Passive Listening Changed My Life

A few days ago, Seth Godin wrote a blog post titled, “Curiosity plus an audio book –> smarter.” This is 100% correct. Semi-Passive audiobook consumption has changed my life forever.

It all started with Earl Nightengale’s Lead the Field, which found through Josh Kaufman’s, The Personal MBA website. It also helped me discover Jim Rohn’s, The Art of Exceptional Living.  Seth Godin introduced me to Zig Ziglar. I’ve also read and re-listened to Seth’s books a number of times.

I usually try to get my hands on the audiobook version of any nonfiction book I decide to read. Why?

I love reading but it’s difficult to find the time.  I’m lucky because I have a half hour commute on the T to work.  It gives me almost an hour a day to read.  Others aren’t so lucky.

I love audiobooks for two reasons:

  1. I can listen to them when I’m unable to read like in the car, walking to and from work, or at work.
  2. They help me move through complicated books quickly.  I can make it through an audiobook in a couple of days depending on how much I listen at work.

This passive listening is not the best way to listen to a book and have it memorized.  That’s not the point.  The point is to listen when you can and over a number of times the book will start to sink in.  That’s the beauty of audiobooks that are professionally recorded with either the author or a good narrator.  They are great to listen to over and over again. This is where a great audiobook can change you forever.

I’ve already shared a few of my favorite audiobooks in the beginning of this blog post.  One of my favorite audiobooks comes from someone you may not have expected but their autobiography is one of the best accounts of a person creating their own art everyday and describing all the failures that eventually lead to their success.  That book is Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up.  I’m sure the book version is also great, but the audiobook version is narrated by Steve Martin and includes his own banjo solos at the end of each disc.  It’s a great book to listen to over and over again. Eventually, you might glean why Steve Martin became so successful seemingly overnight.  Except it wasn’t overnight.  He put in the work.