Fascination Friday

Friday Fascinations – The Cakewatcher’s Recommendations

This is a post about people who have inspired me recently on my journey of self-improvement.  I plan to turn this into a weekly feature.  The following 3 groups of people have all produced various great materials, but my main focus here is their podcasts.  If you haven’t started listening to podcasts yet, then you should!  They are a great way to learn something or just listen to something interesting whilst you are walking/driving/doing chores etc etc.  I hope you will read my recommendations and check out at least one of these…


The Minimalists
It may not be a coincidence that I’ve  not been working recently and have wanted to save money and The Minimalists’ message really spoke to me. In spite of my situation though, I do think their overall outlook is brilliant. “Live a meaningful life with less” is a mantra that is quite poignant in this age of gross consumerism.

I’ve got rid of a lot of my stuff since listening to their podcast and was especially inspired by Josh’s story about how he had to clear out his mum’s house after she died and finding 15 winter coats (despite the fact that she lived in Sunny Florida) and all of his old school papers. I would not want anyone to be in the same situation with my belongings. I love the concept that your memories are in you rather than in things.

This year I will be respectfully asking my friends and family to give consumables and experiences rather than physical gifts for special occasions as research shows that you remember experiences much better. I’ve just listened to The Minimalists’ first book ‘Minimalism:  Live a Meaningful Life’ and am excited to watch their film ‘Minimalism’ in August which has had the largest box office opening for an indie documentary so far this year in the US.

What to check out:
-Their website has tons of useful information and fascinating essays
-Their podcast – their views on how to live a meaningful life with less intermingled with listener/social media questions




Gretchen Rubin/Happier Podcast
I  stumbled on Gretchen’s podcast ‘Happier’ when looking for decent podcasts. (It did not disappoint!) Those of you who follow me may remember that I previously wrote a post about her book ‘Happier’ which is a fascinating read about habit formation. (Please see my post about this as I did not want to repeat myself here, hence this section is shorter!)

Her podcast, which she records with her sister Elizabeth, is an interesting look into some of the habit tools and loopholes she discusses in her book. The show has some lovely features such as the gold star/demerit section where the hosts take turns to praise or chastise themselves for their habit related behaviour. If you’re interested in improving your habits or just living a ‘Happier’ life, I recommend you check out her books and podcasts.   This week’s episode features a fascinating interview with Moby!

What to check out:
-Her website has loads of interesting links and useful resources
The Happier Podcast

gretchen pic
Gretchen Rubin & her sister Elizabeth Craft

happier podcast




Tim Ferriss Podcast:  ‘The Tim Ferriss Show’
I actually started listening to this as it had a large picture on the ‘Pocket cast’ app (advertising works!). Having heard before about Tim Ferriss’ invention of the 4-hour work week (which I intend to do more research into), I thought I should check this out.

In this podcast, Tim talks to all sorts of people – entrepreneurs, sports people, investors, artists asking them questions to find out what has made them what they are and how they would recommend other people try to achieve success. These podcasts are quite long, but definitely do not drag as they are a great insight into these people’s lives and what they have worked on or are currently working on. I’ve only listened to a few of these, and I plan to go back and listen to some of the older ones, (Arnold Schwarzenegger should be interesting!) but I definitely recommend the recent Kevin Kelly interview as he talks a lot about AI and VR and what is currently happening in these industries. You don’t have to be tech/business savvy to listen to this podcast (goodness knows I’m not!) just interested.

The last two podcasts have been extremely interesting, one is about a technique for building your career called ‘The Canvas Strategy’ and this weeks seems extremely valuable to anybody – It’s entitled ‘How creative’s should negotiate’ and is a series of clips from training sessions by Ramit Sethi who is an American personal finance advisor and entrepreneur and author of the 2009 NYT Best Seller “I will teach you to be rich”.

What to check out:
The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast)

tim ferriss


These are 3 examples of people I am currently feeling inspired by – If you check out their material I’m sure you’ll get value out of it!  Let me know if there is anyone you think I should be checking out!


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