1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations.  On Friday, I share something about myself or what we are working on at PCI.

Sitting in traffic stinks.

The research backs up what we all know to be true: “Our study shows that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological well-being,” says Adam Martin from the University of East Anglia.

So, are those of us living in big cities doomed to be unhappy?

Actually, no.

There is an antidote, the great Zig Ziglar tells us.

Automobile University.

Zig observed that we all have access to the “wisdom of the ages” when we choose to listen to books, podcasts, or lectures while “driving to our job, shopping, errands, on vacation, etc.”

2: As a young adult, I listened to sports radio whenever I was in my car.  I’m a big sports fan, and it seemed like a great way to keep up with my favorite teams.

The only problem with sports radio?

Sports radio hosts don’t get big ratings unless they have “hot sports opinions.”

And hot sports opinions are negative by definition.

After all, only one team is crowned champion each year. 

The runner-up in the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Championship, or Stanley Cup is just “the last loser.”

Which also means sports fans almost always have something to complain about. 

And complain they do.

Complain.  Complain.  Complain.

While I can’t remember the exact moment it happened, at some point, I’d heard enough negativity.  Feeling worse at the end of my car ride than I did when I started the trip.   

So, I tried out what was then called Books on Tape.  {Note: Since then, I’ve upgraded to Audible or Scribd.]

Suddenly, my world changed.

If that sounds a bit dramatic, it’s because it was.

For the last twenty years, I’ve been able to listen to between 30 – 50 books every year.

It feels like I’ve earned my Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. from Zig’s Automobile University!

And I’ve learned so much about so many things. 

Mostly, I listen to non-fiction.  Lots of history.  Lots of biographies.  Lots of business books.  Lots of books about learning and development.

It’s turned the worst time of the day, i.e., being stuck in traffic, into some of the best time of the day. 

3: But the biggest positive impact has been on my overall mood and demeanor.

Another great Zig-ism is: “Your input determines your outlook.  Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.”

By being intentional about my “inputs” or what I consume every day, I feel significantly more optimistic about life itself.

Here’s to that!

Much more next week!


Reflection: What do I listen to while driving or exercising?  How does it make me feel?

Action: Discuss with my spouse, a friend, or a colleague.

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