MYST 83 Trevitorial: Educated or Experienced?

Where was I? Did I abandon you?

In my last show, I promised that you’d get another episode in the following week, and that while you were listening to it, I’d be in the hospital recovering from my bilateral total knee replacements.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. And the reason it didn’t work are actually a good lesson that I needed to learn. Maybe you will be able to learn from it, too.

This episode will be about my surgery, and I will go into a fair amount of detail, partly to explain why I was absent, and partly to remind myself of exactly what I went through.

In my room, immediately after surgery.
In my room, immediately after surgery.

I made a mistake. Yes, I know. Shocker, but I’m not perfect.

See, I’m a registered nurse with 19 years of experience. I teach at a local college, and I have groups of clinical students at a local hospital every semester. Knee replacements are a common procedure that we see. Consequently, I am familiar with their treatment course. I have been unofficially working with a physical therapist who gave me a number of exercises to speed my progress and I actually did practice those prior to surgery.

I’m also a guy, and as such, I can be blinded by my ego and assumptions. I know how all those patients do after their knee surgeries, and since I am only 51 and in generally good health, not only will I naturally recover faster, but my knowledge of what to expect will give me an added edge. That will allow me to quickly advance through the inpatient recovery period with maximum functionality. I’ll probably be the one patient who is ambulating up and down the halls all day, just exercising my legs and preparing for discharge. And I know how to stay on top of the pain, yet not use too much pain medicine that could fog my brain a little.

Um. Do you have the sense of some foreshadowing in that paragraph? Do you see possibly where my plans might fall apart?

It all started before the surgery, which was Wednesday, May 20 at 7:15am. In anticipation of my convalescence period, I spent the preceding weeks doing as many household tasks as possible, because I knew that I would be very limited for a few weeks. And as the surgery approached, I realized that I didn’t have time to record an episode for Thursday, May 21. With everything I needed to accomplish, I needed to complete items that had a higher priority than the MYST episode. (As much as I need all of you, and appreciate your listenership, I live with my wife and her needs must be met first.)

But that’s okay. I had a plan, and I thought it a pretty good one indeed! My surgery was early in the morning on Wednesday. I knew that I wouldn’t be doing any physical therapy that first day, so my only activity will be resting and keeping up with pain control. I’d be out of surgery by noon, and in my room by 1pm. A few hours napping off the anesthetic, and then I’d be relatively awake and alert. As evening rolled around, my wife would go home (she had to teach the next day) so I’d be alone in my room. A room with wifi. And so in addition to my computer, I also brought my portable microphone, because I was going to record a show “on the road”! Yes, I would record a show from my hospital bed, and get it loaded and ready to publish for all my awesome listeners.

Plan #1: Record on the night of surgery for an interesting point of view. Dead on Arrival.

About the only part of that plan to be accurate was “my wife would go home”. I was never fully awake and alert. I think I have good pain control. I know I was getting pills every 4 hours, and occasional IV morphine (probably relates to me not being awake and alert.)

But I had other issues that night.

For surgery, I chose to have a spinal block. That is where the anesthesiologist injects the anesthetic into my spinal canal, and that deadens everything from about the navel down to the toes. I chose that because it actually provides about 2-6 hours of relief after the surgery, allowing he long acting anesthetic that my surgeon injects into my knees to begin working. I also wanted to avoid a general anesthesia (breathing tube, gas) because there is more nausea and vomiting from that, and that just isn’t fun.

So I went into the surgical suite and the doc injected my spine and I laid down waiting for it to work. Eventually, everything went numb, much like when the dentist numbs your teeth before drilling. You know, he/she will inject some novacaine in just the right spots so you feel almost nothing, just those little bits of pain once in a while. Right?

The surgeon start checking my body parts. I couldn’t feel anything. So he started the first incision. And I can tell you that he begins the incision above my right knee moving down, because I felt that! The anesthesiologist said, “Whoa, we don’t allow you to feel anything!” and he knocked me out hard.

