cavemen communicating

“The Way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

– Tony Robbins

Introduction

In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of podcasts and how they have taken their position in our society today, making them a vehicle for learning from others, for expressing ourselves, and a vehicle by which we simply share what’s on our mind.  Whether it is listening to something that makes us laugh, motivates us to learn something new about ourselves, the environment or humanity in general, podcasts are an excellent sharing channel with unlimited possibilities.  Although podcasts have been around for a little while now, they have evolved over their relatively short time. This article explores some reasons why you might want to listen to a motivational podcast, how to connect with a podcast, and do one on your own.

As human beings, we have innate gifts that are wired into our basic nature.  We have the ability to use our voice to express ourselves, along with the abilities to listen and learn.  It doesn’t matter what language we speak, or where we come from, we all carry a common desire to communicate and share our life experiences.

Communication is two-way – the giving of information and receiving other useful information. We communicate by contributing our skills, our wisdom, our insights, our knowledge, and by sharing our experiences that can help guide others on their journey. On the other hand, we receive by learning something new as we listen to other people’s experiences, wisdom, insights and knowledge in order to gain different perspectives we may not have considered before.  In this cycle of giving and receiving, we are often inspired by a new thought and may even shift the way we think, be excited and motivated to change and better our own lives, with a new-found awareness.

Neanderthal man holds mobile phone

What is Podcasting?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines podcast as: “a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.” Think of talk radio programs that we’ve listened to for decades.  Podcasting is a modern-day talk-radio concept for giving and receiving messages of communication that cover an array of topics through the internet. 

With over 7 billion people on the planet,  and more than 3 billion people now using the internet, someone, somewhere has something valuable to share.  As of February 2018, there were over 660,000 shows being podcasted with over 28 million episodes.  That’s a lot of people talking and listening!  Each podcast is recorded for future listening opportunities and the podcasts end up living in what is called, the “evergreen”, which is any kind of content that is continually relevant, never goes out of date, and stays fresh for readers and listeners on the internet for many months and even years into the future if it is true evergreen web content.

“The Human spirit must prevail over technology.”

-Albert Einstein

How did podcasts come to be?

Thomas Edison’s Phonograph

Let’s jump back 142 years ago.  One of the first sound recordings was made by Thomas Edison in 1877 on his invention, called the “phonograph.” It is the first machine that could record sound and play it back.  It was revolutionary!  He recited “Mary had a little lamb.  Its fleece was white as snow.  And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.” The recordings were made on tin foil and could only sustain replaying a few times. But his machine was an immediate sensation, widely demonstrated and covered by the press. It then spread across the globe through commercial recordings and distribution.  The sale of sound recordings became a growing new international industry with the most popular titles selling millions of units by the early 1900’s. This became a major new consumer item format from the late 1880’s until around 1910. 

Edison and phonograph
Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed by Levin Corbin Handy in Washington, April 1878

Electrical Recording

Between the invention of the phonograph in 1877 and the first commercial digital recordings in the early 1970’s, the most important milestone in the history of sound recording was the introduction of what was then called “electrical recording.” In electrical recording, a microphone was used to convert the sound into an electrical signal that was amplified and used to actuate the recording stylus.   The form of analog sound storage recordings changed over time, from programmed radio shows to flat 12” & 6” phonographic records made of polyvinyl with spiral grooves, to cassette tapes, to large laser discs, compact discs (CD’s), digital recordings, and to today’s phenomenon known as “Podcasting”.

old vinyl record on the wooden table

Podcasting, previously known as “audio blogging,” dates back to the 1980s with the advent of broadband internet and portable digital audio playback devices, such as the iPod.  When digital technology began to play a major part in our social evolution, mediums of communication were expanding leading us on into modern day podcasting, allowing the masses to participate, regardless of age, gender, religion, color, nationality, or those relegated to being homebound.  Growing exponentially over the years from its initial conception, using broadband internet and portable digital audio playback devices, podcasting began to take hold in late 2004.  Today there are more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available on the internet at little or no cost to the producer or the listener.  According to one survey in 2017, 42 million Americans above the age of 12 listened to podcasts on a weekly basis.[2]

Radio studio
The usual set-up for a podcast, similar to the set-up of radio studios.

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

-Rolla May

Why Do People Use Podcasts?

Human beings are curious and search for answers to all sorts of questions for all kinds of topics.  We are meaning makers.  We want to make meaning out of our lives.  Listening to particular podcasts allows us to focus on our own particular interests.  It’s a way to find other people interested in the same topic, enabling us to have that sense of connection, that sense of belonging to a group of people who have similar interests.  It’s a way to reach out to other people for meaningful understandings and an opportunity to engage in live conversations, offer opinions and thoughts that will be regarded as valuable.

