The Podcast Beginner’s Guide: What Is A Podcast, How To Listen, & Why It Enhances Your Personal Growth

by Mindvalley February 8, 2018

Podcasts are one of the most popular forms of personal growth tools available online today. Listening to captivating ideas and real-life conversations anywhere on-the-go has never been so easy — no wonder that more than 112 million people listen to this on-demand radio in the US alone.

So what is a podcast and why is it so key to implement this learning habit in your personal growth journey? How to get started on listening to podcasts and implement them in your daily routine?

You will find all the answers in this Podcast Beginner’s Guide below, so that you can add this success habit to your everyday life.

Let’s get started! Here is what you will find in this Podcast Beginner’s Guide:

1. What Is A Podcast?

Podcasts are commonly described as on-demand internet radio talks.

The word “podcast” is a portmanteau, a combination of the words pod and broadcast:

  • Pod refers to iPod devices and implies that this content is portable so you can listen to it anywhere you go.
  • Broadcast is inspired by the medium of radio as podcast content can be consumed exactly the same way.

These tracks are typically audio recordings of a conversation between a host and a guest speaker, just like the ones you can listen to on the radio, or a single monologue of a person sharing his or her thoughts.

The topics of the content can practically be anything from business and marketing to travel and yoga and so on.

In the Mindvalley podcast, we bring the best personal growth authors and thought leaders on board in order to share extraordinary ideas, life hacks, and new models of reality that fascinates the mind and speaks to the heart.

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2. How To Listen To A Podcast?

Listening to podcasts is easier than most people think. You can search for tracks on the website of the author or on iTunes and simply click the Play button to stream.

Nowadays, podcasts are the most popular form of consuming audio content on-the-go. Besides your desktop computer, you can listen to these audios from your iPhone or Android device, mp3 player, iPod, tablet, or any portable digital device.

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3. What Is The Difference Between A Podcast, A Season, And An Episode?

Podcasts are a series of recorded content pieces revolving around a core idea or a specific theme just like your favorite shows on TV.

Usually, these audios are divided into seasons either following a time sequence or a subtopic which consists of a list of episodes as individual content pieces.

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what is a podcast

4. Are Podcasts Free?

Most podcasts are free or can be purchased for less than a dollar from iTunes or the website of the author.

We, at Mindvalley, are passionate about sharing powerful ideas with as many people as possible around the globe. You can listen to the Mindvalley podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and most Podcast platforms for free.

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5. What Does Timeshift Mean In Terms Of Podcasts?

Timeshift means on-demand listening which is the opposite of streaming real time.

This means that when you listen to an episode from a podcast, it is a pre-recorded session between one or two speakers that you can play anytime you like.

Unlike radio discussions, podcasts are not tied to a schedule so you can hit Play whenever you stumble upon an awe-inspiring episode.

You can also jump forward/backward or replay the content and you have an uninterrupted listening experience without having to wait till the end of commercial breaks.

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6. Do I Need An Internet Connection To Listen To A Podcast?

Podcasts were designed to fit into an active, always-on-the-go lifestyle. The episodes can be downloaded one by one and you can play them later offline.

You can download the tracks on your computer in mp3 format or make the best out of the offline listening feature of popular podcast apps like iTunes or Stitchers.

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7. Do I Need To Be Tech-Savvy To Listen To A Podcast?

Not at all! Even if you feel a bit lost in the digital age, listening to podcasts will be just like a walk in the park.

Give it a shot and listen to the first episode of the Mindvalley podcast here.

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podcast 101 for beginners

8. Do They Require My Full Attention?

Not necessarily. Since podcasts are usually in audio format, you can listen to them in the background while doing activities that do not require your full attention.

For example, you can play the latest episode while driving, doing household chores, or going for a walk.

Podcasts can make boring and repetitive tasks more enjoyable giving you food for thought. If you find it challenging to dedicate time to your personal growth and engage in meaningful conversations, this might become your favorite hack for productivity and wellbeing!

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9. What Is The Best Time To Listen To Podcasts?

During daytime, most of us are too distracted to let new ideas in and focus on learning.

Morning time usually works better for avid learners while getting ready for the day. You can also listen to the audios while commuting or in the evening as you wind down after a long day.

