Tuesday, January 27

My #1 Personal Development Tool: The Art of Charm Podcast

Yes, I spend a lot of time on boats just waiting for time to go by. Why not use it to improve myself?
How many of us have had teachers who tell us to "do as they say, not as they do"?
I've had plenty of those. I've also had teachers who walked the talk. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which ones I respected more & desired to learn more from.
Actually, as I was growing up, I've known plenty of adults who were more than willing to dish out advice they do not follow themselves. Everybody does it. Not just teachers.

Now that I'm a teacher myself, I do my best to live up to all the expectations & standards I set up for my students. I ensure that I practice my reading, writing, listening & speaking regularly. More importantly, I'm also building my character & my soft skills. Stuff that's not easily measured but is easily discerned by others & especially the more-than-perceptive children in our classrooms.
Literacy skills are very important but it's not enough to give us the moral authority to lead or resilience to overcome the challenges of the world.

I have plenty of downtime when I'm travelling to & from my school on a boat, waiting in airport lounges or for flights to arrive. I spend part of it catching up with sleep, replying messages on my phone and as much as possible on personal development.

I try to spend all that time reading good books but sometimes it's not convenient to hold a book in my hands. Also, sometimes I don't have the mental energy to digest a good book after a long day at work. I hate wasting time staring into space so I've been looking for a solution. And, I think I've found a pretty good one.

I'm also learning when I'm doing mindless work like cooking.
My conscious mind is listening while my subconscious mind is cooking.
Three years ago, I bought my very first smart phone, an iPhone 5. That was when I discovered podcasts. I used the native podcast app to try out various podcasts. Initially, I listened to all of the top podcasts which interested me: BFM, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Economist, Stuff You Should Know, Freakonomics, The Art of Manliness, & Sex With Emily.

Listening to everything wasn't the best use of my time because my listening time was finite & not everything that they were talking about was useful. Over time, I trimmed my subscription list & stuck to those which gave me exactly what I needed to succeed not only as a teacher but as a leader & a wholesome human being.
Now, I'm down to two: The Art of Charm & TEDTalks (video).

There's no need for me to introduce you to TED Talks so I won't.
I want to introduce you to something even better. The Art of Charm podcast will share with you the tools & mindsets you'll need to make yourself the best man that you can be. No gimmicks. It's all about authenticity, big ideas & altering bad habits.
The podcast also interviews guests who talk about dating, finance, career, entrepreneurship, life-hacks, health, etc.
This podcast is the reason I've stopped listening to music. Learning & progressing is more addictive than anything recorded music can induce.

You might want to check out their toolbox for essentials on both professional and romantic people skills or listen to some of their best interviews. I've listened to everything & the following are some of my favourites. Take a few minutes off your commute to listen to these. I guarantee you won't regret it.

  • Harville Hendrix | Getting The Love You Want (Episode 362)
  • Steve Sisler | How to Read People (Episode 350)
  • Oren Klaff | How to Pitch Anything (Episode 347)
  • Ben Whately | Learning Languages with Memrise (Episode 343)
  • Alex Kouts | The Art of Negotiating (Episode 326)


  • p/s: If you're wondering about the headphones, it's a Sony MDR-XB950BT Bluetooth Headset I got recently which has thick comfortable padding, a super long lasting battery & produces great sound.

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