Available Anytime, Anywhere

Podcasts are the only product that can be consumed everywhere you go for hours on end, and you can listen to it any time you want.    Podcasts are a positive solution for people who feel isolated and alone, whether divorced, retired, or sitting alone at home with a chronic/terminal illness.  Listening to podcasts help bridge that isolation gap, when hearing others talk about something that may be near and dear to their hearts.  It’s a way to feel connected, and when you contribute your views by calling in or writing in, engaging in stimulating conversation with the podcast speaker, it’s a way for you to express yourself and your views, growing the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself.

new mindset new result

Motivational Podcasts

Motivational podcasts are a way of connecting with others. It is a way of bridging the isolation gap by feeling inspired and motivated to take action in your own life.  Maybe you feel that the speaker is talking directly to you, bringing up issues that you don’t normally talk about with anyone else.  You feel included, as if they “know” you.  Some topics are universal that strike a chord in every human and maybe that chord needed to be struck in you.  

There are many ways you can be motivated through podcasts, depending on your areas of interest:  health, wellness, fitness, business, finance, goal-setting, personal improvement, philanthropy, and life itself, all with the goal of bettering yourself and improving your life.  Sometimes hearing something comedic will take you from one undesired state to a more desirable state.  Maybe you’re a life-learner, a student of life, looking for self-improvement because education and self-growth are important to you.

Maybe you are an entrepreneur either beginning a company or continuing to grow your company and you seek professional tools on time management or how to grow your business.  Maybe you want to listen to issues you are harboring inside and haven’t brought up to anyone and you want to hear fresh insights.  Maybe emotional childhood traumas have you paralyzed, preventing you from moving forward and you want some tangible tools to help you through the journey.  Maybe you’re divorced and you hear others who have made it through, whole and healthy. 

Maybe you have an illness and feel terribly alone without thinking than anyone can understand what you are going through and you hear someone else’s story that is similar to yours and you feel relieved to know you are not alone. Maybe someone in your life has died or is dying, and you just don’t know how to cope, and you hear real life stories of others and how they handle their journey, or offer you first hand ways of looking at the process of grieving, so that you find ways of being a little easier and kind on yourself.  Maybe you just love to be entertained, inspired and motivated.  Whatever your reason is for listening, any podcast can be motivating and helpful too.  

There are a multitude of reasons why people listen to podcasts and some use them as an educational tool to better themselves, to glean wisdom and knowledge to grow and acquire new skills to better navigate their journey of life. Listening to podcasts helps people better understand the chosen topic and share with others their understanding.  Motivational podcasts are impactful, educational, entertaining, have great content and the best part is that they are convenient and FREE, not to mention you can be in direct contact with some of the most experienced and well-respected leaders in nearly every field available. 

Team spirit as a puzzle with a red part.jpeg

4Motivational Podcasts are a way of connecting with others.  We don’t even pick up the phone to call anyone anymore, and leaving voice mails is viewed by some as “old school”.  We have lost a sense of personal communication along the way and motivational podcasts are a way of connecting with others.

One of the best podcasts I have heard is Brendon Burchard’s podcast HPX, which stands for High Performance Experience.  He and his wife, Denise, an entrepreneur in her own right and spiritual teacher, have their own podcast too.  Another podcast is Commune which talks about the nature of reality.  (My favorite subject, including death and dying).

Motivational podcasts are a way of bridging that gap, by inspiring and motivating others, and there is so much variety of what to listen to.

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

-Albert Einstein

How To Access a Podcast

Because podcasts are heard over the internet, listening to a podcast is a bit different than just turning a dial on your radio. You will need a smart phone, a tablet, or a computer.  The advantage of a podcast, however, is that you can listen to a recorded episode at your leisure, not at a scheduled time you might miss that is preprogrammed on a radio.  Of course, you can also listen to a podcast live, especially if you want to participate with the speaker of the topic.  All of this basic programming is for free.  You just need to install an app on your phone, tablet or computer, and download the shows you want to hear.  There are several podcasts sources.

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts come built into your iPhone and even though it may not have the most features, it offers a quick and easy way to jump into the world of podcasts. You can stream and download shows, skip ahead or rewind in 15 second intervals and even set your favorite shows to download automatically as soon as a new episode is released. This service is free.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music works if you’re on an Android, which also comes preinstalled on your phone supporting podcasts, and like the Apple Podcast app, Google Play is simplistic in its approach, letting you subscribe, download episodes, skip and rewind during playback.  There’s also a version that runs in the web browser so you can listen from your computer when you’re at your desk and save your phone’s battery.  This is also free.

Spotify

Spotify is mainly known as a music streaming service, but in 2015, the company added support for podcasts, getting the basics.  If you’re a regular Spotify user, you will get a podcast player with a familiar interface and as a bonus, you can flip between podcast episodes and your usual songs and playlists so you never have to switch apps to listen to something different, however, Spotify handpicks which podcasts are allowed on its platform, so it may not have everything you’re looking for and if you don’t have a premium subscription, you will have to listen to ads between episodes.  This service is free.

