Given the long hours spent biking and running, I listen to an absurd number of podcasts over the course of a calendar year. Of the 500 or so that I listened to, here are my 7 favorites from 2017 along with a few all-time favorites from the hosts. Hope you enjoy these as much as I did.
Always looking for new ones, so PLEASE COMMENT!!! with your favorites from 2017 or all-time favorites. I need the recs!
Rich Roll Podcast
I love the RRP. I've listened religiously since it's start and have continued to learn and be inspired by the guests. Rich is fantastic at getting guests to open up and share meaningful insights all in the context of a natural conversation. (Rich is an inspiring dude himself. His book Finding Ultra is a favorite of mine and has been hugely impactful on how I live my life.)
Two favorites from this past year...
The first is this conversation with Tim Ferriss. Many of us know Tim through either the 4-Hour Work Week or his podcast, which dissects the habits of top performers. I liked this conversation so much because it showed a different side of Tim. It was a meaningful conversation, not on how to hack your way to a better body or career, but on the deeper meaning on life and what's really important in a life well lived.
The second was this chat with the one and only David Goggins. Goggins, a former Navy SEAL, is a master of mindset. Through sheer willpower, he's done physical feats that make Ironman racing look like child's play. He's who inspired Rich to take on his first Ultraman in Hawaii. Goggins has an incredible story and great perspective on life, making this conversation a must-listen. If looking for a hefty dose of inspiration, look no further.
- If new to the RRP, check these three out from the early days. Hard to select my favorites, but remember these ones being great.
How I Built This
NPR's How I Built This is a favorite of mine. It's great to hear the origin stories and humble beginnings of iconic brands and their founders. A great reminder that with hard work, determination, a good idea, and yes some luck (one of Guy's favorite questions...) anyone can create something great.
Two of my favorites from this past year...
Jake Carpenter literally invented the sport of snowboarding. From first selling the boards out of his car to building Burton into the largest snowboarding brand in the world, this is a great story of passion and the desire to create something cool, not for money but instead for the love of this sport.
Manoj Bhargava is the ultimate entrepreneur. We can all learn from his insights on how to create a successful business. Oh, and he was also a monk in India before setting out on his entrepreneurial path, something that has shaped his outlook on life and money — he's pledged to give 99% of his net worth (which is ~$4 billion) to charity when he dies.
- Two more all-time favorites from How I Built This...
- The chat with Sam Adams founder Jim Koch.
- Jim's description of "the difference in life between things that are scary and things that are dangerous" really struck a cord with me. While his well-paying, comfortable job as a consultant wasn't scary, it was dangerous because he could easily wake up one morning as a 60-year-old wondering what the hell he did with his life. Starting a beer company was scary, but it wasn't as dangerous as staying put. This is a brilliant insight. Give this podcast a listen to hear Jim explain this in more depth.
- iTunes Link NPR Media Link
- This conversation with Clif Bar founder Gary Erickson. I love this guy!
- The chat with Sam Adams founder Jim Koch.
The Joe Rogan Experience
Joe Rogan is both hilarious and a deep thinker. This conversation with Arian Foster was awesome. I only knew of Foster's ability on the field (he was one of the best running backs in the NFL for a 3-4 year stretch), but was pleasantly surprised by his curiosity for things outside the world of football and his humility regarding his athletic prowess. He's a bright guy and I'm sure he'll be doing some impressive things in the next few years... all of which will have nothing to do with football.
The Tim Ferriss Show
As mentioned above, Tim interviews some of the best and brightest across many fields, looking for insights on what allows them to preform at such a high level.
This conversation with Terry Crews was terrific, and a lot different from many of the other discussions that Tim has on the podcast. It was both inspiring and really funny. Terry — an actor and former NFL athlete who you may recognize from past Old Spice commercials — was super genuine and the conversation was powerful. Some of the interviews on the Tim Ferriss Show end up being a bit formulaic and aren't too much more than just a laundry list of daily habits and tips for being more productive. This is not one of those conversations.
- One of my favorites from over the years is this interview with Jamie Foxx. It's simply fantastic. Foxx is hilarious and has a truly incredible story.
Lewis Howes School of Greatness
The Lewis Howes School of Greatness podcast is a good one. Yes, it's bit cheesy at times with a rah rah self-help / motivational speaker feel to it (at least the intro is), but Lewis has gotten really good at asking great questions and getting people to open up over the past few years.
I loved this conversation with Rachel Platten. I'll admit, I had no idea who she was prior, though her song Fight Song is one I've listened to a bunch. (Totally thought it was Katy Perry...) Platten worked in obscurity for over 10 years before Fight Song launched her to the big leagues. She has an incredible outlook on life and her perspective on pursuing dreams and never giving up is worth listening to and taking to heart.
- One of my all-time favorites from The School of Greatness is this one with former NFL punter and Super Bowl Champion Steve Weatherford. This guy is a total beast and his mindset and positivity is incredible. Love the pump-up speech he gives towards the end. Need that on repeat.
The Forward by Lance Armstrong
Yup. Lance. And he's the interviewer, not the interviewee. Love him or hate him for his past, the guy is a great podcaster.
Top one for me from this past year was with Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He's the first living Marine in 38 years to receive it. His story is remarkable. I can't even begin to imagine that level of bravery.
- This conversation with Michael Morton is mind-blowing. Morton was wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder in 1986 and served 25 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence in 2011. He's got some serious perspective of life, resentment, and forgiving, to say the least.