Does this sound familiar? You’re at home doing something like getting ready for work, preparing a meal or cleaning the house, and you turn on the TV for background noise? By week’s end you’ve consumed hours of mindless TV – at best – or a negative news feed – at worst. I used to do that and it drove me crazy that I “needed” that noise. Now, I use those times as opportunities for growth and entertainment and I’m going to share with you how to do the same.
I realize that not that every moment has to be “productive.” If doing your work in silence promotes a good state of mind, maybe even a meditation opportunity, keep doing it. But if you feel the need for background noise and your current choices aren’t doing you any favors, consider my 5 favorite resources for motivation, learning and enjoyment:
- TED Talks: Short, powerful talks available on multiple subjects. While some have visuals, I find most can be simply listened to. One of my favorites is Brene’ Brown’s, The Power of Vulnerability. She takes a topic no one is comfortable with and using humor, her personal experiences and her knowledge as a researcher, she makes you feel like you’re not alone and that you can overcome shame.
- Lead to Win Podcast: Michael Hyatt provides “leadership lessons for lasting success.” His show includes research studies and audio inserts from experts on the topic of the week that help his audience to become stronger, more effective leaders. A recent favorite of mine is titled “The Surprising New Science of Achievement,” a topic I find can be applied to many areas of life.
- Audio Books: I’ve recently taken advantage of my library card to check out several audio books. Most are motivating and informational, but not long ago I listened to a fiction book by Elizabeth Gilbert titled “The Signature of all Things” – loved it. TIP: I change the audio speed to 1.25 or 1.5 (depending on the speed of the person narrating the book) which takes me through it quicker!
- The Minimalists Podcast: These two guys speak to living a meaningful life, with less stuff and more fulfillment. While I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist I’ve integrated their philosophy into my own life in a way that brings me greater peace and contentment.
- Pandora: I use the free version and find myself dancing and singing as I put on makeup, workout and clean. I love the Earth Wind & Fire channel and my non-disco husband recently turned me onto Hipster Cocktail. Look for new options that pique your interest and ignite your energy. If you find yourself moving your shoulders and head a little while listening, that’s a good sign.
The best part about using these resources is that I’m no longer over-saturated with news or exposed to tons of commercials for stuff I don’t need – instead I’m learning and being uplifted, even entertained. Next time you’re looking for some background noise, optimize that time to serve you and your mood.
Share with me below some of your favorite resources to keep you company.