So late that afternoon, I am trying to work off both anesthetics. Very slowly. I wasn’t clear of the after-effect, but I was certainly losing the numbing effects. I got a thirsty (I love ice chips.) Got a little hungry (mmm, orange jello.) Oh, yippee! Passing gas! These are all signs that everything is waking up. And at this point, I was still thinking “Maybe I can still record tonight.” I even stood at the bedside, for about a minute before I almost fainted.

Except one organ refused to wake from its slumber. I won’t go into too many details, but after surgery, a patient needs to prove that they have good kidney function. And they have 8 hours to meet that challenge.

And I failed. And I begged for a one hour extension and was granted it. I pounded water like it was a forbidden food.

And I still failed. And so, I experienced another lesson: straight cath. Yes, where the catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain it. Now, over my 19 years, I’ve done this many times, and each time I told the patient, that this will be uncomfortable but over quickly.

Oh. My. God. What a lie!!!!

I have never had such pain in my life! Now, the good thing is once it reaches the bladder, the pain is instantly gone. Until it is removed. But I will never gain use the words “little uncomfortable” again. Never!

And of course, the eight hour time limit starts all over.  Kept chugging water, and discovered that when you need to use the bathroom, a call light is never answered fast enough. However, my urinal was in reach and, well, let’s just say, I passed that test with flying colors.

By now it is nearing midnight. And I realize that there is no way on earth I was recording anything tonight. I decided to take that off my to-do list and replace it with one thought: “Survive until morning.”

Wednesday arrived and I was feeling pretty good. I had received meds every four hours, and that was working. The lab tech came in and drew some blood. I ate breakfast. Hmm. Maybe I can record today. It will be a day late, but still…

And then physical therapy showed up. And after a few exercises, I was wringing from sweat and fell asleep. Missed my scheduled pain pills. Lunch, with a few walks to the bathroom, and another PT session. More almost uncontrolled slumber. Dinner. Got pain pills, forgot to ask for the IV anti-inflammatory. Walked in the hall after supper, about 200 feet. Felt good, like I accomplished something.

Fell asleep. Until 1am. And the realization that I hadn’t received two doses of the anti-inflammatory (which is only given if I request it) and one missed pain pill schedule put me way behind the pain curve. I was in horrible pain. More pills, IV anti-inflammatory medication, and IV morphine finally brought it under control. Big lesson: take charge of yourself. If you don’t speak up and ask for something, no one will know you need it.

But that pretty much set the tone for the remaining days in the hospital. PT, pain pills, sleep. Over and over. I don’t remember big chunks of my time there. I do remember the times the pain was bad. But mostly, I was always tired.

And there was a good reason for that feeling of tiredness. I donate platelets through the American Red Cross. And for each donation, they always check my hemoglobin level, or the amount of oxygen-carrying iron in my red blood cells. I am always on the high end of normal 15-16g. I found out later on Thursday that when my CBC was checked, my hemoglobin was 9.9! That is way anemic! Now, it was to be expected after having two knees replaced but that explained why I was so exhausted while in the hospital and continue to this day. I’m doing what I can to help it. I am taking iron pills, and eating meals of liver (good thing I like liver) but it will still take a while for my body to replace all those red blood cells. So my profound tiredness will continue for a while.

Plan #2: Record as soon as I get home, because I’ll get back to normal quickly.

Well, that plan was doomed to failure for a few reasons. First, I really had a hard time getting a good level of pain control. It’s hard to focus on anything—creative or passive—when everything hurts. Not the sharp, stabbing pain of the initial incision or catheter placement, but the dull, deep throbbing ache that never went away. I would move from icing my knees, to elevating my legs to reduce the swelling (which was considerable), to gentle walking, to trying to sleep, to taking maximum amounts of pain pills, trying to find a pattern that would give some relief.

And I was still exhausted. Getting cleaned up, dressed and walking to the living room was tiring. When physical therapy started, I was a dripping puddle of sweat, looking for a place to sleep.

And I could not think of anything to talk about. I had no motivational spark inside me.  I thought it was gone. It was like when they opened my knees, something more than blood leaked out. I was just here. I couldn’t imagine beyond myself.

