I don't know about you but there have been peaks and valleys in my life when it comes to personal and professional growth. Maybe you have experienced something similar. There are probably a lot of reasons for this but in this post I will talk about just one that I realized today. 

Yesterday I was on Flipboard (I love Flipboard!), and came across two different articles regarding podcasts (Top 15 Business... Must listen for Entrepreneurs... you know the type of article). I had listened to some of the podcasts on the list(s) before but I don't listen to them anymore. Why don't I listen to them anymore? I couldn't come up with a reason. 

I started to think about the time in my life when I first discovered them, it was 2013 and it was right before we moved to Massachusetts. I knew I had a long road trip ahead so I downloaded a bunch of podcasts just in case I got bored. A friend of mine had just went to a Dave Ramsey seminar and he mentioned Entreleadership, so that was where I started. I listened to every single episode I had downloaded on the trip up. I was hooked; episode after episode. It was a mix of speakers and authors and they talked about business, living your best life and leadership... all things I am interested in. It was like a personal coach talking to be about skills and topics that I was intrinsically motivated to learn more about.

During our short stent in MA I worked at the corporate headquarters for TJMaxx, TJX, in Framingham. It was about a solid hour commute one way, everyday (sometimes in snow..ugh). I used that time to listen to new podcasts or re-listen to old favorites. It was a time of tremendous growth for me. It was my first corporate job, it was in a major city with a global corporation and I was starting to learn more about business and leadership and this whole field of personal and professional development that I shunned up until this point. I discovered authors and read their books based on interviews and recommendations from the podcasts. I bet half of the books on my shelf came directly from a podcast I listened to. I started to hear the speakers and authors thoughts and ideas in my own words. It wasn't that I had memorized the information but I had taken bits and pieces and wove them together into my own ideology.

We only stayed in MA for a few months and then we came back to Florida. After the move I stopped listening to them. I swapped podcasts for Pandora. Why did I stop listening to something that was so valuable and helped me grow so much in such a short period of time? I think it was because I thought of them under the wrong context. My original reason for listening to them was to occupy my time during long commutes. That was how it started and that is how I perceived them even after the move back to Florida. I didn't have as long of a commute therefore no need for podcasts. Perfectly logical and deeply ignorant. What a valuable realization this was.

This morning, I listened to a podcast by Toni Robbins and within 5 minutes I was reminded why I used to forego the radio for podcasts (geared towards my personal and professional interests). I was reminded not that podcasts provide entertainment for long commutes but that they provide valuable content that will help me grow in life. This article isn't about podcasts; that is just my personal example of rediscovering something that used to be very impactful in my life that I got away from. 

You probably already know what works for you, you just forgot it or stopped doing it. If you think back about those peaks in your life when you all cylinders were firing and ask yourself 'what was I doing differently then?' 'who was I surrounded by?' 'what did things look like?'... and then repeat those same questions for those valleys where you were sputtering at best, you might just find something. It is almost always an act of rediscovery. When I look back over the last few years of my life, I can say, with certainty, there was a significantly higher amount of personal and professional growth when I listened to podcasts more frequently. So guess what I am going to keep doing? 

Good luck remembering what you already know.

-Nate