Phil Drolet • • 6 min read
How to Learn & Enjoy Life More: The Power of Audio Learning
A few months ago, while living in Australia, I was given an assignment by my boss I was not at all thrilled about: drive 5 hours into the country, meet with a client for 2 hours, and drive back that night.
At first, all I could think was “wait, whaaat? You want me to drive 10 hours to meet a guy for 2 hours? Can’t I just call him or something?!?”
It seemed like a gigantic waste of my time, but he was the boss and I, the employee, so I had to obey. (Note: I have since kissed the corporate life goodbye)
That night, I sat at my desk. I decided I had to find a way to make this trip somehow productive, entertaining, and even memorable…
There had to be a way…
And then, just like that, an idea popped into my head. A good one. A game-changer.
24 hours later…
I’m back at my desk, an 800km round-trip under my belt. I’ve got a huge smile on my face and a head full of shiny new ideas.
The last 24 hours, destined to be a mind-numbing waste of a day, had turned into one of the most enlightening days of my life. I’m feeling good!
What the hell happened?
I had entered the wonderful world of audio-learning.
On the way there, I delighted myself with the audio version of the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. Coming back, my mind was blown by the self-experiments & discoveries described by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Body.
Not only had I been thoroughly entertained, but I had also gained valuable insights into how to be happier, get a better body, and become a better lover. All in a day’s work! It was love at first listen.
Since then, audio-learning has become my preferred method of mind-expansion, and I’ve listened to hundreds & hundreds of audio-learning goodness.
All this newfound knowledge has been the driving force behind my website The Feel Good Lifestyle, and it makes my life more fun, challenging, and fulfilling.
Today, my mission is to try and get you fired up to try audio-learning. At least once.
I can’t guarantee you’ll love it as much as I do, but I promise if you give it a try, it might very well rock your world. Be warned.
Without further ado, here are 7 reasons to give audio-learning a try:
1) There’s Something For Everyone
What are you passionate about? What do you love learning endlessly about?
Whatever it is… There’s some audio content about it.
With Audiobooks, Podcasts/Ideacasts, Audio Courses, TED Talks, Language Classes. … There are just so many options out there.
I personally love learning about philosophy, entrepreneurship & lifestyle design, and my biggest problem isn’t finding good material, it’s choosing between all the world-class options at my disposal! And every time I listen to one, I really do feel like I’ve just come a tiny step closer to achieving my dreams.
2) It Takes You (Almost) No Time
Audio-learning allows for what Tony Robbins calls the “No Extra Time” method. It means you get to squeeze more life out of 24 hours. Sweet deal.
By superimposing your audio-learning onto another activity, you make it both more entertaining & enlightening. While reading, writing, and watching videos take time in our day, audio-learning is simply the way to make the most of everyday.
3) Commuting Time Becomes Productive Time
Since I was a kid, I’ve been dumbfounded by the concept of commuting & traffic. I’m from the suburbs of Montreal, and seeing thousands of people stuck in endless traffic every day felt like a small tragedy!
I’ve since built a lifestyle that minimizes my time in commute, but when I have to get around, I’m always getting my audio-learning on.
Whether I’m riding my bike, driving a car, or taking public transit, time flies by because I’m simply enthralled by what I’m listening to.
How much time do you spend commuting every day? 30 minutes? 1 hour? More?
Multiply that time by 365. That’s how much brilliant new material you could have in your head by the end of 2012 if you get on the audio-learning train today.
4) Chores Become Enjoyable
I used to hate cleaning my room and doing the dishes. Like, really hated it. 2 small periods of darkness in my days
And now, believe it or not, I actually enjoy doing the chores.
I see them simply as opportunities to pop on something interesting, get lost in the moment, and expand my mind.
Think of all the repetitive activities in your day: cleaning, cooking, walking, running… These are all opportunities to spice up your life and become a better you with some interesting audio content.
5) You Become a Better Listener… And a Better Speaker!
Listening is an underrated skill. We don’t openly discuss or brag about our listening skills, but those who develop the part of their brain responsible for analyzing auditory information are bound to have an edge in many facets of life.
Listening to smart people discussing challenging ideas forces us to listen and think on a “high level”, and helps our brain get re-wired as a better version of itself through the process of neuroplasticity.
“Ok sure, but how will I get better at speaking?” you may ask. That’s a legitimate question. The answer lies in the way we humans learn to speak: by mimicking others.
Have you ever noticed how people who hang out together tend to use similar expressions? That’s because of mimicking.
For our purpose, it means that if we listen to very well spoken individuals, we can improve our speech by subconsciously mimicking theirs.
I don’t know about you, but personally I’d prefer to have the vocabulary of a TED Talk speaker, and the confident speech of a successful entrepreneur, than to speak like a pop radio host!
6) Knowledge (+ Action) = Power
Every time you listen to a new piece of material, you’re expanding your mind with new synapses, and you’re planting little idea seeds. Sometimes these ideas pop within a few days and result in simply a blog post or new HE thread, but sometimes they result in an idea that can alter the course of your life.
We live in very opportune times. If you learn a lot about something, and you’re driven enough to share it with the world in a creative way, there’s a way to create your dream job with it.
Think about it… This is huge.
7) You Already Have All It Takes
The best thing about audio-learning is how easy it is. If you have a Smartphone or iPod, a pair of headphones, and a computer with an internet connection, you have all it takes.
Most content is free and can be uploaded onto your listening device within a few minutes. If you’ve added music to your device before, you can get started with audio-learning in no time.
To help you get you started, here are my Top 3 Audio Resources of 2011:
1) The Optimal Living 101 Class
This, my friends, is the class we never had. A class on how to live better. How to be happier, healthier, and achieve more. It’s based on the teachings of the great masters from all cultures & from all through history. Highly recommend.
25-minute summaries of some of the greatest non-fiction books ever written. From old master like Aristotle & Confucius to modern-day luminaries like Tony Robbins & Robin Sharma, the Philosophers’ Notes the best way to gain wisdom rapidly.
3) TED Talks
Watching TED Talks is great but listening to them is even more practical. And with each new one, a new idea seeds is planted in our mind.
And here are a few other places to find great content:
The audio-book part of Amazon.com. You get a free download when you sign up.
Podcasts allow you to subscribe and have each new item automatically downloaded to your iTunes.
Large catalog of audio-learning resources.
Here you have it, the power of audio-learning in all it’s splendor.
If you’re on this site, I trust that you’re the kind of person who’s always looking for new ideas on how to improve your life, and I believe this is a great one.
Have fun, keep learning, and let’s rock the world my friend.
P.S. If you’ve used audio-learning before, what was your experience? What do you plan on listening to now?