that I keep going back to.

Why This Podcast is Great: 
  • Short intro
  • Lewis’ voice can be easily 2x (refer to podcast tips below)
  • Each podcast is also recorded via video; for people who prefer visual interviews
  • Different perspectives of the definition of greatness
  • Huge selection of guests and easy access to insights from an array of books

A Recommended Listen: Ep 502 with Bethany Mota: Though a young online sensation, I found great wisdom and could relate with Bethany’s growth, acceptance and trust in herself and others.

How to remain calm is to think about something bigger than yourself. True greatness exists through acts of service towards others and not trying to look perfect.

2. The Art of Charm

Podcasting veterans, A.J and Jordan Harbinger’s The Art of Charm focuses predominately on social dynamics, psychology and personal development. Drawing insights from top thought leaders, the podcast explores careers, confidence, lifestyle choices and relationships. The brand also includes numerous products including in-personal and online courses, bootcamps and a 30-day challenge.

Why This Podcast has Charm:  
  • Harbinger provides unique perspectives such as:
    • True growth is a subtractive not additive process: removing the conditioning, stories and beliefs about ourselves.
    • The Doorway Challenge of sticking a post-it on a door serves as a good visual prompt of being conscious of your body language when you walk into a room.
  • Large variety and selection of guests, and episodes on  Mondays (Minisode Mondays) and Fridays (Fan Mail Friday) providing inspiration and answering fans questions

A Recommended Listen: Ep. 644 Five Fundamentals of a Solid Approach: quickie but a goodie. Jordan explores 5 key fundamentals when meeting someone and how first impressions can be lasting impressions.

Be your own worst critic, but never be harder than you would accept from someone else.

3. The Tim Ferriss Show

It’s impossible to mention a gun podcast list without Titan Tim Ferriss. Ferriss, through his extensive tribe of mentors deconstructs the habits, tools, and tricks that have led big names such as Malcolm Gladwell and Arnold Schwarzenegger towards the success they have achieved. Though Ferriss has cemented his name within Silicon Valley, he claims his life as a giant experiment and his long podcasts don’t avoid touching on learnings from his failures.

Why This Podcast is Worth Your Tim(e)
  • His brand attracts big names that don’t say yes to every show
  • Large variety of successful business leaders and experiences
  • His exploration into Stoicism, views around scientific routines and habits regarding health and diet (eg. ketogenic diet)
  • He often lets guests take charge and lead episodes completely

A Recommended Listen:  Terry Laughlin, The Master Who Changed My Life – Even if you take away the elements related to swimming, the late Terry Laughlin’s principles around learning and growth are still applicable in every aspect of life.

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

4. The Zig Ziglar Show

The late Zig Ziglar’s  podcast carries his life’s mission through hosts Kevin Miller and son Tom Ziglar. The show sets out to inspire people in achieving their true performance through a springboard of  snippets of Zig live on stage and different leaders and teachers.  The heart of the Ziglar message is a true act of service, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” which carries throughout each episode.

Why This Podcast Will Enhance Your Performance:
  • Live, audio enhanced snippets from Zig during talks predominately from the early to mid 1990s
  • Unique entrepreneurial and personal experiences from Kevin and Tom; managing the Free Agent Academy and Ziglar empire respectively
  • A break down of the fundamentals of success – I often view the Ziglar show drawing classic principles (the way Dale Carnegie did for communication) that leads to effectiveness

A Recommended Listen: Ep 506 Your beliefs are not fact – Through challenging my own thoughts this episode really rang true – often our beliefs and behaviours are conditioned through experiences, thoughts and stories we tell ourselves.

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

5. Waking Up with Sam Harris

Wearing multiple hats including author, Sam Harris‘ podcast isn’t afraid to be controversial and ask challenging questions about the human mind, society and current events.  With light on topics such as neuroscience, philosophy and meditation, Waking Up places emphasis on how understanding ourselves and the world affects our approach to living.

What This Podcast Will Wake Up:
  • Different perspectives on  morality, virtues, faith and current events
  • A scientific and philosophic challenge on the status quo of history and modern society
  • A broader, more open mindset and ability to ask better questions on topics people often avoid: religion and politics

A Recommended Listen: The Future of Intelligence:  For all the science whizzes out there like myself, Max Tegmark explores the implications of the next step of science; what implications does the rise in AI have on consciousness?

Almost all our suffering is the product of our thoughts. We spend nearly every moment of our lives lost in thought, and hostage to the character of those thoughts. You can break this spell, but it takes training just like it takes training to defend yourself against a physical assault.

 6. The Accidental Creative

Soft-spoken, ‘Die Empty’ author Todd Henry hosts the short and sweet podcast Accidental Creative, which draws personal and thought leader pearls of wisdom in often less than 30 minutes. Henry circulates his podcast around the pursuits and challenges of entrepreneurial and creative professionals, and how to manage, mitigate and overcome them.

Why This Podcast Will Aid in Your Creativity:
  • Short, sharp and sweet views on creative blockages, motivations and drivers.
  • Henry isn’t afraid to draw from setbacks from his successes – and how success and fear of disappointing others are often curb momentum forward.

A Recommended Listen: Find The Fire is a short interview with Scott Mautz about protecting the fire of inspiration within you why – your reason for being and showing up every day. They discuss how to stay motivated and how to bring your best.

To countermand ego, you must adopt a posture of adaptability. This means being in a state of continual learning and openness to correction.

 7. Finding Mastery

Dr. Michael Gervais through Finding Mastery interviews those excelling in difficult environments to unwire what makes them tick; how they use their mental abilities to push boundaries.  In uncovering the link between high class performers human limitations, the psychologist aims to help people harness the unlimited power of mindset.

 Why This Podcast Will Help You Master:
  • The power of mindset and how shifts in thinking can have dramatic results
  • The science of flow, team dynamics, leadership and relationship building
  • How lessons from elite athletes can translate into Fortune 500, and smaller companies.

A Recommended Listen:  Luke Walton, the Lakers Head Coach on Coaching, Leadership and Relationships. This episode focuses on the delicate interrelatedness on performance in sports with relationships. Walton discusses how  mindfulness is an important part of that equation and how healthy relationships brings out the best in us.

There’s nothing better than an uncomfortable moment because in that moment we’re incredibly aware of ourselves.

Other Top Mentions:

Tips to Enhance Your Podcast Listening

  • Listen at 2x:  Similarly to audio books I listen to podcasts at double speed and like speed reading this can be trained up to. Get through the same content in half the time!
  • Write notes: Where possible I’ll jot down key points or takeaways from the podcast (on my phone, Google Docs, or even writing them down on paper) – you’re far more likely to retain what you’ve learned if you write it down
  • Skip 15 sec forwards (and backwards): are your best friends. Skip over intros and sponsors and get to the good stuff.  You can listen through these sections if you want access to deals and discounts

What do you think of my list? If you’ve got any other podcast recommendations I’d love to know so please comment below!

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