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts goes beyond the basics where you are able to quickly see new episodes available for download, keep track of your unlistened episodes, set custom skip/rewind intervals to skip ads or catch something you missed and turn on voice boosting for an improved listening experience.  It can also sort episodes based on your preferences.  This service costs $4/year and for an additional $9/year you can access all of your favorite podcasts from any web browser.

Overcast

Overcast has been known as the gold standard of iOS podcast apps, and for good reason, due to the clean interface that is easy to use, the advance features like voice boost and silence trimming, supports playlists so you can make your own list of podcasts you want to listen to on a long trip.  It will also notify you of new episodes of your favorite shows and if you’re low on storage, you can set limits for how many episodes it will download.  These features are free, but for $10 per year, you’ll be able to remove ads, and upload your own audio files. 

mutually beneficial

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

-Dale Carnegie

Why Do People Do Podcasts?

To share something of value

Some people podcast for sharing things that will benefit people with some useful and valuable information.  However, what podcasts all have in common is they have something to say, and a message that the podcaster feels is valuable enough to share.  Therefore, the podcast is a great vehicle with a far-reaching bandwidth to get their message “out there”, where people can actually hear it.  There are messages you have to share that are really important to help people feel better about their lives, to feel better about their relationships, their jobs, their families, their friends, their careers, their journey of life and end of life.  

I believe that we all share certain qualities in being human and that our individual “plights” are not ours alone.  We all share some things in common.    We all have feelings, and these feelings come and go, depending on our thoughts.  We are transient beings, here for a particular time and we don’t know when that expiration date is.  In the meantime, you can search a podcast that inspires you, enriches you, says things in ways you’ve never heard them before, allow the words to sink into your meanings and reference points.  If you decide to create a podcast, then, let your podcast inspire people to live their best lives through YOUR eyes, through your experiences, through your perspectives.  

May I take this moment just to say that my own podcast – “Soul Diving with Shelley Whizin” is about inspiring people to live their deepest and most wondrous lives possible with as much ease and grace to guide them along the way… to BE at peace with themselves, to FEEL that sense of well-being, that being well feeling all the way to the end of life, starting now. 

It is my desire to bring these perspectives into our everyday consciousness, so that when we die, and we all will, we have practiced a lifetime of bringing honor, dignity and regard into our lives (and of course, that sense of humor we can’t live without).  We will have allowed ourselves to live in the deep end with a quality of life that has filled the air with the essence of living and that essence is the essence of pure love.  You can call love anything you want.  You can make your pride, ego and money more important than love, but love will always exist. My point is that love is an energy force and is universal elixir that rises from the ashes to heal, an energy that bonds humanity to all of existence.

Doing podcasts is a way of building an audience of like-minded people… of people who actually care about what the issues you bring forth, grappling with whatever notions you grapple with.  It’s a way of setting forth your thoughts to influence, even be an agent that inspires a movement of change, and having it live and thrive on the evergreen.  It’s a way of your grandchildren being able to listen to your philosophies and perspectives of life that illuminate deeper meanings, fulfilling their beautiful souls as they navigate through their human journey, encouraging a life that is filled with valuable life lessons recognized, experienced and shared with others.  Nothing living stays the same.  Doing podcasts is making way for the next generation’s ideas of life to step up and be heard, and we honor them, stewarding them in with our wisdom.

A way to generate income

Podcasts are also a way to generate an income.  It’s an avenue for making money, especially if there is value in the content.    Podcasting is as a way of expressing one’s deepest values and philosophies, and making money doing what you love. Podcasting is a way of engaging with others on topics near and dear to your heart.  Just think having an audience that is actually interested in what YOU have to say. 

Cell phones were invented, and you could take it with you wherever you would go so you could keep in touch.  You were accessible when someone was in trouble or who just needed to hear an encouraging word or wanted to share something exciting that happened.  Cell phones changed the way in which we communicate with each other forever.  News spread faster, and then there was the internet, which spread the word practically a millionth fold in a Nano second.  Faster than a speeding bullet, the word was accessible.  

How to Set Up a Podcast

There is a great company called, Podetize, who not only educates you on how to do a podcast, they also do it for you.  You can go to: https://www.podetize.com/ for more information.  The people at Podetize strive to make podcast production effortless, while maximizing the benefits your podcast brings you. Through their SEO powered blog posts your google rank will soar. They care about their podcasters and making them look and sound their best. Their automated guest communication increases your share ability and increases back links to your website. As easy as Record, Upload, Done.  

For best podcast practices, you can also subscribe to their Feed Your Brand Podcast with an array of topics to make you an expert! Podetize is always sharing their best practices there, and if they were to give exact tips, they would need to do it based on the context of the article because there are a lot of them for different aspects of podcasting.