Oh, speaking of blood leaking out, a couple days after leaving the hospital, my legs started to display incredible bruises. From hip to ankle, inside and out, I as bruised. Big, ugly red-black bruises. (Ah, that explains some of my low hemoglobin!) If you go to the show notes at you will see some of the pictures. The bruises didn’t hurt, but they were scary-looking!

This was 1 weeks after surgery
This was 1 weeks after surgery
Even my ankles were bruised
Even my ankles were bruised
My first post-op check. I really wanted to peel that off!
My first post-op check. I really wanted to peel that off!

I wrote this script on Wednesday, June 10, exactly 21 days since surgery. That was the first day where I feel as though I can concentrate on something like this. And I still don’t know what to write about, but maybe this will be entertaining and informative enough for you.

This entire experience has been a major growth opportunity. While I really wish that I had never needed the surgery, part of me is glad because now I have a better understanding of my patients, and how they feel about things that seem so minor—to the nurses—but to the patient are very important.

An example was in my first room on the fourth floor, I had an over-bed table and a night stand. And I kept my computer on the nightstand, and other items like my water, and some snacks, on the over-bed table. Both tables were within easy reach. (I wasn’t able to record on my computer, but I was alert enough to put in a movie and watch it, at least for a little while until I fell asleep.) One night, the nurse was “organizing” and she move the nightstand out of my reach. Well, in addition to my computer, that is also where I kept my glasses and my phone and when I woke up in the middle of the night, nothing was where it was supposed to be. It was frustrating. And all because the nurse wanted the room more “organized.” This will help teach my students that patients have such little control over their situation, making arbitrary changes to their room is a bad thing.

On day three, I was moved to the eighth floor, because they were closing the fourth floor due to low census. Okay, that was fine. Except the staff forgot my shaving kit. And they forgot to bring my elevated toilet seat (such a wonderful invention!) I actually had to ask three different people before finally someone brought it up for me. Frustrating. Also on the eighth floor, I had an arrangement with my nurses that I wanted my pain pills every four hours, and they were to wake me if I was sleeping (which I never was—I generally only slept two to three hours at a time while in the hospital.) So, that Friday night, they were due at 9pm.  A half hour or so early, I called the nurse, reminding her that my pain was climbing and that I wanted them as scheduled. She agreed and said she would be in my room at 9pm. Except that when she finally arrived, it turned out to be 9:30. “Oh, I got tied up with another nurse, and it slipped my mind.” Pain control is important. And when you commit to providing a service—pain pills, or anything else—you need to honor that commitment. She didn’t. That bothered me.

So what have I learned?

Even when a person is educated—maybe especially when—that is not the same as experienced.

Education can act as a hindrance to positive performance.

Making plans off of assumptions based on education and not experience is a very bad idea.

And when you make a promise, no one really cares what the excuse is when you don’t meet your obligation.

How does this apply to you?

Let’s say you want to start your own podcast. And you decide to use my mentor’s course (Meron Bareket’s Podcast Starter Kit.) You sign up, watch all the videos, do all the prep work, and everything is running smoothly. You are now educated in podcasting.

But you won’t know what podcasting really is until you record your first shows, submit to iTunes and start getting reviews. That is when you start becoming experienced. (And that form of education never ends.)

As of today, June 12, 2015, things are looking good.
As of today, June 12, 2015, things are looking good. Yes, those are eight inch (20cm) incisions

Some links (but not all) within these show notes may be Affiliate Links, meaning that I may receive a small commission when readers click on them and then purchase something. This does not increase your cost at all, but it does help me cover some of the cost associated with this podcast. Thanks!

Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voiceover work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 82 Trevitorial: How to Fail Faster and Easier

Six Essential Techniques to Guarantee Failure at Anything You Attempt!

Success? Sure, we all want success. Or at least we think we do. But so many people seem afraid of success that they self-sabotage their plans, which inevitably brings about the failure that so consumed their lives with worry.

If you are going to worry about failing, and think only how bad it will feel to not achieve your goals, I guess we need to make sure that you are able to achieve your absolute and abject failure as quickly and painlessly as possible. That way you will have more time to worry about your next doomed plan.

