The art of conversation can craft new ideas.
Photo by Hadis Malekie on Unsplash
I have several friends who have BBC Radio 4 burbling away in the background all day, rather than music.
I am not one of those people. It's music all the way when I'm working.
But while I am not a massive fan of speech radio, I do love podcasts - when I'm doing something else, like painting, cooking or travelling.
If you already listen to podcasts, you'll understand the joy of them.
If you don't, I thoroughly recommend you go looking for one to listen to.
There's an almost unlimited choice.
I truly believe podcasts have resurrected the art of conversation.
I'd happily listen to hour after hour of discussions between interesting people talking about interesting subjects.
It's the personal stories people tell. Not the huge success stories, or how they climbed Everest with one arm tied behind their back - but the real human insights that show how much more alike we are than we first realise.
Some of my favourites podcasts are:
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
The podcast you dip your toe into could be about a topic you know quite well.
But to tap into some truly really Faster Ideas, I'd suggest listening to a show about someone or something outside your realm of familiarity.
Naturally, many podcasts are shop windows for the famous, or showcase celebrated industry figures. The inspiration we gain from tuning in for these chats often comes from how they struggled like hell early on, just like the rest of us. Little stories with big insights into how they creatively got over hurdles to become the people they are today. Apart from offering a bit of hope, these anecdotes can bring about inspiration and ideas for how we can get past our own roadblocks.
But I often find there's just as much merit - if not more - in shows that focus on the not-so-famous. Find a conversation between some chefs from Istanbul, or yoga teachers from Goa, or an artist from East Africa - their accounts of overcoming seemingly insurmountable barriers are often chock full of creative solutions to the problems they faced starting out. Very often the kick up the butt I need when I'm feeling stuck.
Podcasts are intimate and personal. And the stories are likely to stay with you for a long time - weaving into your unconscious, and surprising you with fresh ideas as your brain creates a whole load of new connections.
"One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever." Linda Lambert, author and lecturer.