How listening to motivational podcasts completely changed my life

A brand new me

A very good friend of mine complained yesterday about me always talking about podcasts when someone tells me about a difficult situation they are going through. She said “You are always like: someone posted an episode on their podcast about that, I think you should listen!”. And what she said is true.

A year ago I was beyond depressed, living my whole life between my bed and the kitchen, thinking I was a failure… To cut it short, I was not happy at all and each day was an ordeal. I erased that quite long episode of my life from my memory, but from what I can (still) remember, it all started with Ted Talks, then I discovered 4 podcasts I am still religiously listening to a year after : My Taught You by Myleik Teele, Get Busy Living by Benny Hsu, The Overwhelmed Brain by Paul Colaianni and The Epic Life by Jim Simcoe. In that order.

The first thing I did was to look for an internship. Because I learned that to change my depressing life, I had to do exactly what I wanted to do. I was 29, with a master’s degree in translation. I was doing great but I started hating my job because I felt that there was nothing more to learn. It felt so… static. So I decided to start all over again, being an intern in a think tank. I stopped earning good money, but I was doing something I knew I would love, discovering a domain I didn’t know anything about. And the experience is amazing. I am still a translator (and will always be), but I found in my other job something that revealed a part of me I never knew. Will get back to that later.

I stopped complaining. It was something I really enjoyed. To complain. I was complaining about everything. My sh**ty life, how other people were doing great, how miserable I was, how there was no hope for me to live a happy life, and so on and so forth. I surrounded myself with people just like me, and we were complaining all day everyday. I completely stopped complaining and started looking for actionable solutions for each “problem” I had in my life. Today I can say it out loud: nothing is a problem to me. Absolutely nothing. The only thing to do is to see things from different angles.

I started making things happen in my own life. The motivational speakers I told you about are all saying the same thing: don’t wait for people to change things, be the change. At my new job I discovered the importance of citizen’s participation. I was asking myself what could be done to sensitize people on that issue, so I did what I never thought I would be able to do in my life. I opened a blog and started writing about it (Elle Citoyenne). Today I am part of one of the most powerful networks of activists in Africa.

I stopped wasting my time with people. This may sound harsh but I cut off people who were not lifting me up or contributing to my elevation. I learned that knowledge is power. I don’t hang out with people who do not teach me anything anymore. That was then. The complaining and depressed entity I was. Today I need good vibes, useful vibes, powerful vibes. I need people who make me feel ignorant because they know and experienced so many things.

I started taking care of myself to physically be how I wanted to be, and I stopped living cheap. I am a woman, so all the women out there know how real the struggle is.

I stopped being ashamed of myself, of my mistakes, and my failures. Because I learned that failing means I am at least trying. And failing means I learned what not to do next. I don’t care anymore about what people may think or say, because shame only comes from what we think people may think of us.

I am proud of myself, of what I am achieving and I say it out loud. It made me realize who really wants to be around me and who doesn’t. How? People who were there to feed on your misery will never stay around when you start doing well. You are not an entertainment to them anymore so they leave. Just try it. For a whole month, every time people ask you how you are, say “I am doing so great” with the biggest smile ever, and start talking about how much God is blessing you with this and that, and you will see. Many people will stop answering your calls and messages.

It is all about choices, motivation and discipline. Nothing more, nothing less. Decide what you want to do and who you want to be, let this motivate you, and work more than hard to achieve your goals. I know that to succeed I have to work and work and work and work. You know you are on the right path when sleeping and partying feel like you are losing your time instead of reading a good book to learn from it or doing some work.

I can talk about what I learned from motivational podcasts for a whole year with no interruption, so let’s stop here. All I am going to add is this: motivational podcasts changed my life because they made me realize I can do and be anything I want to in this life. Absolutely nothing is impossible.