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Find your Inspiration for 2018! By: Eileen Marshall

It seems a universal truth that as a year comes to a close, we find ourselves taking stock of how far we have come, and what we have yet to accomplish.  This self-evaluation can cover personal goals, spiritual growth or career development – or many goals all at once! Any one of us could search the internet for inspirational quotes or articles – and become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume – much of it noise – pun intended!


So, we’ve done some thoughtful curating and pulled together a list of the most popular podcasts and TED Talks that we think are worth your time and energy. While you’re waiting for that flight, knocking out that workout or spending some reflective time alone, check out the following: 



It goes without saying we are all seemingly trying to do more with less – specifically, time.  That’s why podcasts can become your new best friend.  You can listen while doing other things, or when you are commuting to and from work.  And because they are so easy to produce, they are extremely dynamic - with a finger on the pulse of current events and the latest trends.


Here are six podcasts that will give you a leg up across the board:


Productivityist: Hosted by Mike Vardy, this weekly podcast shows you tips and tricks to help you boost your productivity, goals and overall hustle in all aspects of your life. Whether you are looking for a change in habits, a focus on time management, or just an overall productivity makeover, this podcast is for you.


Career Tools: Career Tools is a weekly podcast focused on giving you a professional makeover or advancing your career. It won the Podcast Awards Best Business podcast in 2010, and has been nominated every other year it has been eligible. For the new job seeker looking for a jump start, or someone in their career looking for new ways to shine, this podcast is a win for everyone who listens.


This is Your Life Podcast: This weekly podcast hosted by Michael Hyatt, a former publishing house CEO, provides practical tips dedicated to "intentional leadership.” His goal is to help you live a life full of passion, lead with influence and work with a higher level of focus.


The Tim Ferriss Show: Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of "The 4-Hour Workweek,” offers strategies that focus on your personal life, your career and everything in between. He interviews high-profile guests who have excelled in everything from financial investing to chess to pro sports, and translates their stories into practical advice listeners can use.


Classy Girl Career Podcast: The Classy Career Girl Podcast offers a variety of training opportunities, interviews, behind-the-scenes audio and presentations to help you get ahead of the competition.

Forbes: Mentoring Moments: Hosted by Denise Restauri, women from multiple generations share their "wow, you need to know this” stories that propelled their careers. Women you may never meet will become your mentors.


Not ready to commit to an entire podcast? Or know where to even jump in? OK – we’ve got you covered. Here are a couple of the best episodes for some additional listening:


Tara Brach  - As a western teacher of Buddhist meditation, her meditations and talks center you and help you just breathe. So if you’re operating on adrenaline and finding it hard to relax or focus (a.k.a., everyone), this podcast will help you relax, reframe, and just be more present, wherever you are. Best Episode to Start With: Real But Not True


This Is Your Life With Michael Hyatt  - Hyatt, a former publishing house CEO, gives highly practical tips on how to boost your energy, become a morning person, escape perfectionism, delegate effectively (even without a team), and say no with ease. Sounds amazing, right? His podcast is now in its sixth season, so you can scroll through and find an episode for almost any current career challenge. Best Episode to Start With: Season 5, Episode 5—How to Finally Achieve Work-Life Balance


Optimal Living Daily - The host reads from other peoples’ blogs on topics like minimizing your worldly possessions, maximizing your efficiency and productivity, managing stress. These five-minute recordings (because he’s a minimalist, he even uses fewer words) can center you first thing in the morning when your routine can become chaotic. Best Episode to Start With: Be More With Less


TED Talks:

More visual?  Do Venn diagrams, flow charts, and speaker-audience interaction really capture your attention? Try these TED Talks to jump-start your professional development:


Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are(21:02)

In one of the most popular TED Talks of all-time, psychologist and author Amy Cuddy talks about the relationship between posture and power. You’ve surely heard of the "power pose”: the premise is that standing in a posture of confidence, even when we feel anything but, can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain (by increasing our testosterone levels to feel more assertive and reducing our cortisol levels to feel less stressed). Why it’s a must-see: Next time you’re about to enter a situation in which you’re being evaluated, such as a presentation, job interview or pitch, take 2 minutes to "power pose” in private (go to a bathroom stall or try it while alone in an elevator). It will show you that you can indeed fake it till you make it, as you’ll be faking it until you become it. And this can be a superpower.


Susan Colantuono: The career advice you probably didn’t get (13:57)

Do you feel you’re being passed over for a promotion year after year, even though you’re constantly praised at your job? That’s because there are usually 3 criteria for advancement, yet only 2 are identified. So, what’s the missing 33%? Find out. Why it’s a must-see: Although this TED Talk is directed at women, it highlights a universal truth that applies to all those in the working world: the importance of aligning your professional strengths with your organization’s strategic goals, and the importance of men at the executive level creating an even playing field for men and women.


Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (6:12) Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in the New York public school system.  She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled.  She explains her theory of "grit” as a predictor of success.  Why it’s a must-see: Couldn’t we all take six minutes out of our day to hear a pep talk on the power of perseverance and passion?


Margaret Heffernan: Forget the pecking order at work (15:47)

Organizations are often run according to "the super-chicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others.  And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion – built every coffee break and every time one team member asks another for help – that leads over time to great results. Why it’s a must-see: It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader.  Because as Heffernan points out: "Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”




As you reflect on the year and look forward to 2018, take special care to not only identify some goals and aspirations, but also plan for sustaining your inspiration and motivation. And you don’t have to do this alone! The next time you meet with your mentoring partner, plan to discuss where or who they get their inspiration from!  Do they have a favorite Podcast or TED Talk?   Consider the following:


·         Has your mentor experienced professional (or personal, spiritual, etc.) drift?  If so, how did s/he work through it?


·         Where do you and your mentor find inspiration for change? Books/classroom learning? Films? Time away? Other people?


·         Where does your mentor turn to for inspiration, specifically? Does s/he have resources they tap daily/weekly?


·         Ask your mentor to share a resource of their choice (podcast, TED Talk, book, film, etc.).