How Traffic Can Help you Learn
Your alarm goes off.
Even though you don’t have to be at work for another two hours, you need to prepare for the horror that is traffic.
Everything seems to move slowly, except for how fast you drink your coffee on the way to the car (trying not to have a tragic spill on your dress shirt). The engine starts with the push of a button, and you’re off.
The local streets seem to take forever as you catch mostly red lights. You finally get to the freeway to find that it’s actually more of a parking lot with it’s lack of movement. You notice the radio playing commercials, so you change the channel until you find music. You change it again because you don’t like the song, only to find more commercials.
With a frustrated poke of the finger, you shut the whole radio off. Silence. You’re going 5 miles per hour. You are miserable. The coffee hasn’t kicked in. Is it Friday yet?
Welcome to my morning commute…before I had a traffic education revelation!
You can look at traffic in one of two ways. On one hand, it sucks. On the other, it’s a great chance to get educated.
Ever since I discovered Audible.com (owned by Amazon), and the easy accessibility of audiobooks while I’m driving, traffic doesn’t seem that bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I like some Ryan’s Roses in the morning, a little Kevin and Bean to make me laugh, a bit of Frank and Heidi for some crass humor, and Hilton Perez for the top celebrity gossip. But for the most part, I have been using my morning commute to listen to a long list of books that I have wanted to read.
Think about it… how many good books have you heard your mentors tell you that you need to read? How many books have you bought that just sit on the shelf making you feel guilty?
The great thing about audio books: not only can you listen to them in my car or at the gym, but you can also listen to them at different reading speeds (I like 1.25 or 1.5 times normal speed). When things get interesting, you can slow down and really concentrate. When things get less interesting, you can speed things up and buzz by the lame parts.There is also an awesome bookmarking feature that allows you to tag the good spots for quick reference later.
Each month of membership costs less than $15, which includes one book credit that will buy any priced book on the site. I will oftentimes buy extra credits, which means more books, especially when I drive to LA, which has more than its fair share of traffic. I find that listening to books while driving in traffic is an amazing use of time. By the time I arrive at my destination, I feel more confident, more educated, and more excited about the challenges I face as an entrepreneur. Often times the advice I hear or lessons I learn can be applied that day!
I’ve decided that I will make mini book reviews as I finish books to give my input on whether a book is worth your time or not. But to start off, I’d like to give the top three books that I’ve listened to recently that I believe you will love:
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss – This has to be one of my favorite books, and it is a MUST read for every entrepreneur. Author, Timothy Ferriss has so many great life and business hacks it is incredible. And he has such a fun, blunt, and engaging way of telling real life stories. You will want to stay in the slow lane when you listen to this one!
The Happiness Hypothesis: by Jonathan Haidt – This was referred to me by Isaac Saldana of sendgrid.com. Isaac is an inspiring entrepreneur who is driven by his passion for people being happy in the workplace. He values culture more than most CEOs and his vision has helped him create one of the fastest growing companies out there right now. I was very happy to listen to this one, and would suggest it to anyone interested in learning how the human brain works (it is like someone riding an elephant!). It will really change your perception, and make you realize how much control you have over your happiness in life and business!
How to Win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Suggested to me by my friend Steve Andrews from Platinum Bay Technologies, this by far is one of the most empowering books ever, seriously. I went for the original unabridged version from the 1930’s and it is crazy how relevant it still is. This book will give you fundamental tips that will change your life. My favorite tip from Mr. Carnegie: smile more!
Now what? In just a few minutes you can create a free account at Audible and get your first credit free (use the promo code Pandora, it usually works). Or if you don’t like Audible, find some other audio book service. If you don’t know what to listen to first, start with the short list above.
Tomorrow morning, before you endure another commute from hell, download your first book, plug in your phone, and start listening your way to success.
It’s a great use of time, and there is a lot of value in being well-read, especially with such large amounts of amazing information right at your ear buds.
Also, if you have any must reads, please share in the comments!