Podcasts for the Rudderless, the Curious, the Ambitious

Podcasts work not just because they’re hands-free, but because they’re eyes-free, as this guy recently articulated. There are so many spaces we can carve out for audio that we can’t carve out for video or text: getting ready in the morning, commuting, walking from point A to point B, cooking dinner, taking a bath, relaxing during that time at the end of the day when your eyes are failing, but your ears still have some life left in them.

So you may not have time to read, but you do have time to listen to a podcast. They’re also completely free invitations into the worlds and minds of the most innovative, smart and driven people working today. Those kinds of invitations aren’t easy to come by. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but you can have lunch over a free podcast.

My favorite format of podcast is the popular two-person conversation between guest and host (the best ones don’t feel like interviews). I’m most interested in stories of people doing meaningful work with grace and balls and kindness. Of course, the host matters. You need a great host. You need someone like:

James Altucher, an advocate for non-traditional careers, for “choosing yourself”, who’s great at probing and interrupting until he can pull back the curtain completely on what the guest is sharing…

Debbie Millman, a branding powerhouse and podcast pioneer with her show Design Matters, who’s also great at getting to the heart of matters…

Tim Ferriss, who is so smart and curious, but never lets his smarts get in the way of the conversation; he’s just a great listener…

Guy Raz of NPR’s How I Built This, who does a great job of curating his guests, and keeps his shows at a manageable length of 30 minutes…

Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond of Dear Sugar, whose work is like weekly therapy sessions for those who can’t afford therapy (or just need a little extra).

So many of the big, big changes and decisions I’ve made in the past two years, I made because of the wisdom contained in these five shows.

What are your favorites? Share them below.

Image via Good Life Project

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