Biggest life lessons and inspiration from my favorite podcasts

This list is the result of six years of loving to listen to interview podcasts.

I keep this list in my note-taking app. I still go through this list looking for inspiration and information. Yes, this list is very long. I've been writing it since 2016. I just scribble down the topic of that bit of the podcast conversation that I liked. So, I – and now you, too – can look for a topic of interest and check out that bit right away.

There are so many episodes of the Tim Ferriss Show on the list because it’s always been my favorite podcast. It’s actually the podcast that made me fall in love with podcasts in general back in spring 2016.

Why I like the Tim Ferriss Show so much?

  1. He offers tools & thought exercises to identify and overcome limited thinking.
  2. He and his guests talk in detail about routines and tactics that everybody can implement right away.

The Tim Ferriss Show

  • Rick Rubin, music producer for AC/DC, Johnny Cash, Metallica & more
    At 16:00 on how a low-carb diet changed his life.
  • Brené Brown, psychologist, professor
    At 16:00 on vulnerability and shame.
  • Stephen Dubner, author, journalist, radio and TV host
    At 39:00 on having a mentor who is there for you, learn from good and bad writing.
  • Alain de Botton, author, philosopher
    At 25:00 about Proust and what you can learn from him.
  • “Becoming the best version of you”, with Josh Waitzkin, Ramith Sethi & Adam Robinson
    At 83:00 on excellence as self-expression and finding your own path.
  • Jack Kornfield (#414), teacher of Buddhism and meditation
    At 1:32:00 about trauma
  • Jack Kornfield (#300)
    At 1:28:00 about loving kindness meditation
  • Tim Ferriss, on his healing journey after childhood abuse
    One of my favorite podcast episodes ever. It’s a gift how eloquent and open Tim talks about such a difficult and personal topic.
  • BJ Miller, palliative care physician
    At 20:00 on learning from death, at 46:00 on the idea of art.
  • Eric Weinstein, Harvard math PhD, Managing Director of Thiel Capital
    At 44:00 about spotting and cultivating high agency, at 57:00 on breakthrough ideas in science and other areas, at 75:00 on how good science is aesthetics.
  • Debbie Millman, designer and podcast host
    At 26:00 on rejection and finding work you love, at 1:33:00 on her writing exercise “the 10-year-plan essay”. The whole interview is absolutely worth listening to. Tim himself said it’s one of the most important interviews of his podcast.
  • Soman Chainani, filmmaker and author
    At 1:47:00, don’t follow your passion and musings on life and death.
  • Seth Godin, author, marketing expert
    At 27:00 on life/career transitions.
  • John Crowley, CEO of biological company Amicus Therapeutics
    At 14:00 on how well you deal with problems correlates to how well you do in life, at 1:28:00 about the importance of time in life.
  • Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, founder of Sirius XM
    At 15:33 on starting a biotechnology company to save the life of her daughter.
  • Dr. Zimbardo, psychologists, professor emeritus at Stanford University
    At 48:00 on balanced time perception.
  • Murray Carter, Canadian craftsman, bladesmith
    At 37:00 on learning 4 years of academic japanese in 12 months.
  • Tim Ferriss: ‘what I learned in 2016’
    At 23:00, How will this purchase affect how I use my time?
  • Noah Kagan, employee #30 at Facebook, founder of SumoMe
    At 50:00 on copywriting.
  • Maria Sharapova, pro tennis player, one of the few women to win all Grand Slams
    At 26:00 on being good at a young age.
  • Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates
    The whole episode but especially: at 14:00 on mistakes that are avoidable, at 16:00 on recognizing patterns in history and learning from them, at 25:00 on Transcendental Meditation.
  • Whitney Cummings, actor, author, comedian, producer
    At 37:00 on viewing failure as practice, you fail your way to success.
  • Eric Ripert, world famous chef
    At 37:00 on meditation generally and specifically on a visualization technique to cope with anger: “a dark cloud in front of my head and I have a laser to shoot it”.
  • Terry Laughlin: Tim’s episode intro
    about 1) pursuing dreams and not putting them off and 2) about doing what was/is perceived as impossible is very inspiring.
  • Esther Perel, psychologist, relationship coach
    At 34:00 what is essential for a long relationship; at 54:22 on advice for a couple looking to explore beyond the boundaries of monogamy; at 59:23 on how she helps people accept themselves?
  • Terry Crews, actor, author, artist
    At 44:00 on how “The Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel helped guide the course of Terry’s life. Terry is a master storyteller and entertainer. The whole episode is great. Terry’s energy and his passion for life are contagious. Also check out the video of the interview here.
  • Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder & CEO of dating app Bumble
    At 43:00 on spirituality, instinct/gut feeling: learn to seperate anxiety from your instinct and really listen to your instinct.
  • Patrick Collison, CEO & co-founder of tech company Stripe
    At 1:58:00 on decision making, imagine what other (smart, successful etc.) people would do, do a approx. good decision that might turn out to be bad and then, if required, correct course along the way.
  • Gabor Mate, doctor specialized in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology
    Really the whole episode is worth a listen. It’s about deep psychological introspection, identifying negative behaviour and self-talk in your life, about curing the root cause of mental health issues (working with the so-called inner child that we all carry within us). They talk about a book that I think every person in the universe should read: The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.
  • Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram
    At 29:00 on failing fast and pivoting as most important success factor for startups
  • Chip Conley, founder, hotelier
    1:20:00 the question “What’s your soulful differentiator?” to gain focus of identity in business
  • Safi Bahcall, American physicist, technologist, business executive
    00:06:30 on hypnosis, why it’s helpful and as technique for concentration and getting to sleep; 00:43:00 on depression as biochemical imbalance, you can’t just make depressed people look on the bright side
  • Tristan Harris, computer scientist, founder
    at 16:00 how does Tristan identify the invisible constraints in his own life? at 31:00 on neuro-linguistic programming and how you map your own reality

What do I like about those other podcasts listed below?

  1. They are all authentic. By authentic I mean unpolished, not rehearsed, without script.
  2. They are all long-form interviews that give you the possibility to kind of spend some time with the guests and get to know them.