Podcasts (part 1): get your ears busy

#watching Creative Mornings: William Ury
#listening Onuka – Zavtra (lovely mix of folk and electronic music)
#reading  Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

I love podcasts. Our sound relationship hit “PLAY” only about a year ago when little holes in the cornea of both eyes meant no more screen-time for weeks. Limited in choice of visual entertainment, I ventured off into the land of audio. I do not remember how it all began but podcasts and I went for walks, they talked – I listened, we laughed, possibly cried a little or I pushed “delete”. We took it one show at a time, skipped the ads and many Endomondo kilometers later, we just knew we were in for the long-run.

Things have been moving quickly ever since. It’s only been a year and we have already been through scores of the “no-thank-you”, the odd, the curious, the entertaining, the “this-is-amazing”, the “let’s-listen-to-that-again” and the “why-do-I-have-to-wait-a-week-for-the-next-episode”. These days my eyes are back “clear” (weee!) yet Monday through Friday (and often on the weekends), it’s me, my headphones and the next episode feeding the audio addiction.

What do I enjoy so very much about this giving relationship?

  • The intimacy. With podcasts it seems that I’m right next to the host wearing an invisibility cloak of sorts, eavesdropping on conversations I would not be privy to in my current everyday version of life.
  • The incredible exposure. The show hosts and guests are these incredible people who get up in the morning, do what most consider impossible and shape the world in the process.
  • My growth. In one of the shows, this Bill Gates quote came up, “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years”. Looking back at 2015, I find incredible how much I have learnt just by hitting the “play” button every now again. Movies, books, podcasts, articles, interviews, documentaries and courses that defined/shaped my 2015, were primarily recommendations I picked up from this or that episode.

So what are my ears busy with these days? Here are the first three to get you started:

This is THE podcast among my subscriptions. Tim Ferriss, the host, interviews these outstandingly-interesting humans who have been busy doing things and have stories to share. Each episode is between 40 minutes and 2.5 hours of pure gold. It’s a collection of fantastic stories.

I find it remarkable how successful personalities representing a myriad of vocations (be it a co-founder of the Spartan Race, a chess prodigy, movie actor, a creator of Dilbert, Evernote or reCAPTCHA) tell very similar stories: showing up, doing the work, failing-getting up-failing-getting up, succeeding and always being true to yourself. Tim Ferriss asks questions worth answering, the guests share stories to kill for and the magic just pours out of the mobile device, via the headphones right to the brain cells.

Here are three of my top-top episodes that would make for a great start:
Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions
– Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming
– The “Wizard” of Hollywood, Robert Rodriguez

This one if a love-affair. This is your audio equivalent of a TV show you can’t seem to get enough off. Alex Blumberg, one of the founders of GIMLET media takes you on a 20- to 40-minute journey of how an idea in his head becomes a media company producing podcasts. Each episode includes audio recordings of the events as they happened so it feels like you get to be a part of GIMLET Media. You are there when Alex awkwardly pitches their first investor, when the founders negotiate company ownership and when employees struggle with burn out. There are two seasons of Startup available so far. Do start from the beginning, right over here.

This is quite possibly one of the most popular podcasts in the universe. What to expect of this one? As the name suggests, this one has to do with TED. Each episode explores a given topic via clips of TED talks and interviews with the speakers (“The Money Paradox”, “The Hero’s Journey” or “To Endure”). Guy Raz is a great host, each episodes reveals episodes worth every minute of your invested time and its weekly schedule give you plenty of time to catch up on the past episodes. This is my weekly 40 minutes of awe.

This would be the end of this side of the blog tape 🙂

Try these podcasts, let me know how your find them and I will be looking forward to sharing some of my other personal awesomness from the world of audio. In case you are a podcast fan already, let me know what’s buzzing in your ears!

Have a sound week ahead!


PS The little blue things in the picture are French sugar-coated violet petals (I did not make this one up :)). Thank you, buddy!



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