As a tie in to the “Why are we so Afraid to Deny Ourselves” post I wanted to give a personal example to explain the point even more.
For my full time job I travel everyday in the car for almost two hours if not more. When I first started doing this back in 2012 I used to only listen to Spotify. Well after about a month of doing that I realized it was kind of boring and repetitive. I still liked listening to music don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want to spend every day listening to just that. I figured there could be a better use of my time.
Enter in Podcasts and audiobooks. I had heard of podcasts before, but didn’t really get why you would want to listen to them. I obviously knew what an audiobook was and had listened to the Steve Jobs book on Audible before. I downloaded Pocketcasts for my phone and I instantly became hooked on podcasts. For me being in the car, it was like TV in audio format. I could listen to shows, have less ads, and speed up the podcast to listen to more (I never went crazy with this. 1.4 is the most I would do and now I listen at 1.3. Anything after that if you have not listened to it before in my opinion is too fast).
The best part about podcasts was how wide the variety was. There is almost a podcast for everything! I had about 20-25 that I subscribed to and I would listen to EVERY…SINGLE…ONE! It was extremley rare were I skipped an episode. Since you don’t really “miss” a podcast episode, even if you are behind, you can still catch up.
Over time though I really liked audiobooks and started to realize that some of the podcasts I listented to were like shorter, not as detailed versions of the same audiobooks I listened to. I also started to realize that some of the podcasts I had been listening to for years, since I never missed an episode, become predictable. I didnt feel like I was getting the same value out of them. It got to the point where I would rather listen to an audiobook or try to research a new topic, but because I wanted to catch up on my podcasts, it was taking time away from me discovering new things.
At the beginning of this year I deleted the Pocketcasts from my phone (I still have it on other devices, but now it is harder to access. Pocketcasts really is a fantastic app and I highly recommend it) and really started to cut back on the shows I was subscribed to. I am now subscribed to 10 shows and only 2 of them I regulary listen to. I had to delete the app off of my phone to change my habits. I watch/listen to a lot more Youtube now which I really enjoy because the amount of topics I can find is even more than for podcasts and in a shorter length in most cases. I am using Audible smarter now and diving deeper into books I have already read while new ones I am taking much more detailed notes.
You could look at this and say, but you loved podcasts, there was not any harm in listening to them, you could still find new podcasts to listen to or just not make yourself listen to every episode and only the ones that are interesting. Sometimes with habits you know yourself too well and to make changes you need to stop doing things that you enjoy or like to make new ones that are even better. I enjoy watching YouTube more and have learned more watching/listening to YouTube than I did listening to podcasts. I am recalling more in audiobooks than I ever have because I am re-listening to great books I read in the past, and taking voice notes for the new ones I listen to and then reviewing them.
Podcasts were easy for me to listen to, but not the best use of my time anymore. Something I did every day and still got benefit out of, I gave up to find an even better use and benefit for my time. Take a look at where you spend your time and your activities. Is what you are doing the best thing you could be? Is there something else you would rather be doing, but aren’t because of a habit or routine you have? Sometimes saying no and giving up what is just good is what we need to get to doing great things.