Oct 27, 2015

Never Stop Learning: An Ode to Audiobooks

Shelby Strodel

Shelby Strodel

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“The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after”

– Newton Baker, early 19th century politician

I first read this quote in an antique store on South Congress about a week before I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. It was printed on a crumpled up piece of paper in a booth full of old frames and trinkets of times past. But these words hit me. I realized that even though I was about to graduate from college, the learning was never really over. And more importantly, I shouldn’t want it to be. I want to be a life long learner.

I’ve been at Credera for a few years now, and I’ve never stopped learning. While this could seem like a burden, and honestly sometimes it might feel that way, it isn’t as hard as one might think.

A common practice to ensure I am consistently learning is to listen to audiobooks on the way to and from work. The idea of listening to books didn’t come up in a training class, instead it came up during a water-cooler conversation. A colleague casually asked me,

“So, what books have you been reading lately?”

“Oh, I don’t have time to read.”

“You should try audiobooks.”

Audiobooks are efficient. They turn car time into productive time. On a given day, I spend somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours in my car, and while music and silence are precious gifts, sometimes they are too much of a good thing. Enter a great thing: audiobooks. This past year I finally started listening to them. After learning to discipline myself in this area and making this a habit I can’t imagine why I avoided the practice for as long as I did. It is probably because it is easier not to do it. I’m learning that most things in life worth doing require work, discipline and habit.

In fact, my favorite two so far have been “How Google Works” (Jonathan Rosenberg Eric Schmidt) and “The Power of Habit” (Charles Duhigg). Both of these books were extremely interesting and gave me great perspective on organizational change and corporate infrastructure as a whole. Even better, they were recommended to me by fellow Crederians and have led to some great conversations.

I believe audiobooks are a simple way to get better, faster, and stronger at what you do and how you do it. I only wish I’d started earlier.

“The person who knows HOW will always have a job; the person who knows WHY will always be the boss.”

– John Maxwell, Author of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”

What audiobooks are you currently listening to? Let us know in the comments below!

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