In 2013 I accepted a job that was a 50 minute drive, each way, from my home. It didn’t take long for the breakfast radio shows to sound repetitive and make each commute feel like Groundhog Day.
I remembered as a child seeing cassette audio books at the library. I thought, surely they must make digital audio books by now. Like with most questions in my life I turned to Google, and there she was. Audible.
Listening to books while driving completely changed my commute and I was excited to jump in the car each day. I was on a subscription package where I could download one book per month. The average book is about 7-10 hours so I would complete them in a week, often replaying them straightaway.
I loved my mobile library and feeling energised by everything I was learning.
I was speaking with a good friend of mine about my discovery of audio books and how much I was enjoying them. He asked if I listened to podcasts. I wasn’t and I didn’t really know much about them.
He simply said, “Listen to Tim Ferriss and Startup. You can thank me later.”
About two weeks later I did just that. I called him and thanked him. A whole new world of how to gather and consume information was opened up to me.
I would listen to podcasts while driving, walking the dog, exercising, gardening and cleaning. I was pumped to clean the house as it meant I had an hour to listen to a podcast.
Below is a list of my favourite Podcasts and Audible books that have had the biggest affect on my life.
Please let me know what your favourite podcasts and audible books are. And if I have opened you to the world of them – You can thank me later.
Tara Brach – I started out listening to her guided meditations but she really has become my spiritual teacher.
Tim Ferriss – There is a reason his podcast has won countless awards. He interviews world-class performers to extract the tactics and tools they use. I learn from all of his interviews but to start you off I’d recommend Chris Sacca, Rick Rubin, Tara Brach and Jamie Foxx.
The Slow Home Podcast – This is one Inga put me onto and one we often listen to together. As the name suggests it is about ways to slow down the pace in your household.
Intentionally Wandering – This is one we discovered while housesitting our way around North America for a year. Jeff Sandquist interviews people that are travelling through life to the beat of their own drum.
StartUp – Unlike the others this is not an interview-based podcast. It is a documentary, podcast series following Alex Blumberg as he launches his business. You need to start from season one, episode one. The production value is second to none and each episode is only approximately 20min, so you will fly through each captivating and interesting episode.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek – If you have anything to do with business then you should read this book. Simon flips the process around and asks you to understand your story and reason from the inside out.
Calm Parents, Happy Kids by Laura Markham – This was the first parenting book I read since Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall before Andy was born. I have listened to it a few times and I know there are some days that I don’t practice everything it teaches.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor – I had a lot of fun listening to this book. An entertaining way of delivering the research spawned from the field of positive psychology. There really are ways to make your brains happier, and even your workplace happier.
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday – I really loved this book and was my introduction to stoic philosophy, but please don’t let that scare you away. I took a lot from this book and the lessons learnt help me immensely when things don’t seem to be going the way I had anticipated or hoped.
Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig – This book was originally published before I was born. Quite a long book at 14 hours, I listened to it as I was painting the exterior of my home. A story of a father on a motorcycle road trip through the mid-west of the USA with his son, teaching him life’s lessons through the maintenance of a motorcycle. You learn that the real motorcycle you are working on is yourself.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – I had never heard of the online retail store Zappos before reading this book. It is a biography of Tony Hsieh’s business life but the fundamental lessons surround company culture and treating people correctly.
Everything That Remains by The Minimalists – A way of looking at life and possessions that really resonated with me. This book, along with their earlier ones, was often played on road trips after Andy had nodded off.