I picked up the guitar at 15 years old.
For the next decade, I basically had one glued to my hands as I played in a few bands and used strumming and listening to music as a tool for a variety of different reasons. Music became such a core tenet of my life that I would have bet a significant amount of money it would never be replaced.
Thankfully, I never took that bet.
OK, I probably could have weaseled my way out of paying up with my kneecaps still intact as music hasn’t been replaced, per se — it’s still near and dear to my heart and always will be.
But over the past few years, whenever I’ve found a block of time in which I previously would have been listening to music, which was almost always:
- Cooking/washing dishes
- Yard work
- Menial tasks
I’ve basically subbed in listening to podcasts.
Sometime around 2014, I started listening to a handful of these things called “podcasts,” starting with Marc Maron’s show, then eventually “Serial” and “S Town” and other shows catered more towards entertainment than education.
That was fine for a while, but it quickly turned into me wanting more depth to what I was listening to and I began to get the curiosity itch to explore other shows, topics and hosts/guests geared more towards personal development, health, fitness, wellness and general education.
After all, if we’re here on earth we might as well be trying to get better, right?
My mission: To learn as much as possible … about as much as possible.
Obviously, the year is 2019 and I most surely am not introducing you to the concept of podcasts, You know what they are, you probably subscribe to a few (or a few dozen, nobody’s judging) and you probably think that learning about someone else’s “favorite murder” (like … what?) is a good use of your time.
(Hint: it’s not.)
I’m sure you also probably have a backlogged queue that’s so long it feels overwhelming … so more often than not you just toss on that same record you’ve been spinning since 2006, you knew all the words to by 2007 and were sick of by 2008.
But you’re still listening to it because of decision fatigue or just wanting to zone out or relax or chill.
I get that. Truly, I do.
But if you ain’t learnin’, you ain’t livin’.
There are clearly defined periods of my life the past five years when things have seemed to be going well, I maintain a positive outlook, know which steps to take day to day without having to think too hard and I just … feel good.
Inversely, there are times when I have felt a bit lost, hazy and unsure of how to spend my days and unable to muster the energy the figure out which way to turn.
I’ll let you figure out which are the periods where I’m heavily listening to podcasts, reading books and just generally making sure I spend time learning.
So many people think once they walk across a stage and are handed a diploma, whether at the high school or college level, that their learning is over.
They think, “I’m a fully-formed human that doesn’t need to open another book as long as I live — this piece of paper right here in my hand says so!”
Do everything in your power to continue your education and stay curious until the day you die.
This helps keep your mind sharp (duh) and is a trait that is not only going to be important to you and your continued development but — you guessed it — your offspring’s as well.
The more you expand what you know (which, in my experience, only has a way of hammering home the point of just how little we know) the better equipped you can be as a father.
Every piece of knowledge you learn and bit of wisdom you acquire builds upon your already robust mental framework. It’s constantly being reshaped, reformed and readjusted in unconscious ways that will most certainly find a way to come out in your decision-making as a parent. So why wouldn’t you want the biggest set of “data” to inform said decisions?
It will also curate a desire to learn and help your kids develop a curiosity that can sometimes be stifled — or, at the very least, not cultivated — in a group classroom setting. It’s your responsibility to instill wonder in your child and let their innate interests in the world around them breathe a little.
So do everything you can to find quality sources of education, be both fiercely open-minded and equally skeptical (trusting that you’ll land somewhere in the middle) and use the lessons and facts that you learn to better yourself as a human being and, in turn, as a dad.
For me, those resources have been podcasts, books and keeping a running list of articles to read (topics for another day!). Through listening, I’ve discovered so many different things I’ve been interested in and the web keeps growing. Many of the topic ideas to come on this site stem directly from podcasts.
(Oh, and one other thing I’ve picked up from podcasts: playing music is great for your brain on many levels … so don’t worry, I won’t be hanging up that guitar for good any time soon.)
Now, here are some suggestions for your ear holes.
What I’m currently subscribed to:
The Joe Rogan Experience
1. Joe Rogan Experience #1109 – Matthew Walker
Aubrey Marcus Podcast
- AMP #171 – Crisis, Empathy, and Growth with Tim Ferriss | Aubrey Marcus Podcast
2. Aubrey Marcus Podcast | #112 Keto The Right Way with Mark Sisson
3. AMP #128 – Paul Chek on The Self, God, Love and the Soul | Aubrey Marcus Podcast
FoundMyFitness (Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.)
- Dr. Satchin Panda on Time-Restricted Feeding and Its Effects on Obesity, Muscle Mass & Heart Health
2. Sulforaphane and Its Effects on Cancer, Mortality, Aging, Brain and Behavior, Heart Disease & More
3. Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D. on Modified Atkins Diet, Keto-Adaptation, Ketosis & More
Align Podcast (Aaron Alexander)
- Neil Strauss: Unlearning, Healing Your Childhood, Mental Health | Ep. 199
2. Dr. David Perlmutter: Neurogenesis, Brain Health, Epigenetics | Ep. 177
3. Dr. John Demartini: Grow Your Brain, Escaping Death, Forgiveness | Ep. 184
Kyle Kingsbury Podcast (Formerly known as the Human Optimization Hour)
- #44 John Baker | Human Optimization Hour w/Kyle Kingsbury
2. #54 – James Clear | Human Optimization Hour w/Kyle Kingsbury
3. #72 JP Sears | Human Optimization Hour w/ Kyle Kingsbury