My favourite podcast episodes from the last month include some of the absolute best I’ve ever listened to. Podcasting isn’t new to me as I’ve been listening for years. My favourites are the long play ones, the ones with interviews that run for nearly two hours in length. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a long drive, a hustle through the leaves of autumn, or a hot sweaty run, I’m hooked. I’m often drawn into the depths of the conversation, shaking my head, smiling, or laughing at the twist and turns of the discussion I’m party to.
The real power of the podcast isn’t the entertainment value, it’s the opportunity to learn. And oh boy, have I learnt. Repeatedly I assimilate the perceptiveness which overflows from each episode. Much of what I learn informs my writing, as well as improving my decision-making or approach to life.
My Favourite Podcast Episode 1
My big takeaway was Chamath’s points and examples on the process of thinking from first principles. Thinking from first principles is a method of problem-solving made more popular by Elon Musk. All too often though, the only example is from Elon himself.
Tesla cars, and the process of building rechargeable batteries suitable to power the Tesla cars is one such example. The other, more famous is Elon’s grasp of the space industry. Elon explains how thinking from first principles enabled him to find the material costs of space travel and break the inhibited cost structure of NASA.
Beyond these examples, I have rarely found practical examples of thinking from first principles.
In this podcast, Chamath explains his first principles view of America’s international relations. The differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s policies and how these impacts investing. Chamath’s first principles open a view of objectivity rarely seen in the polarized world we live in today. It is refreshing, but more importantly, it shows the superpower which comes from seeking out first principles.
We live in a time when science and rational thinking should reign supreme, but it doesn’t. Instead, our thoughts are stifled by opinion and short-term thinking.
The conversation flows as Shane allows Chamath to get into his flow, which makes this one of favourite podcast episodes and this episode is worthy of a second listen.
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My favourite Podcast Episode 2
Tim Ferriss is the master of the podcast space, and his longevity marks him out as someone worthy of listening to. Tim has had many hits, and his first podcast interview with Naval Ravikant has stood out as one of the best. Although Naval made a guest appearance when Tim interviewed Jerzy Gregorek, we have had to wait a long time to hear Tim and Naval talk together again. And so, October 2020 brings Naval as a guest to the Tim Ferris Show for episode 473.
For just over two hours, Tim takes Naval on a journey of explanation. One which digs into several of the Twitter threads which have garnered Naval’s fame. Tim dissects Naval’s How to Get Rich (without getting lucky) thread, with Tim taking the opportunity to break into some of the key points in more detail.
There are so many great takeaways, but for me, Naval’s take on meditation and the process of self-examination was the most interesting. The deep dive reveals how much of a deep thinker Naval is. Spending an hour, every day to examine his thoughts, his challenges, and to pull them apart to the point he resolves them is something most of us do not achieve.
Naval thinks of his thoughts as emails in an inbox, waiting for him to process them.
The analogy is a clever way of thinking about how we manage our minds. Too often, we float on the surface of our minds, not stopping to get into the detail and resolve our fears, define our hopes, and live our best lives. As the modern-day philosopher, Naval’s sageness captures the attention of many. His one million Twitter followers could happily be known as the cult of Naval, such is the respect he has earned.
The best lesson was the last, be the happy one.
There are thousands of podcasts we get the chance to listen to, but time is precious. Therefore, I’m very selective over what I listen to. Shane and Tim are two excellent operators, and it makes sense they would be part of my favourite podcast episodes. They keep it simple; they avoid politics, current affairs and remain focused on drawing out the lessons we can all benefit from.
It is this focus which I appreciate. I can get into that and use them to learn. If you haven’t heard these two podcast episodes yet, give them a listen. What did you learn?
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