I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of lifelong learning – of never feeling “finished” with personal growth or self-improvement. I also love learning new information regularly, which is why I love to read. But with podcasts, I can learn on the go! Keep reading to learn how I grew to love podcasts as a form of continual learning and as a source of inspiration.
Why I love learning
Okay, so since you already know I’m a huge bookworm, now it’s time to confess – I’m a huge nerd in general (so hard to guess that, right?)! I know there are many, many definitions of a nerd, but the kind of nerd I’m referring to here is someone who loves to learn, which is actually a great thing. We should all be lifelong learners and self-proclaimed nerds! I firmly believe that we are never done learning, so I hope I always consider myself a nerd.
My love of lifelong learning was instilled in me as a young child by my mother. She has been such an amazing example of someone who is not only continually learning and trying new things in her 60s (and is an avid reader herself), but also someone who admits openly that she’s still learning things about herself. That gives me hope, because I know that if she’s still learning, it’s okay if I don’t know everything about myself now. I will always still be learning, if I’m open and curious enough.
What it means to be a lifelong learner
Lifelong learning can mean a lot of things, and can take many forms. People can be lifelong learners in many ways. But learning doesn’t only come from books (sorry, books). Lifelong learning can be the quest to continue to discover yourself by turning inward and reflecting. It can be taking a class just for fun on something you’ve always wanted to learn. It can be going to a conference, or going on a retreat. Anything that will expand your horizons and expose you to something new.
These experiences help us learn, yes, but they can also help us grow and can inspire us. I love conferences (did I mention I’m a nerd?), but conferences are obviously time-consuming and can be expensive. So is taking a class or going on a retreat. Not everyone wants to prioritize reading a book, either (reading definitely requires a lengthy time commitment, I get it). So, one of my favorite quick and easy ways to expand my horizons and fuel my constant desire to learn is through podcasts.
How I fell in love with podcasts
Confession – I used to be very resistant to podcasts. SO many people in my life told me to check them out, that I’d love them, etc. etc. (probably because they know I love to learn!) but I just could not get myself to listen to them. I’m a very visual learner and I would prefer to read or see an image to hearing something – things just do not tend to stick in my brain unless I see them on the page. But right after I graduated from my master’s program and started my new job, I decided to give podcasts another try. I was missing the feeling of learning something new every week, and I also needed something to motivate me to get out of bed in the morning for my early start time at work.
So I found some podcasts and started listening to them in the morning as I was getting ready and driving to work. And it really changed my life! I quickly became obsessed with podcasts and ran through them very quickly since I was listening to them for about an hour to an hour and a half each day. I got excited to wake up in the morning so I could have my “podcast time.” And it turned what always felt like a useless 30 minutes in the morning into productive learning time (my inner nerd screamed YAY for more productive learning time)!
As I listened to more and more podcasts I began realizing what I was really interested in learning about – some of my favorite podcasts are about women’s issues (in and out of the workplace), self-improvement, or are simply well-known people I love giving their advice on certain topics or interviewing other awesome people (hello Magic Lessons, Getting Curious, and Armchair Expert). Podcasts are such a great way for me to learn because I can listen to them during an otherwise pretty mindless and monotonous hour.
So, occasionally on the blog I’ll be sharing some of my favorite podcast recommendations that inspire me, teach me, and make me feel a little better after listening to them than I did before. I hope they’ll inspire you and bring you as much joy as they’ve brought me!