I’ll steal from David Letterman, counting backward from the least likely to bring catastrophic failure to the one that is sure to end your plans, but unlike Mr. Letterman, I was able to refine my list to the top six essential techniques.

Number 6 Set a Goal which is Too Aggressive or Based on Fantasy

People who embark on a weight loss journey often want to reach their goal as fast as possible, so they vow to eat only 500 calories a day until they lose their 150 pounds. Or they announce “I will only eat foods that begin with the letter X Y or Z.” Or “I will only eat food that is orange.” That will not work. Trying to lose that aggressively will give you rapid losses—for a few days—and then your feelings of starvation will creep up and urge you to “have just one piece of bread” and soon all your previously controlled dietary needs will crash upon you and you will regain everything that you lost, and then a few more pounds. And you will say to yourself: “See? I know it wouldn’t work.”

Maybe you have a physical goal: I will walk the Appalachian Trail, but I will be the first person to walk the entire 2160 miles backwards so that I can become famous! You’ll be famous. In your own mind, because before you get to the first camp shelter you will have fallen, hit your head on a rock and hopefully knocked some sense into you.  Or your Appalachian Trail goal could be a little more realistic: Hike the entire length but setting a new speed record (hiking it in less than 46 ½ days. Is that doable? Maybe. But I’ll explain more in…

Number 5 Skip the Legwork

So you want to hike the AT fast? If you don’t practice, hiking in all conditions, in all terrains, and have huge mental, physical and emotional stamina, you won’t succeed. You will burn out and fail. And you will realize that everyone who said “It can’t be done” was right all along.

Legwork is all the preparation needed for any endeavor. If you want to start a podcast, you should listen to many different shows for examples of what works and what doesn’t. Then find someone to help you learn the secrets. (Meron Bareket was my teacher with his Podcast Starter Kit.) Can you do it on whim, and completely alone. Yes, certainly. And iTunes has hundreds or thousands of shows where the creator made a couple shows and then quit. They worked themselves into failure.

If you want to lose weight, you actually need literal leg work—get off your butt and move! You can count all the calories you want, and eat all the gluten-free, GMO-free, fat-free food you want, but if you are not burning more calories than you eat—because you are moving more than you used to move—you will do nothing but fail at weight loss.

If your goal is to become CEO of your company and you currently work in the mail room, you need a plan on how to move up. It won’t just happen because you carry the mail to someone in a corner office. You can read all the self-help books you can find, you can combine The Secret with Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People, but if you don’t actually implement any of those strategies, you might as well have simply continued to read your Spiderman comic books. (Maybe a magic spider will bite you and transform you!)

No, without a plan followed by action, you will certainly succeed in finding fast failure. This is very similar to…

Number 4 No Skin in the Game

Part of planning and preparing usually requires a buy-in. A commitment. You may need to take some classes to learn needed skills, which is a commitment of time and effort. And you still have no guarantee of succeeding even if you graduate at the top of your class!

If you want to create podcast, you will need some basic tools and while some are free, some have one time or recurring fees. A website host may want payment for twelve or more months up front. And you still need to build a website. Can you do that on your own? Maybe, if you have the skill to create a good website. But you may need to hire someone to do it for you.

Maybe your goal is to fund your retirement by winning the lottery. You need to buy the ticket first, and you know that almost certainly, you will not win. That money will be gone. Forever.

But you need to have emotional skin in the game, too. You need to be mentally ready for the project, and be prepared for the inevitable assault of negative thinking from friends, relatives, coworkers and yourself. When you make a commitment, you need to tell people about it so that you have some external accountability. And that can be risky and intimidating. I mean, what if you fail? Then that person, or those people, will know that you failed. That will crush you, right?

But you know the old saying “No pain, no gain?” It’s true. Having skin in the game increases your chances of success, but also shows you exactly how much you have to lose when that failure happens.  And when will that failure happen?

Number 3 Never Set a Deadline

This is a really powerful idea. You should give it a try.

Create a goal. Make some plans. But very carefully never commit yourself to a deadline. See, when you do that, you avoid absolute and definitive failure because you can always tell your accountability partners that you are “working on it.” And as long as you are still working on it, there is still a chance—however slim—that you will finish as planned.

