Is anyone else amazed that we are in September already? This year is flying by in such a whirlwind. When life seems so fast-paced, I find these reflections on the books, articles, and ideas that have captured my interested even more insightful. I hope that, likewise, you find at the very least a little shred of insight in this week’s list of Friday Favourites.
Podcasts are my Netflix
Podcasts are my Netflix. Others may binge-watch their way through the latest original series, I fill my days listening to podcasts. I listen on my commute, walking to the gym, going around the supermarket… any opportunity I can take.
I am absolutely no saint and, of course, I am guilty of the (increasingly regular) Netflix binge. In the past fortnight, I have watched the entirety of The People VS OJ Simpson (which I considered adding to this list but figured celebrity gossip is not the inspiring, creative, thought-provoking content I am aiming to cultivate on this blog!). But ultimately it does not bring me the same excitement or joy as discovering a new podcast series.
You may interpret the following statement as reflecting the nerdiness of my life: discovering a new binge-worthy podcast is a sheer joy. The experience is comparable to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or finally getting your hands on the next installment of your favorite novel. Each has in common the building anticipation of the joy it will bring over the coming hours, weeks, months or years.
Discovering the Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast
In my very first blog post back in June, I talked about the compelling arguments presented in Emma Gannon’s book The Multi-Hyphen Method, about how we see trust in society. Although she mentions her podcast in the book, I did not listen until earlier this week, when I re-discovered it in the podcast app. Wow, I had been missing out!
The list of guests she has interviewed reads like my dream dinner party guest list. Her first podcast guest was none other than the incredible Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her book Eat Pray Love, and author of the inspiring book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
With Elizabeth Gilbert as her first guest, you may be thinking (as I was) that she had peaked early. You would be wrong. Emma has interviewed YouTube legend Zoella, author Cheryl Strayed, and even landed the ultimate marketing guru Seth Godin. The podcast is described as chatting to people about their relationship with the internet, but her conversations are wide-ranging. The podcast considers how our relationships, friendships, and society is being shaped by modern technology.
I discovered this article via the British Psychological Society, who published an overview of the potential impact of neuromyths on teaching. I was surprised to discover that many beliefs I held to be accepted knowledge are, in fact, myths. For example, the concept of left-brain/right-brain thinking, which many of my own teachers disseminated during my school years.
Another popular belief is that you only use 10% of your brain. Although I have heard this many times, I have always been skeptical of what seems to be an over-simplified soundbite. But I must admit it is a compelling idea.
Think of the small frustrations we all experience throughout our lives: forgetting where we put our keys or completing basic mental calculations when put on the spot. We know our brains are fully capable of achieving these tasks, but it lets us down when we need it.
The belief that 90% of our brain power is waiting to be tapped feels exciting and empowering. The idea also fits well with that of an ideal meritocratic society. Work hard = Make money. Improve our brain = Work better = Make more money. The reality is that life is not as simplistic as we would hope.
Firstly, I want to state that I have no affiliation with Zanna, I am simply a super fan of her work.
I have followed Zanna on Instagram (@zannavandijk) for a few years after first seeing her lead the Urban Triathlon at Balance festival last year. Her book STRONG first inspired me to start lifting weights at the gym. In many ways, it started me down a fitness journey that led to a better understanding of health, wellbeing, and happiness.
To give a little context as to why I downloaded her guide, I have to first deliver some bad news. It seems I will not be able to run the half marathon at the end of September, as I have injured my knee.
After taking a break from running for a few weeks in the hope that my knee mends, I fell into a bit of an exercise funk, going to yoga but with no real cardio or strength training. It was surprisingly easy to drop the habit and fall prey to my own excuses. Top of the list were:
- “I haven’t found a gym since moving house”
- “The nearest gym has no parking and if I have to walk I won’t go”
- “I’ve had a busy period so I need to give myself some time off”
On this blog, I have argued the case for being busier, yet didn’t heed my own advice. I need to DO exercise to feel more relaxed.
So I joined the nearest gym, and armed with Zanna’s guide, went through the first workout.
At the end, I mentally reset in such a positive way that I simply had not anticipated. I felt simultaneously calmer and more energized, and fundamentally happier. Since then, I have worked through the first two weeks and absolutely adore the guide. I feel stable, comfortable, and back to normal. Zanna, thank you for such a wonderful guide!
SIDE NOTE –
How incredible does her recent trip to Slovenia look? After drooling over the stunning scenery she shared on her account (as well as shamelessly stalking her Instagram stories throughout her trip), a trip is now top of my travel wishlist.
View this post on Instagram
“You have one glorious and brief shot at being the you that is you on Planet Earth, and the power to create whatever reality you desire. Why not be the biggest, happiest, most generous and fully realised humanoid you can be?” – Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass at Making Money (another read this week!)
Have a wonderful weekend x