I absolutely LOVE to learn new things. I’ve semi-joked with friends and family about just going to school forever. I even went so far as to look up the Guinness Book of Records information for the person with the most degrees. If I had unlimited money to pay for school, I might actually consider breaking that record of 30 degrees for the highest and 14 for the second-highest. I really think I could do it.
However, in the meantime, I search for free ways to gain new knowledge, of which there are plenty. There are numerous websites, YouTube channels, and podcasts that highlight new ideas, re-package long-standing ideas, and help process things that could help you in any area of your life.
If you’re interested in learning a new skill or content area, just start with Google and go from there. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, perhaps that’s an opportunity for you to create a blog or something to fill that gap and share that knowledge with others.
Podcasts are a great way to get information and be entertained at the same time. I wanted to share here my top 5 favorite podcasts to keep learning. They are listed in no particular order as I listen to whatever sounds interesting when I log in to Apple Podcast.
1. WorkLife with Adam Grant
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who regularly speaks and writes on the topics of work and creativity. Interestingly, he is one of the 10 most influential speakers on management. In addition to his podcast, I encourage you to subscribe to his newsletter to get new insights and information on a weekly basis. His podcasts span numerous topics from careers, regret, identity, and “the science of ….”, fill in the blank with many things. There is usually an expert researcher, thinker, or speaker who he talks with during each episode.
2. Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam
“Hidden Brain explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and questions that lie at the heart of our complex and changing world. Our work, led by Host and Executive Editor Shankar Vedantam, is marked by a commitment to scientific and journalistic rigor, and a deep empathy for our guests and audience.” This is one of the most fascinating podcasts to listen to on a regular basis. I love learning about how our brain works and the why behind certain behaviors. Late each summer they do a series on You 2.0 and discuss how to understand yourself and work to achieve your goals. The most recent episode is on apologies and how that can transform relationships.
3. The Next Big Idea with Rufus Griscom, and featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink
This podcast is all about discussing new and innovative ideas that can change the way we see the world, our work, and each other. A recent episode was on the future of email at work and it inspired me to monitor my own email usage for a week. Today’s episode is all about getting smarter and thinking outside of our brains featuring Annie Murphy Paul. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but I’m very intrigued by the description and the possibility of using science to get smarter.
4. Freakonomics Radio
As an economics major in college, I cannot help but be drawn to econ related content. As a reader of the Freaknomics book series, it’s only natural that I also listen to Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics Radio. According to the podcast description, “Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything.” And the description is highly accurate for the types of content in this podcast. I’m always interested to learn more about the topics he shares each week.
5. The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
If you haven’t yet taken The Science of Wellbeing through Coursera, I highly recommend doing so. It’s an excellent summer activity for self-reflection and personal development. In addition to the course, Dr. Santos hosts this podcast for deeper discussion on topics relating to money, happiness, life, and well-being. As a professor of psychology, she uses science and story-telling to share ways we can enrich our lives and the myths about things we think will make us happy.
I listen to lots more podcasts, but these are some of my favorite ones for learning new information. Check them out and let me know what you think!