Twice-Told Tale

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Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

Maximize Carrides with Podcasts

Serena Young
(Above) Serena Young, grade 12, adjusts the volume of her earbuds as she picks the episodes for her car ride the next morning. Sometimes her morning routine is rushed, so it’s better to have a playlist prepared beforehand.

There are only 24 hours a day. Yet, when broken down, how many of those hours are actually productive? Take away the time spent sleeping, eating, and getting ready to do things, and you’re left with not much time at all. Time becomes a limited resource to spend on what you actually want to do. 

Let me introduce you to the concept of, “NET” time, which stands for, “No Extra Time.” It’s the practice of converting time that’s usually a byproduct of something else into time that’s well spent. Take, for example, the time to do the dishes (a byproduct of cooking or eating) or the time to do the laundry (a byproduct of having clean clothes). And my personal favorite is commuting (a byproduct of getting where you want to go). 

Fortunately, NET time is a way to take this time back. About a year ago, I started this practice by committing to using my time in the most fulfilling and efficient way possible. But not only did I want to earn back time in my day, I also wanted to fill it with ways to feed my brain. 

That’s when I discovered the genius of self-help podcasts. Of course, I’ve been familiar with plenty of these personal development and spiritual leaders before, but this was the first time I digested their teachings only auditorily. The countless hours spent on the road would now be put to good use. 

First on my list is Oprah’s Super Soul. This podcast is a personal collection of Oprah’s interviews to awaken and guide you to become your best self. There are new episodes weekly and average about 40 minutes per episode. 

I used to consider myself a bandwagon Oprah fan. I knew she was a talk show host for The Oprah Winfrey Show. I knew she was once the world’s only Black billionaire. I knew she was very open about her past struggles and used what she learned to inspire others. But it wasn’t until I started to listen to her speak and host interviews, that I developed a personal reason to love her. 

There truly is something captivating about her show. Oprah is able to create a safe space that simultaneously empowers and validates her guests. Not only does she have an environment of growth and generosity, but she also keeps it fun. The interviews are casual and lighthearted but always go deeper by hitting at the heart of a conversation. 

One of my favorite episodes is with Lady Gaga in “Super Soul Special: Lady Gaga: Heal Through Kindness” that originally aired in 2019. Gaga explains her attitude of, “Rebellious kindness,” her inspiration to become an entrepreneur through Haus Laboratories, and shares intimate details about her life. It’s evident that she’s enjoying the interview and is speaking from a place of love and confidence. 

Oprah captures quotable and important parts of a response by saying, “Say that again” or, “That’s a tweetable moment.” She slows down the information, gives her audience time to digest, and frames moments into a distilled snapshot. At the same time, she’s elevating the response itself by giving it time to shine. Oprah’s able to tease out the thought process of anyone — celebrities, visionaries, and experts — in a way that resonates with her audience. Large ungraspable concepts suddenly become heartfelt in bite-sized chunks available to beginners and seasoned listeners alike. 

If you’d like to dive into more Super Soul episodes, I highly recommend the episodes with Dwyane Johnson, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Suzy Amis Cameron. Those were the three that cemented my love of Oprah. Although all three of them are drastically different people, Oprah nonetheless is able to relate, match, and brighten them each on a personal level. 

My other favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show. Not only does he have an extremely cool soundbite for an intro, but Tim is a professional when it comes to deconstructing world-class experts and formulating shortcuts for the audience to get to where they want to be. His style is fast paced, to the point, and power-packed. 

His interview questions alternate between ones that give the guest room to expand in any direction and targeted ones that pinpoint a specific area. Concrete examples, tools, and techniques are teased out, but the podcast still maintains a casual tone since Tim is an easy person to talk to. Although they run longer averaging around around 1.5 hours for each, every episode leaves me extremely satisfied.

One of my favorite episodes was Hugh Jackman’s episode in “Hugh Jackman on Best Decisions, Daily Routines, The 85% Rule, Favorite Exercises, Mind Training, and Much More” originally released in 2020. Not only is Grant an incredibly humble and down-to-earth person, but Tim was able to pull so many golden nuggets from their time together. After finishing the episode, I walked away with another role model in my life. 

If you’d like to give The Tim Ferriss Show a try, a few episodes I recommend are with Elizabeth Gilbert, Tony Robbins, and Marie Kondo. Once again, they were all completely life-changing. Don’t wait. Go use that NET time, try out a new podcast, and find what works for you. 

(Above) Norden Young, grade 8, gets out of the vehicle after a car ride full of Oprah’s podcast. His sister drives them to school at 6:15 A.M. for her morning practice, so it’s the perfect time to listen to some personal growth wisdom daily. (Serena Young)
(Above) Tim Ferriss, a graduate of Princeton University, gained recognition for his book The 4-Hour Work Week, which is a part of his self-help series. He’s been listed as one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” and The New York Times describes him as, “A cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” The Observer has dubbed him, “The Oprah of Audio” due to his podcast being the first business/interview podcast to surpass 100 million downloads. Currently, it has now exceeded 900 million downloads. (Serena Young)
(Above) Oprah and Arthur C. Brooks, a Harvard professor, have collaborated on a new book called Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier published on September 12, 2023. All happy people invest in, “…Your faith, your family, your friendship, and your work,” said Brooks. The book outlines how anyone — with enough time and effort — can achieve happiness. Their advice includes focusing less on yourself and performing meaningful work, among many tactics. (Serena Young)
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About the Contributor
Serena Young
Serena Young, Director of Photography
Serena Young is the Director of Photography of Lake Highland Preparatory School's Upper School newspaper Twice-Told Tale, a publication ranked first in the nation by American Scholastic Press Association. Young is the Co-founder of Athena Sisterhood, a community of over 1.6k women, and was a teen speaker at the Global Youth Mindset Summit. She has traveled to 30+ countries, volunteered over 1,500 hours of community service, and has 7M+ views on Google Reviews. Young started her personal development journey at the age of seven and has attended Tony Robbins's Unleash your Power Within, Global Youth Leadership, Business MasteryLeadership Academy, and Date With Destiny. When not taking a good nap, Young enjoys gourmet food, running long distance, watching award winning movies, and spending quality time with family and friends.

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