The School of Podcast!

Getting an iPhone transformed my life. Up until mid 2014 I was a loyal Blackberry user very wed to the keyboard. Via work and other circumstances I had to switch to an iPhone. While my work productivity declined my insatiable curiosity was being fed daily with podcasts. And podcasts are changing my life!

Over the last eighteen months I’ve listened to at least five to seven hours a week of podcasts. It is like going to school part-time on my own schedule. I listen to them while walking, running, on trains, on planes, on the metro, during a solo lunch, or while lying in bed before I fall asleep. Being a voracious reader and with a huge appetite for knowledge, great stories, and inspiration I’ve discovered a number of podcasts that are not only quenching that thirst for knowledge but have influenced my outlook on life from career management, to being a father and husband, to health and exercise, and to my philosophy on management.

In many respects the podcasts are reinforcing several core values I already maintain. But in some respects they are inspiring me to think differently.

Here is a list of my favourite podcasts and my thoughts on each.

The Rich Roll Podcast:
If you don’t know Rich Roll you should. He is on his fourth life. His first life was as an awkward child trying to fit into school and life; his second life was mired in alcohol; his third life was recovering from alcoholism and being a great husband and father; his fourth life builds on his third life. He completely transformed his diet, his outlook on life and became a world-class ultra-athlete on a plant-based diet. He wrote a wonderful and inspirational book called Finding Ultra, a cathartic memoir of his personal journey with a phenomenal ending where he found his true purpose in life. What I love about the Rich Roll Podcast is his sensitivity, his deep insight into the world and the human condition. He interviews people who have chosen or made their own paths. Rich is intelligent and articulate. He gets into deep and meaningful conversations with his guests by committing to the dialogue. As such he creates unique and authentic interviews. His guests feel safe and trust him to share intimate details of their personal journeys through peeks and valleys. His podcasts make me laugh, make me cry, but more importantly have inspired me to think about my own life purpose. I look forward to waking every Monday and Thursday to listen to his podcasts. I sometimes park them for a quiet moment when I know I can give them their full attention. It’s like dessert. You want to savour every bite.

The Good Dad Project:
This is a recent discovery for me, yet the Good Dad Project has been around for over a year. Founded by Larry Hagner, author of several ebooks and books, namely The Dad’s Edge, the Good Dad Project inspires men to be better fathers, husbands, and community members. The podcast is co-hosted by Shawn Stevenson of the website and podcast, another amazing and inspiring podcast by someone who transformed his life through diet and exercise after discovering a degenerative spinal disease. Shawn and Larry are both genuinely nice guys and great role models for being a dad. They interview guests who’ve made it their conscious purpose and commitment to be good dads and husbands. They discuss the struggles of balancing a career, finances, a loving relationship, and setting the right values for their children. As a father and husband raised in a chaotic family mired in violence, alcoholism, and abuse, I’ve made a commitment to being a good dad and loving husband. I had to redefine what it was to be a good dad and husband. This podcast helps me reinforce those values and inspires me to keep learning on this wonderful journey called fatherhood. I’m grateful for having discovered this podcast.

Nourish, Balance Thrive:
I discovered Christopher Kelly’s podcast about a year ago. I first started listening to the Paleo Runner Podcast and through that podcast and additional searches I discovered Nourish, Balance, Thrive. Chris is an example of an entrepreneur driven by his own desires to get healthy. Being an athlete and computer programmer Chris struggled with stress, fatigue, and other intestinal issues that slowed him down. After years of struggling with mainstream medicine Chris discovered how changing his diet completely cured him, gave him more strength as a cyclist, and increased his vitality and robustness. He left the world of computer programming and started Nourish, Balance, Thrive. His weekly podcasts are lessons in nutrition, exercises, supplements, and science. Not only has Chris helped me change my diet, but he has given me a new perspective on training philosophy. I’ve always been an athlete for most of my life but as I hit my forties I found it tougher and tougher to fight fat gathering at my waste line. After removing sugars from my diet I immediately lost about 10 pounds in four weeks and over a period of six months I went down to about 8% body fat. You can learn more about my fat loss journey where I write about the calorie myth in this blog entry.

Endurance Planet:
I love this podcast for how exuberant and positive Tawnee Prazak is with all her guests. Similar to Nourish, Balance, Thrive, Tawnee pursues a fat adapted slow training philosophy based on the Phil Maffatone technique. I’ve learned a lot through her interviews with athletes who’ve changed their approach to training and diet and have broken through new endurance and fitness barriers. I like Tawnee’s approach so much that I signed up for an hour consulting with her from time to time. I held my first session with her in October and plan to spend more time with her in January. For any athlete looking to tackle bigger challenges or simply feel better about themselves, recover more quickly, and get faster I highly recommend the Endurance Planet podcast.

Life is a Marathon:
Bruce Van Horn is a beacon of positivity. Bruce had to teach himself how to be more positive and through his own personal transformation and journey has become a teacher on positivity. Whenever I start to feel a little negative I listen to Bruce’s podcast. Bruce is a runner, father, cancer survivor, and life coach. He is simply fun to listen to. He has a great voice and is true to himself. He is genuine and authentic. His primary message is that “you” are the only personal responsible for your life. “Change begins with you”. This philosophy resonates with me, as it has always been my own approach to life.

Paper Napkin Wisdom:
The Paper Napking Wisdom podcast is a collaboration between Govindh Jayaraman and Jack Daly. Govindh and I went to university together in Ottawa, Canada and I’ve watched him become a successful serial entrepreneur over the last twenty years. Jack Daly is a trainer and speaker who motivates and inspires entrepreneurs all over the world. For any businessperson in a large organization or any entrepreneur their insights captured on a paper napkin help you focus on the key aspects for driving success in business and life. Most recently Govindh and Jack published a book coalescing all their insights gained in the Paper Napkin Wisdom podcast. Yet again, Govindh has built a new business based on the simple wisdoms shared on paper napkins.

These are just some of my favourite podcasts. I listen to other podcasts like the MFCEO Project and the Smart People Podcast. I hope you’ll find these podcasts as inspirational as I have and please let me know what podcasts your listen to.

Happy listening, learning, and thriving!

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