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10. What Are The Benefits Of Listening To Podcasts?

Listening to podcasts can significantly increase your time spent on learning even if it is only for a few minutes per day. You never know when those insights and creative ideas come handy in your life. Podcasts can shower you with inspiration!

They can also make you more intelligent. According to research, podcasts can:

  • Improve your listening skills;
  • Enhance your focus;
  • Help your imagination become more vibrant as you picture the stories unfold.

Statistics show that regular podcast listeners are typically from middle and higher income range and they are highly educated people. They must be doing something right, aren’t they?

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11. How Do I Know Which Podcast Is For Me?

Most podcast playlists have an introduction track which gives you a brief overview of the topics covered and a little taste of what the audios sound like.

Besides, each episode has a title that describes the leading thought of the conversation so you can cherry pick the one you are most intrigued about.

In the Mindvalley Podcast, we bring you Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley as our host.

He will be interviewing top performers, transformational coaches, and successful entrepreneurs “on stage,” discussing about powerful ideas and the latest discoveries in the personal growth field.

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podcast all you need to know

12. Can I Subscribe To A Podcast?

Yes, you can. Subscribing to a podcast is very easy and it is a great way to stay updated about new episodes rolling out from your favorite show.

You can simply hit the subscribe button on the website of the podcast producer, on iTunes, or on Stitchers in order to get updates about the latest episode.

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13. Why Are Podcasts So Popular?

People who live life to the fullest and have very little free time to learn usually love podcasts. These audios summarize the essence of the best teachings and the most inspiring thoughts of a renown guest and deliver it to you in an engaging format.

If you find it challenging to set time aside for growing yourself, it is a convenient way to keep yourself inspired and up-to-date about the latest trends related to a topic you are passionate about.

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14. Which Devices Can I Use To Listen To A Podcast?

You can listen to podcasts on various devices: on mobile, on a desktop computer, and even on tablets or other portable devices.

You can also connect your phone to the built-in speaker of your car or save the tracks on a USB in order to play it while driving.

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15. Are Podcasts For Education Or For Entertainment?

They are actually a combination of both. And to be honest, personal growth junkies and avid learners don’t really see a difference between the two anymore. Podcasts are a fun combination of learning new concepts and filling your heart with inspiration.

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podcast mindvalley guide

16. How Can I Make The Most Out Of It?

It depends on what is your main motivation for listening to a podcast.

If you would like to invest a little time into learning new concepts and ideas, you can open your favorite notebook, grab your favorite beverage, plug in your headphones and start journaling about what you have just learned. It is a great way to spend some quiet time growing yourself.

Although, if you prefer to listen to podcasts while walking, driving, or getting your day-to-day routine done, you can simply tune in on the go. In order to make your new lessons stick, you can relisten to your favorite episodes multiple times so that they sink in.

Listening to podcasts with friends is a great way to share the learning experience and discuss ideas together. It could be the perfect conversation starter for a Sunday brunch or a long drive with your best friends.

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17. How Can I Make Listening To Podcasts A Habit?

Like every other success habit, listening to podcasts is not about keeping up motivation but about developing consistency. The less effort a new habit takes, the more likely that you will stick with it!

Make it easy for yourself: If you are driving regularly, set an hour aside to prepare the playlist in advance. The next time you sit behind the wheel, you just need to hit play without thinking.

You can also bookmark the page with the podcast playlist or write a post-it for yourself before going to bed so that you will remember to tune in as you start your morning routine.

The point is not to squeeze it into your schedule but to find some unutilized time when you are waiting, relaxing, and doing things on autopilot so that you can spend this time with something more entertaining and intellectually satisfying.

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Podcasts are a popular way of learning

18. What Is The Mindvalley Podcast About?

The Mindvalley Podcast aims to bring to you the greatest teachers and thought leaders on the planet to discuss the world’s most powerful ideas in personal growth for mind, body, spirit, and work.

We gather the best personal growth authors & speakers, transformational coaches, and extraordinary minds and invite them to a casual conversation or share their best talks from the A-fest stage.

You will then have a chance to listen to these discussions and speeches about thought-provoking ideas on demand — the ones that normally happen behind closed doors.

Subscribe, download, and leave us a review on your Android or Apple mobile devices.

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by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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