Listen for Success

Listening to audio content daily is one of my most beneficial habits I have adopted. Books on tape are easy to fit into your schedule and they go so much further than simply providing you with ideas. In many cases you can literally feel the authors enthusiasm rub off on you, giving you that extra bit of motivation you need. Audio material also tends to be listened to more repeatedly, so the ideas and concepts are absorbed more deeply.

Even people with incredibly busy schedules can fit in as much as a half hour to an hour of audio content into their day. Simply because you can do other mindless activities while listening, it is the perfect way to multitask. Listening while cooking, driving to work, walking and exercising can allow you to fit in this valuable habit without having to isolate time for it.

Most of the programs I have purchased tend to run in either shorter two hour tapes or longer six hour ones. The shorter programs tend to be more vague and general, focusing more on the motivational value rather than actual usable information. Longer programs tend to go into far more detail and can provide more value if you are willing to pay for it.

The greatest value of listening to audio programs isn’t really the information. Their real value is that the speakers enthusiasm rubs off on you, leaving you more motivated and optimistic. Because you can listen to a few minutes during the breaks in your day, each session is like breathing new life into your day.

One of my favorite speakers for this is Anthony Robbins. Tony is one of the most animated and enthusiastic speakers I know, and you can’t help feeling more driven and excited when you hear him speak. I personally have received a lot of information and motivation by listening to Tony’s tapes.

How many times will you read this article? Chances are only once. However, it is likely that you did not retain all of the information in it. One of the real powers of audio content is that it is repetitive. By continually reminding you of the ideas it contains, you are continuously aware of it. Because listening to audio content is a more passive act then reading, you are far more likely to get the repetition you need as opposed to books and articles you only read once.

Sometimes all it takes to really move us forward is not an original or fresh concept, but being reminded of a good one. Many of the articles I have written that have been quoted or linked by other blogs are far from original ideas. Still, they provide value because they remind people of the good ideas we need to remember.

Where can you get started with audio programs?

First of all you will need something to play them on. I personally use an mp3 player because of its portability and large storage capacity, but CD players will work too. Seeing how inexpensive the technology is becoming, an mp3 or CD player won’t be an incredibly expensive investment.

Second you need to get your hands on some content. Check out your local library to see if they stock any personal development tapes. I personally use amazon to buy all of my audio programs. If you are looking for free content, many blogs have free podcasts that relate to personal development, Steve Pavlina being one of them. While everyone has personal styles, my favorite speakers to listen to are Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Earl Nightingale.

Once you’ve got some audio programs ready, just get into the habit of playing them when you are doing a mindless activity. Tasks like cooking, cleaning, running, walking or driving are all good candidates to be multitasked with an audio recording. My personal suggestion is to try to ensure you have a bit more focus on the tape in your first listening. Some speakers, Tony Robbins being a notable example, like to encourage you to do things while listening to the tape, so you might want to give your first listening more attention.

Go ahead, turn up the volume and listen for success.

  • Ananga

    Audio support/motivation is something that I’m very interested in. When I got my first iPod, one of the first things I did was import my entire Anthony Robbins CD collection into various play lists. I also have a Stephen Covey playlist, a meditation playlist, various custom made self-hypnosis recordings, and the full HypnoSolutions collection I made with Silvia Hartmann last year.

    You make a good point that audio programs sink in as they are tailored for repeated listening. It’s also sometimes easier to listen than to read. I’ve learned many a self-help trick, or got majorly motivated while listening to Anthony Robbins while washing dishes. I bet there aren’t many people around who are bursting with enthusiasm after scrubbing pans!

  • Scott Young

    You bring up a good point about listening to Anthony Robbins when you are doing household chores. Getting enthusiastic messages when we are feeling bored or frustrated can move us forward and lift our spirits. I think we could all use a little more enthusiasm.

  • Luciano Passuello

    Hi Scott,
    First of all, congratulations for the great content!

    I learned to love the habit of listening to audio books just the way you described. I also agree Anthony Robbins can surely animate people. I noticed that when I listen to audio program like Tony’s, I feel more energized for the day, and I’m looking forward to incorporate a “daily dose” of motivational audio material in my routine. However, I find his audiotapes to be too long and sometimes repetitive. What I am looking for now is a collection of short audio content. Having a self-contained audio message at max, say, 20-30 minutes, so I can listen on its entirely while I make coffee or commute, without having to interrupt the audio and making sure I get a complete thought or idea. Do you have any thoughts about this or maybe some pointers to help me out?

    And thanks again for the great content.

  • Scott Young


    Steve Pavlina’s podcasts tend to be around that length. I had a bit of trouble formatting them onto my mp3 player, but otherwise I think they would be great to listen to.

    Yes audio material can get a bit repetitive, but so does music. I usually listen fairly passively after the first few recordings so I can’t say the need to stop the tape frequently bothers me.

  • Chris B. Behrens

    The Teaching Company ( is absolutely second to none in this regard. I wish they’d get more on board with the whole podcast model, but they’re truly awesome.

    Check out the series on Ancient Egypt by Dr. Bob Brier, in particular.

  • Scott Young

    Interesting link, Chris. Sounds like a great way to learn.

  • Paula

    How about some female motivators? Or at least someone tending to the creative, nurturing right brains.

    Louise Hay comes to mind, but some might find her too spiritual.

    Ive heard Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, I like them, but too much male energy, I need some balance 🙂

  • Elina McGill

    This is an interesting concept. Why are most personal development gurus male? It cannot be simply because we live in a male-dominated society? Is there something to introspection, personal development, and motivation that society has deemed inherently masculine? I need to unpack this along with the idea that results-focused is masculine whereas process-focused is feminine.