Deadlines increase the pressure for you. That pressure can be destructive. We are all trying to have a less complicated life, trying to reduce our stress. Why purposely add self-imposed stress in the form of an artificial deadline? It seems to be counter-productive because we all know that focus and creativity stem from an inner calm, right?

And besides, if the project is based on your idea and goals, it should not matter if you reach your goal in a week or a year or a decade. It is all under your control. When you reach the finish line should not matter. Finishing is more important than meeting an artificial deadline, so why worry about it? It will happen when it happens.

Of course, the much greater likelihood is that without the stress that is induced by a deadline, you will stop working on your project and will never achieve the desired outcome. But that’s okay, with this technique you can still have a crushing defeat and still save face. You are “working on it.” But you could also…

Number 2 Let Someone Else Define Your Success

This is when you let someone—anyone—tell you what success looks like. Maybe you let magazines tell you what success should look like. You compare your body shape to that of the models in those magazines on sale at the grocery store checkouts (because we all know those photos are never photoshopped.) See? Now you know exactly how you must look to be successful in weight loss. Or you can go to your local gym and compare your outrageously absent washboard abs with that guy working on those free weights. You know, that guy who looks like he could bench press your car? Yes. He is showing you what you need to do to be successful.

When you sign up for a marathon, you can research to find the record times posted in the past. You can see who is running in the elite pack. You know that they will set the definition of success. And not only set it, but set it with an objective measurement: time!

If you are starting a blog or podcast, site visits and downloads are the measurement of success. Make sure you know who the leaders in your niche are, and how many people are on their email list and of course, make sure you know their monthly income. Those are objective data points that will help you know when you are successful, because if they can do it, everyone can, right?

When you let other people define your success, you are making it easy to move down the path to failure. So grab those magazines! Look at those models! And get working (but don’t set a deadline).

Or you could…

Number 1 Don’t Even Start

This is by far the easiest technique to guarantee not reaching your life’s goals, and making your dreams into your reality. It is the easiest and most efficient step to take to making your life so much simpler.

Just ignore your dreams. Live the life you have. It is easier. Safer. You will not lose anything. There is no risk. You will not lose face in front of family and friends. You will not miss any deadlines.

If you do not try, you cannot lose! It is the perfect “no lose” situation, and if you really want to make your life simpler and less stressful, just keep everything the way it is. Make “Living the Status Quo Life” your life’s motto.

You can achieve total failure before you even start. Now THAT is being efficient!

There we have it. My six essential techniques that you can immediately use, in every part of your life, to help you maximize the speed of your failure, thus giving you more time to try something else.


Of course, if you want to avoid failure, simply do the opposite!


Some links (but not all) within these show notes may be Affiliate Links, meaning that I may receive a small commission when readers click on them and then purchase something. This does not increase your cost at all, but it does help me cover some of the cost associated with this podcast. Thanks!

Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voiceover work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 81 Trevitorial: Starting Over

Starting over. When we were kids, we’d call it a “do-over”. Golfers sometimes use the phrase “a mulligan.” In any case, they amount to the same thing: what came before does not count. What happens next is all that matters.

Putt   Photo by via

How many times do we truly start over? Oh, if you are trying to lose weight, it is common to succeed for a while, then regain all that weight and begin losing weight again. Or if you are creating a project, you might decide in the middle that everything is wrong and start a new project. Those are types of “do-overs.”

But when was the last time you made a major change to your life?

I bring this up because I my wife and I decided it was time to make a change. To start over. And we can’t wait! And maybe this will help you decide it is time to change, too.

Let me give you the backstory. We’ve been married for over 29 years, and will celebrate our 30th anniversary this September. We’ve only ever lived in Wisconsin for our entire marriage (and that won’t change) but have lived in four different—and very distinct—towns, with a total of nine different addresses. We’ve lived in Green Bay for most of our marriage, since 1991. We started renting a single bedroom apartment, then a 2 bedroom duplex. We bought our first home in 1993, our second in 2001, and our current home in 2006. Each home was bigger than the last. Our current home has 2700 feet of living area, plus 750 ft of storage space in the basement, plus a three and a half car garage for storage.

