Every morning, your alarm sounds and you hit snooze three times before finally getting out of bed. You drag your feet as you trudge to the office, half-listening in meetings, and tune out when friends discuss their amazing jobs.
You feel helpless.
When looking for guidance, many people turn to the Internet. While there are some great quotes and pieces of advice out there, it can be tough to find your passion solely by reading inspirational blogs or articles. If you’re struggling to figure out what your true passion is, try listening to podcasts instead. Podcasts can be a great way to learn about different topics and gain new perspectives. You never know – you may just discover something that you’re passionate about!
There are many helpful podcasts out there for people who want to learn more about themselves and their careers. Serial is a great example, but there are thousands of others that offer just as much valuable information. Here are seven self-discovery podcasts that are definitely worth checking out:
1. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
If you’re unsure about what you should do with your career, it’s important to ask yourself some basic questions: What activities make you happy? Do find enjoyment in more creative tasks like writing or painting, or do you prefer logic-based work like mathematics? Sometimes the answer is as simple as identifying which parts of your current job make you the happiest. In Episode 8 of the happiness-themed podcast featuring New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft, “Deep Down, What Makes You Happy?” the sisters explore what people enjoyed doing when they were 10 years old. This exercise may provide some unique perspective into one’s career path. So whether you love arts and crafts or going on bike rides as a kid, give this episode a listen.
On your journey to learning more about yourself, you may come across some negative thinking. In NPR’s Invisibilia podcast episode “The Secret History of Thoughts”, hosts Alex Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore the idea of thoughts having meaning behind them with expert opinions from psychotherapists. Spoiler alert: All those feelings of self-doubt? Time to tune them out. They don’t reflect reality. Listen to this podcast and you’ll feel better about who you are and what you’re capable of achieving.
3. TED Radio Hour
One of the first bits of advice I received on my journey was to go talk with people. After coming across this podcast, though, I understand that what they should have said is “go listen to people” instead. TED Radio Hour is another popular NPR show that explores different ways of thinking and being creative. The episode “The Act of Listening” in particular discusses how listening can be a source of inspiration and revelation. Listening to others with an intent ear– whether it be strangers, family members, or those in different parts of the world– you might just find what it is you’ve been looking for this entire time. If nothing else, this podcast will jumpstart your creativity and may give you the push needed to take an unplanned turn while on your journey of self-discovery.
The Slate podcast called Working lets you listen in on interviews with Americans who have interesting jobs. You can learn about what a day in life is like for them, from a casting director to a forensic anthropologist, without even leaving your comfortable spot on the couch! If you’re looking for career inspiration, look no further than this series of interviews with people from all walks of life. You might find a new career path to pursue, or you may discover that some aspect of a job you didn’t even know existed is right up your alley. Either way, listening to other people talk about their workdays can be enlightening and inspiring. Bonus: There’s a Stephen Colbert cameo.
5. The School of Greatness
Are you wondering what it is that successful people do differently? Why do they always seem to come out on top? Lewis Howes, a former pro athlete, has all the answers. In The School of Greatness, Howes shares inspiring stories from some of the most successful people in the world. The second-best part of this podcast, aside from the great stories, is the motivating quotes and tips found in each episode. In these “Five Minute Fridays,” Howes covers topics like Find Your Vision, Find Out What You Live For, and many more.
6. The Good Life Project
Those who are looking for inspiration will love The Good Life Project, a podcast with stories about finding purpose in life. These stories come from all kinds of people, proving that “every story matters.” For example, in the episode “Restaurant of Hope,” host Jonathan Fields speaks to the owner of Buffalo Wild Wings. This individual purposely opened the first restaurant in a tough neighborhood of LA to provide an escape for kids and adults alike. How amazing is that? The GLP also has mini segments called “Good Life Project Riffs,” where he shares ideas and answers questions. They’re definitely worth listening to!
7. A Leg Up
Ever wonder what life is like for that guy from freshman year English who’s now in California trying to make it in Hollywood? Thanks to eighteen-year-old Adam Faze, you can find out without resorting to Facebook stalking. A Leg Up is a podcast about making it in Hollywood hosted by a kid trying to make it in Hollywood. Faze has set out to interview people at all levels of the “Hollywood hierarchy,” including Jay Leno (caution: laughs ahead). This is a great way to listen to successful people offer advice and talk about their path in life, whether you’re already in the business or not. And the best part is that it’s hosted by someone who is also trying to forge his own career path.