July 3, 2020

The best podcasts that I have listened to, with a short episode guide and key takeaways

I listen to a lot of podcasts – I don’t have to because I co-host a podcast called The Remix with Shawn and Wang where we share and remix some of the best podcasts that we have listened to – I do it because I love to learn and podcasts (and audiobooks) offer a great way to learn while doing something else (for example, driving or exercising). Here are some of the best podcasts that I have listened to recently:

The Tim Ferriss Show

I recommend the episodes with Adam Robinson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cal Fussman. Adam had a fantastic episode where he shared some advice for college graduates (which I broke down in another post). Arnold had a monster episode talking about how he made money laying bricks with another bodybuilder, how he invested the money into real estate and became well off even before he was entering competitions and acting, and how he used psychological warfare to beat his competitors. Cal Fussman is one of the greatest storytellers and interviewers and Tim dives deep into how Cal asks great questions (and as we know from Tony Robbins, the quality of your life is based on the quality of your questions).

Seth Godin’s Akimbo

I love anything by Seth Godin, so when he released his podcast, I just could not help but listen. I love Seth Godin’s Long Term Thinking where he talks about the idea of thinking for the long term and how that is different than thinking about things in the short term and his very first episode on The Grand Opening has excellent tidbits on how to launch with great fanfare (you don’t, those that launch with great exclaim have already built a following).

Adam Grant’s Work Life Balance

In every episode, Adam tries to figure out how to make work suck less. From his stories, to his advertisements, he even tries to make podcasts much better. I learned how to love criticism (or at least think about criticism in a different way that makes things better). His debate with Malcolm Gladwell also had lots of great takeaways including being terrible at your job and why it makes sense to hire great teams (and fire teams) rather than hire and fire individuals.

Choiceology by Dan Heath

Dan Heath is one of two brothers of Dan and Chip Heath who have written a number of best-sellers including Made to Stick, The Power of Moments and Switch. Each episode of Choiceology talks about how sometimes we can make irrational decisions and how we can avoid those same types of irrational decisions when we are faced with them. For example, in the episode called summit fever, he tells the story of climbers who have put in a ton of effort into making it far up Everest but when the conditions turn for the worse, they are unable to distance themselves from the effort that they put in and so they continue on. If they had thought about things rationally, they would have made the decision to stop and only go when conditions were ideal.

Neil Pasricha’s 3 books

Neil’s podcast is a podcast made by a book lover for other book lovers. Neil brings the same passion, enthusiasm and curiousity that he does from The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation and it completely shows in this podcast. He has not had a lot of guests but the ones that he has had so far have all provided some very interesting stories. Each guest shares the three formative books that have provided them with great insights and he has talked to Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin and even Vishwas Aggrawal who is the world’s greatest Uber driver with a 4.99 rating with over 5000 trips reviewed (astonishing!)

1 – 3 – 20 podcast from Dan Pink

I love the premise of Dan Pink’s podcast 1-3-20. 1 author, 3 questions, all in less than 20 minutes. Some of my favourite episodes are Thinking in Bets with Annie Duke, The Power of Moments with Dan and Chip Heath, and Psyched Up – The Science of Mental Preparation. The extremely simple podcast with three questions makes it easily digestible with lots of great takeaways – it’s like reading the book with the author behind you nudging you in the right direction.

Futility Closet

This is one that I listened to based on a recommendation from a friend that knows me well. Each episode of the Futility Closet explores a mystery – some have been solved and others unsolved. The mystery could be a woman giving birth to rabbits. Or I heard an episode where there was a freak snowstorm in the middle of the summer and people were trapped outside who could not see where they were going, got lost and were buried in the snow. At the end of every episode, the hosts test each other and try to solve a lateral thinking puzzle (thus why my friend knows me well). I love lateral thinking puzzles and the best episodes (i think) are the ones where they compile several lateral thinking puzzles and each try to solve them one at a time.

The James Altucher Show

Can you really blame me for liking The James Altucher Show? What I like about James is that he not only gets the mainstream guests (you can tell when an author has just released a book because they make their rounds through all the podcasts that you listen to), but he just tries to talk to interesting people to figure out what he can learn from them and apply to his life. I really enjoyed the episode with Floyd Landis and the conspiracy / scandal of biking, the podcast with Amy Morin who talked about 13 things mentally strong people don’t do and with Kamal Ravikant who talked about what to do when you feel completely lost (I know I feel lost at least once a month).


What are your favourite podcasts? What podcasts do you think I should listen to?

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