Podetize recommends the following best podcasts to reap valuable information: 

  • Mind Mastery Manifestation with Dan Mendilow & Sophie Kessner
  • The Unshackled Owner with Aaron Scott Young
  • The Conscious PIVOT with Adam Markel
  • The New Trust Economy with Monika Proffitt and Tracy Hazzard
  • The Note Closers Show with Scott Carson
  • Promote Profit Publish with Juliet Clark

If you didn’t feel you had a message to share, you wouldn’t be thinking about doing a podcast. But since you do and your contemplating doing a podcast, there are several factors involved that we can mention here. According to Podcast Guru, Pat Flynn, a podcast educator and creator of 5 podcasts with over 11 million downloads, there are 7 things you must do:

  1. You first need to choose a topic you can commit to.
  2. You need to define your show’s description and artwork.  
  3. You need to set up and thoroughly test your equipment
  4. You need to create a plan for your episodes.  
  5. You need to record your episodes.
  6. You need to edit and publish your episodes
  7. This is all before you launch your podcast to your audience.  

Sounds simple enough, right?  You will find valuable information on everything you need to know to get started in podcasting by going to his site:    https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/tutorials/start-podcast-pats-complete-step-step-podcasting-tutorial/.  Pat has a great tutorial program called, Power-Up Podcasting, a Step-By-Step Course to Launch a Successful Podcast that Gets Found and Grows Your Online Brand.  Power Up Podcasting is a step by step course to launch a successful podcast that gets found and grows your online brand with access to a student center to support each other.  He also offers office hours with access to Pat himself to answer your questions.

Back view of young girl in casual against dark background

Conclusion

Human beings are wired for growth and expansion.  We grow through communication. We relate to each other.  We learn from each other. We cannot not learn from each other, it’s the way in which we are wired for growth.  That’s how we not only survive, but how we thrive.  It is through this giving and receiving cycle of connection where we feel a sense of meaning, joy and fulfillment.  It’s living in the deep end, expanding the quality of our life, and that’s what makes life exciting!

The value of being able to talk, be heard, and to listen to someone else, is like closing an electrical circuit that serves as a conduit to connect electricity, creating a channel of communicating, a concrete way to connect a person to a thought and a thought to a person.  It is our natural state to communicate what we desire to share and what we desire to listen to in order to learn something new.  We have seen how communication techniques have evolved over time, from the primitive days when we shouted from mountain tops to get our messages heard and pounding on drums in order to communicate with other villages.  We also lit fires using particular smoke signals to communicate particular messages, and through our modern-day technological advances, we are able to reach more people with less effort.  As they say, “We’ve come a long way baby!”

As human beings, we are also wired to talk and listen and connect to each other.  It’s our way of bonding and feeling a sense of belonging.  Through language we share our wisdom and knowledge connecting with other human beings who share similar values and interests.  This feels satisfying and fulfilling, because as human beings, we grow by learning new things, and finding new ways of looking at old thoughts.  Because, we have the ability to talk and to listen, it is up to us as to what we want to talk about and what we want to listen to.

Podcasts offer a modern-day spin on those drums of the past, sending and receiving messages that we want to say and that we want to hear.  We are not meant to be islands unto ourselves.  We are created to connect, and feel connected, even if we are not physically connected in the same room.  If we didn’t have that need, we would not have invented walkie talkies, telex machines, telegraph systems, radios, televisions, internet, satellites, or podcasts.

We know that life can often be isolating, especially for those who are single, alone, ill or house bound.  Life can also be exciting, by listening to speakers who resonate with our own values, who inspire us to be enthused about learning things easily, getting personal answers, participating and feeling that we’re in a community that shares the same topic of interest.  When we listen to a podcast, we are the audience who wants to connect with a community of other like-minded people who share the love of personal development, and enlightenment, allowing anybody and everybody to be able to sit in the comfort of their own home, listen and connect in some way. 

Remember that if you have anything that you want to talk about, even if you are cooking with your mom’s recipes, you can make a podcast about anything you feel you want to say.  Any topic of interest can be made into a podcast and it can be any length of time, whether it be 5 min, 20 or even 30 minutes and can be different every day, can open doors, you can be heard, get things off your chest and have intelligent connections with people, even getting feedback from people, growing an audience of eager listeners to the subject you want to talk about that motivates others.  

Podcasting is a highly valuable invention that, although will never replace human physical interaction, can help give answers and zone into people’s desire of the types of things audiences want to hear, whether you want to simply be entertained and laugh, finding stuff that’s humorous, or you want to find information you can never get enough of, like self-help development. No matter what, podcasts open doors to listen, sometimes to get answers, sometimes to be entertained, and always an opportunity to experience oneself through the messages.  What messages do you have to share?

It’s your life.  Enjoy the journey.  And remember to bring love into everything you do.