Never Stop Learning

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I know everyone is busy and has enough trouble keeping up with the day to day tasks that encroach upon them that it is hard to remember to keep learning. Apart from training in your field, do you spend time learning in other areas of knowledge? History? Philosophy? Leadership? I could not provide an exhaustive list here because it really depends on you and your interests.

I personally gravitate towards history, leadership, human nature, psychology, and productivity (effectiveness / efficiency).

Resources

There are many resources out there. The biggest “trick” is narrowing down the list to be manageable. There are BLOGS (like this), podcasts, audiobooks, books, articles, and social media. Winnowing down your list is not just to avoid information overload. I believe there is also a benefit to meditating on what you take in and assessing it, for example:

  • Does this benefit?
  • Does it call for action?
  • Does it expose weaknesses?
  • Does it bring about new ideas for growth?
  • Does it help me understand others better?
  • Does it help me understand myself better?

Just like a physical discipline, if we do a little every day, we will gain a lot over a long period of time.

Audio

I use audio resources to utilize “dead” time, e.g., a commute, work tasks that are repetitive and don’t require full focus, yard work, or projects around the house. Basically, if what I’m listening to doesn’t impact how effective or efficient I am, then I listen. If they are hampering, then I turn off whatever it is I’m listening to. E.g. if I should be making sales calls, then I turn off the podcast or book.

With audiobooks, if I find I listen to a book more than once, I will typically buy the hard copy and read it again. This is a useful way for me to assess what books were the most impactful. This is also a frugal way of reading more but not spending more.

Podcasts

A quick disclaimer before I jump into the list. By recommending these podcasts I’m not necessarily endorsing all the content. However, these podcasts have challenged me in various ways and helped me to learn and grow. Really, it’s no different than having a conversation with a friend who comes at things from a different angle. Some things you agree with him on, some things challenge you, and some things you outright disagree with.

Here is my list of podcasts that have impacted me in the last two years. As I consider these I realize that they tend to be long format (1-5 hours).

Jocko Podcast – Jocko Willink. Retired Navy Seal commander. His podcast is about human nature and leadership. Because of his background he often reads and discuss books on war, interviews veterans, etc. Some of these podcasts can be heavy. But they are good.

Tim Ferriss Podcast – Tim Ferriss has acquired the skilled knack for lining up and interviewing high performers in their field (top 1% types). These are typically longer podcasts. What I appreciate about it is that Tim has developed himself into an excellent interviewer and many of his podcasts are very conversational. I enjoy this more than the shouting matches that exist on many airways.

Hardcore Histories – Dan Carlin‘s in-depth look at historical events or time periods. His epic series on World War 1 helped me to understand that war much better. You cannot listen and remain unmoved.

Audiobooks

There are many ways to listen to books.

  • Public library
  • Audible
  • Scribd
  • Others…

I’ve used all three methods. Audible allows you to retain ownership of titles you’ve purchased, even if you don’t have a current membership.

However, I currently use Scribd. Think of it as Netflix for books. You don’t own any of the titles, but you have unlimited access to those titles for $9 per month. Sometimes titles are available and sometimes they are not, but to be honest I have not found this hindering. There are more than enough books to read!

That’s it for now. Next week we’ll discuss other resources including books that have had a long-lasting impact on me personally.

What about you? What podcasts or audio resources do you use? Any specific book recommendations? Share below!