I have always been an avid reader. Books opened up a whole new world for me, and I devoured them growing up. Today, I still love reading. And while a good “beach read” is a fun escape, I don’t so much want to be entertained as I want to be provoked. I want to be challenged in the way I think, or understand something more fully.
As we get older it is so important that we stay curious, that we allow our worlds to expand. It is also important that we stay active. I have discovered a way to do both.
When I was diagnosed with RA a number of years ago, it was challenging to stay active. I loved to run, hike, and weight train. But for a while, I couldn’t even walk. Just getting to the mailbox was a stretch. But as my body began to heal, I was able to go farther. Sometimes I wanted a distraction from some discomfort I still had.
Enter the podcast. I love the long format style of discussion, and after this year’s election cycle, I can’t handle other news sources. Sound bites never tell the whole story and often suggest something that is far from truth. Context is king, and sound bites offer none of it.
At first, I just listened to episodes that were inspirational. I needed encouragement, motivation, and hope poured into my soul. I almost always came back better than when I left. Because I believe that truth is truth, it didn’t matter if someone’s belief system was different than mine. I learned to look past some of the things I might not agree with and grab the good.
Honestly, anything that sounds interesting usually proves to have some element of inspiration in it. Interesting people inspire me. Below are some of my favorite podcasts, along with a few specific episodes that I really liked.
Super Soul Conversations Oprah Winfrey
- Lady Gaga: “Heal through Kindness”
- Bryan Stevenson: “The Power of Mercy and Forgiveness”
- Michael Singer: “Free Yourself from Negative Thoughts”
- Paul Coelho: “What if the Universe Conspired in Your Favor”
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: “Powerful Books, Mystics, and the Dangers of Safe Spaces”
- Lori Gottlieb: “The Power of Getting to Unknot Yourself”
- Jocko Willink: “On Quitting, Relationships, Financial Discipline and more”
- Jim Collins: “The Value of Small Gestures, Unseen sources of Power and more”
- Jerry Seinfeld: “A Comedy Legend’s Systems, Routines, and Methods for Success”
- Harley Finkelstein: “Tactics and Strategies form Shopify, the Future of Retail and more”
Joe Rogan (on Spotify)
- Edward Snowden
- James Nestor
- Brett Weinstein
- Neil de Grasse Tyson
- Elon Musk
- Tulsi Gabbard
These are just some that I have enjoyed. The podcast world has exploded over the past few years and there are so many out there. Get good walking shoes, grab earbuds, and head out the door. You just might come back better than when you left!