And for each home, we gathered more “things”. Holiday decorations. Furniture. Tools. Appliances. Books. Household do-dads and widgets. That basement storage area of about 750 sq ft (about 70 sq meters) and it is full, floor to ceiling with “stuff”. Oh, it is very well-organized, in labeled boxes, but it is full.

As is the rented storage unit (300 sq ft, or 28 sq m). Our garage is full of furniture and equipment filling one and half stalls. Just writing that makes me queasy with all that. My life is full of “stuff”. That isn’t an accomplishment, it is more of a sign of a cluttered mind.

That is the backstory.

The rest of the story is that my wife and I want to move. We want to find “the perfect home”, and we realize that may mean building it. And it may mean buying a new home before we can sell our current home (which can be expensive if the home doesn’t sell) because the type of home we want is popular and tend to sell fast!

We’ve been looking at homes. So far, none have been satisfactory.

Last night, we did something different. We looked at an apartment. It is a one bedroom place, with a small den. It has 1000 sq ft (93sq m), no basement, and only a single stall garage (plus outdoor parking.)

It is small, but very nicely designed. It is part of a large complex of buildings, with over 200 apartments in total.

And we loved it.

We have already completed our applications, and are hoping for an August 1 move in date.

That is scary!

We are going to pare our lives down to a basic level, a level that we have not experienced since our first apartment in 1985 after we married.

We need to sell—or give away—lots of stuff. And to be honest, writing that gives me a feeling of apprehension combined with a giddy sense of freedom!

We are going to truly downsize! That means giving up many activities that were time-consuming, but not all were bad. I will not need to mow or fertilize the lawn, but those were actually relaxing activities. No vegetable gardens, other than what I can grow in containers. No more shoveling the snow, or running my brand new snow blower, purchased last December and used for a total of five snowfalls last winter. That will be nice! But it also means giving up a large part of my home brewing hobby. I will not be able to bring my four keg kegerator, and since I don’t like bottling beer, I might just quit brewing beer.

We are going to reduce our belongings down to a bedroom set, a few pieces in the living room, a small dining room set and a desk in the den for school work and this podcast. The den will also become the library for all of our books.

We will need to keep our storage locker, because it contains many vintage items that are destined to fill our “perfect home”, but in the new apartment, it will be sparse—in comparison to our current home.

What is the purpose of this story?

My wife and I have almost 30 years’ worth of belongings. We have 30 years of life habits, collecting, buying, showing and storing things. And we are selling or giving almost all of it away. We are going back to the way we lived as newlyweds. Just the two of us, in our apartment (but now we have Ozzy our pug.)

Ozzy, our Pug
Ozzy, our Pug

But more than the physical act of purging belongings, this is a mental paradigm shift and THAT is what I want you to take from this. We are looking at life completely differently. We are changing our definition of satisfaction. We are taking strong and definite steps to reduce items and workload from our lives. Instead of spending hours every week simply doing routine cleaning, and many more hours doing simple yard work, we will have that time together to work toward our future.

When was the last time you changed your entire life’s viewpoint?

When was the last time you decided to change your life in a way that others can see?

I know my friends Meron Bareket and Julie Sheranosher did exactly that a few years ago. (I featured their stories when I interviewed them in episode three and fourteen. (You can find those episodes at MYST/Meron and MYST/Julie.) They moved to a different country, while are merely moving across town, but the concept is the same. Strip down to what you need. Just that. And then find out what you can do with all the extra physical and mental space you find.

What can you get rid of? What are you doing, every day, or every week, that is doing nothing but stealing time and energy—and money—from you? What would you be able to do with those hours?

We all only have twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week. That is it. How we spend those hours are under our control. I’ve decided that mowing the lawn simply does not add enough benefit to balance the time I spend doing it.

Making a change like this is not easy. As excited as we are right now, when we actually begin the process of eliminating almost everything, the excitement will be replaced by other feelings. Possibly feelings of loss, possibly sadness, possibly fear of what the future will bring.

