18 months ago my commute to work changed my life. Literally.
Like many people, I spent around 45 minutes in the morning driving into work and then another 45 minutes in the evening driving back home.
Mostly I spent that hour and a half each day skipping through songs I’d heard a hundred times or half listening to the host on a radio show ramble about topics I didn’t care about.
Fundamentally this time was almost entirely wasted and I did it pretty much on autopilot.
Then one day a friend of mine recommended an audio book that they thought I might get a kick out of and should give a try.
Now, at this point I’d never even listened to an audiobook, let alone heard of the title of this one, but predominantly in a break from the monotony of drive time radio I decided to give it a go. Once I’d got through the first half an hour I found myself enjoying it way more than I expected.
A day and a half later and I’d listened to all 6 hours and was onto the next one. I was hooked.
Since that first book I’ve listened to nearly 500 hours of audio books and countless hundreds on podcasts. I can’t get enough of them!
Now this might not seem like anything life changing to many people, but to me it absolutely was.
Audio content became an awesome, powerful way for me to fill the time I was previously wasting with learning – and enjoyed every moment of it.
Rather than thinking about how bad my commute was going to be, I actually started to enjoy it and even look forward to it. It even became a way to make the ironing (one of my most despised life chores) kind of fun to do!
I researched – usually boring my partner senseless – and listened to content on business, entrepreneurship, finance, the stock market, property, psychology, sales, strategy, CBT, mindfulness and a ton of stuff just for fun.
These were subjects that previously I’d hardly any interest or desire to know more about. I had a great job that kept me in a comfortable position and I was happy with how my life was on that cookie cutter journey.
Suddenly all this new content and all these new ideas, concepts and bits of information began to really change my way of thinking and quite simply put, took the blinkers off my vision.
Whilst I still loved my day job I started to explore new ideas and interests that previously weren’t even on my radar.
I wrote and published a nearly 300 page book on marketing for small business. I learned the principles of the stock market, investment and financial strategy. I learned how to and built several websites and blogs. I agreed to speak at external events as a “thought leader”. I took on projects to support smaller business and startup type communities. I started to assist some charitable projects. I felt happier, more driven and more enthused about life than ever before.
Quite honestly I felt like I’d finally got behind the driver’s seat of myself and was actually heading towards a reason and a purpose for the first time. I didn’t know exactly what that was – and I’m not sure I still do – but it feels great to at least have started moving!
Now I don’t list those things to say how awesome my life is (it’s still definitely a work in progress and probably always will be!) or what great things I’ve started to achieve as, quite honestly, I feel that this is just the start and I can’t wait to do more and more importantly, give more.
The point of this isn’t to brag by any means or to show how great the world is for me, it’s purely to share my journey so far.
It’s to highlight how these things happened because I found a way to maximise and utilise a little of the time that previously I’d wasted. I was able to change my perspective and open my eyes a little wider, as well as start to get more and give more from life and I’m excited about continuing to grow that.
I truly love how accessible great content and great resources are these days. With platforms like audiobooks, podcasts and video, plus the ton of amazing stuff that people create on platforms like LinkedIn every day it’s amazing how wasted time can become hugely valuable time.
For anyone who has read this far and might be interested in what that first book I referred to was, it’s called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It’ll likely not go down as a literary masterpiece (sorry Robert) but in my opinion it’s a fantastic resource for both motivation and inspiration and I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
Ove the last 18 months I’ve read a ton of other great books and whilst it’s hard to choose the ones I’ve got the most from, there are a few that stand out to me:
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
- Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck by Mark Manson
I’ve linked to these books purely for convenience in case there’s any of interest and i’m by an means affiliated or earning anything from them, i just think there content is awesome!
If audio books aren’t for you then podcasts are another amazing resource that’s totally free, yet can offer just as much value in return and cover a ton of different subjects. A few i personally love and would highly suggest checking out are:
- How I Built This from NPR/ Guy Raz
- The Tim Ferriss Show from Tim Ferriss
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast from Pat Flynn
- The Joe Rogan Experience from Joe Rogan
- The Property Podcast from Rob Bence/ Rob Dix
- The Gary Vee Audio Experience from Gary Vaynerchuk
I hope that small insight into my recent journey has been a little interesting but perhaps more importantly, piqued the interest of people who might be in a similar boat.
It’s amazing to find new ways of using the time we’ve got in ways we’d not thought about and you’ll be surprised by how this one small change can return enormous value. You’ll be amazed by what you can do and the capabilities you’ve got inside yourself when you find a moment to search for them.
Happy listening and happy learning.