If you let those feelings control you, you will never become the person you are destined to be.

Take action. Now. Not Someday.


Some links (but not all) within these show notes may be Affiliate Links, meaning that I may receive a small commission when readers click on them and then purchase something. This does not increase your cost at all, but it does help me cover some of the cost associated with this podcast. Thanks!

Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voiceover work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 61 Trevitorial: My Top 12 Podcasts

People ask me if I listen to podcasts other than my own, and yes, of course I do! (But I almost never listen to my own!) And instead of doing another “portion control” and “eat healthy” episode (because that is what everyone does at this time of year, I decided to make a list of my Top 12 podcasts. I listen to many more than that, but I needed to stop somewhere.

These are not listed in any particular order of preference, except for one. The first one.

Meron Bareket’s Inspiring Innovation podcast. Meron was my first guest, way back on MYST 3. Meron is the expert who taught me what I know about podcasting. If you want to learn how to podcast, here is his free Starter Kit! (Side note: the voiceover artist for Meron’s show is none other than Matt Young, who also performs my intro and outro. Links to his business are below.) This show will reveal the secret strategies of successful entrepreneurs, and then give you immediately actionable steps that you can take to bring you closer to success.

Profile Photo _ high res

Learning with Leslie from Become a is another podcast that is more focused on blogging and podcasting, but has information that can be used in the classroom or any business. He is “trying to change the world, one blog at a time!” Leslie Samuel has an enthusiasm that is contagious and a smile that comes through your ear buds. He, too, will give you everything he knows in order to help you find your personal success.

Pat Flynn bring two shows to this list, the original Smart Passive Income (which was the first entrepreneurial show that I listened to) and his newest show, Ask Pat. Both are excellent resources.  SPI is a longer format (40-60 minutes) and primarily interviews with other entrepreneurial leaders, authors and business gurus. You can never predict what will be covered on each show. Ask Pat is a short format 9-12 minutes, and arrives Monday-Friday. He answers a listener’s specific question and lists that in the title, so it is easy to know if each show is critical to your success (and most are, in my opinion.)

I listen to a lot of public radio, and always have. National Public Radio (NPR) brings many shows to this list. The TED Radio Hour is probably my most eclectic show on my podcast playlist. There is no way to adequately describe what you will learn on this show. It is one my most useful podcasts for the classroom. (I only wish it came out more than once a week.) It is hosted by Guy Roz. Follow the show on Twitter @TEDRadioHour.  Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me is NPR’s weekly current events news quiz, but these quizzes are nothing like the current events quiz that Mr. Kuegel gave me back in my 7th grade US Civics class at DC Everest Middle School! And if you want to know about cars, well, Car Talk is sort of about cars. Mostly, the show is an hour of listening to Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers (aka Tom and Ray Mogliozzi) who use cars, car problems, and listener calls to wax poetic about life, marriage, and how to avoid work. (Note: Tom died on November 3, 2014, at age 77. The show continues airing previous shows, and remains as funny as always.) Planet Money is a show about the economics of everything, and interwines politics, psychology, sociology and every other -ology you can think of, because money really is the center of all things. But this econ class is interesting and at the level that everyone can connect with. Marketplace is a daily (Monday-Friday) business show produced by American Public Media (APM), which also covers the politics of business, government concerns, global markets, and  brings those high level issues down to the level of our checkbook and the price we pay for milk.

The last three featured on this episode are science-based. Sort of. You’ll see as you read.

Skeptoid is a weekly show from Brian Dunning, my guest on MYST10.

Brian Dunning

The best description of this show is from the website. “Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena is an award-winning weekly science podcast. Since 2006, Skeptoid has been fighting the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement.”

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is another science podcast that is dedicated to exploring science–and mistaken assumptions about what people think are facts–in a panel format. Hosted by neurologist Dr. Steven Novella, each week the group tackles current news articles and digs to uncover the real story behind the facade. Now, I will be the first to admit this: sometimes, this show gets very deep scientifically. I don’t always have a good enough knowledge in physics to understand some of their discussions, but they make enough understandable that I am able to learn from them

Lastly, but not leastly, my friends Neil and Joe from London, England, produce the Warp Ten podcast. This is a show for the true Star Trek nerd. And yes, I am talking about myself. Neil (the diehard Star Trek fan) and his roommate Joe (NOT a Star Trek fan, “but trying damn hard!”) have ambitiously decided to watch every episode and movie of the Star Trek Prime universe (not the J.J. Abrams movies) in stardate order. At the current rate of two a week, they have more than 6 years left to record. Joe will either be converted and become a Star Trek fan, or his head will explode. This show is sometimes a bit rambly. They get off topic occasionally, and there is plenty of “frat house” humor. Their language has earned them an “Explicit” label, and it is well-earned. They are true to themselves. If you are put off by vulgarities, don’t listen. If you need excellent and uniform volume levels, well, they don’t have that, either. Of the 12, this is the most personal and non-commercial show. These two guys are making the show they want, and are defying the conventions about knowing your avatar. They are talking to people like themselves. If you are a Star Trek fan, give it a listen.

Other shows that I also listen to, but didn’t feature here (because I didn’t want this episode to last for hours!):

Julie Sheranosher’s shows, Time Hackers, and Time Hackers Hero Edition are both designed for the entrepreneur (or teacher, coach, or anyone) who needs help in finding more time in their day. Time Hackers in a Monday and Thursday show, each about 15 minutes, with simple time hacks that work! She helps you find missing time! In Hero Edition, this weekly show focuses on a single successful entrepreneur as she interviews him or her to find how these business leaders manage their precious time and get stuff done.

Julie Sheranosher
Julie Sheranosher

Julie was my guest on MYST 14.

Entrepreneur on Fire is from John Lee Dumas. A true daily show (seven days a week) he talks to the leading entrepreneurs of the time, finds out how they do what they do, and mines for the gems of wisdom so that everyone else can learn.  John was my guest on MYST 36. His show is a must-have for anyone who has the passion for entrepreneurship and needs some guidance.

John is always on fire!
John is always on fire!

The So To Speak Show, with Lode Roels, is a show that an audiophile would appreciate. He focuses on radio and podcasting, as well as just about anything that can be recorded.  Lode is currently from Canada, but spent time on the radio in Belgium. Everything sounds better with an accent!

Authors need to listen to Ani Alexander’s Write 2B Read podcast. She was my guest on MYST 38. She is an Amazon best-selling author and the only podcaster based in Armenia (as of today’s date.) If you are an author or want to be an author, you need to listen to this show. She gives her experiences, tips and encouraging advice, as well as interviews authors from around the world to find out their success steps. If you have a story inside you–and we all do–you need to listen to Ani.

NPR’s Intelligence Squared US Debates brings “Oxford-style debate to America – one motion, one moderator, two panelists for the motion and two against. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues”. A great way to hear both sides of an issue in a controlled and balanced format. Pop Culture Happy Hour “is a lively chat about books, movies, music, television, comics and pretty much anything else that strikes a nerve, all in a weekly roundtable from NPR.

Because I am a chef at heart, APM’s The Splendid Table “is public radio’s culinary, culture, and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone. Each week, award-winning host Lynne Rossetto Kasper leads listeners on a journey of the senses and hosts discussions with a variety of writers and personalities who share their passion for the culinary delights updated every Friday.” And produced in Wisconsin is another health-related show. “Laughter is the best medicine and you’ll get a healthy dose of it on Zorba Paster On Your Health. Family doc Zorba Paster, teams up with co-host Tom Clark for a jam-packed hour on healthy living that’s as irreverent as it is informative.”

I hope this list gives you a few new ideas. If you are a podcast, and I didn’t list you, it isn’t that I don’t listen to you, it’s that my show (and the show notes) can’t be infinitely long. Take no offense if you are not listed here.


Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voiceover work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

Some links (but not all) within these show notes may be Affiliate Links, meaning that I may receive a small commission when readers click on them and then purchase something. This does not increase your cost at all, but it does help me cover some of the cost associated with this podcast. Thanks!