My Favorite Teachers

I’ve had so much fun thinking about who I’ve learned from, whose work has literally changed my life, who I look up to as an example. I’ve enjoyed myself so much in sharing my love notes, thank you cards and fan letters publicly! And I’ve heard from some listeners that you’ve bought the books, started listening to the podcasts, and started following some of my favorite teachers too! I love that! The more the merrier! And now we can all geek out together over the favorite teachers we share!

Since this is the last First Friday in 2020, and since I’m looking forward to 2021 already and how this writing will be the same and how it will be different next year, I decided to make this post more future focused. 

I’m thinking about who my favorite teachers will be in the future! Who will I fall in love with? Whose work will change my life next year? Who’s content will be so good I can’t wait to share it with you!?

How Can I See into the Future

But how can I see into the future to talk about people I might not even know yet? Whose existence I don’t even know about yet? Whose work I haven’t encountered yet?

One way is to re-introduce or remind myself and you of some teachers who I’ve read in the past or been curious about or been interested in, but maybe I haven’t fully checked them out and followed their work enough to move them to “favorite status” yet. 

Then, I also have other categories of teachers who I think could make it into favorite status in the coming year. I hope by hearing about these teachers and categories, it will open your mind for you to find some more of your next favorite teachers too!

Authors I’m Interested In

First, let’s talk about people I’m already aware of  – who you may have already heard about too. I have a whole list of people I’m interested in whose work I’ve read or have on my wishlist!

They include: 

  • Alisa Vitti
  • Dr. David Perlmutter
  • Dr. Cal Newport
  • Dr. Carol Dweck
  • Dr. Susan David
  • Gretchen Rubin
  • and probably many more

So many, right! Just making that list gets me really excited and I can’t wait to dive in. Since there are so many of them, I’ll just tell you a little about each of them. 

Alisa Vitti

I heard about Alisa Vitti from a few different podcast interviews, and I’ve started listening to her book In the Flow, and I’ve joined her facebook group and downloaded her app (which I love and have recommended to so many people) – so, it’s safe to say, she’s already pretty much become one of my favorite teachers. And I may dedicate an episode to her next year.. Or at least do a book report on one of her books. 

She has spent the past 15 years studying, researching, and teaching women how to stop hormonal chaos and get into hormonal flow. You know I love thinking about being in flow. This was a completely new topic for me and I didn’t even know being in flow hormonally was possible. But as soon as I heard the concept of matching my tasks and my socializing and how I choose what to do and how to exercise to my own hormonal rhythm, it made perfect sense to me, and I decided I wanted to explore further. So, Alisa Vitt’s work has been a hot topic for me in 2020. If we’ve spent any time together, you’ve probably heard me talking about what I’ve learned from her so far. 

Dr. David Perlmutter

I also heard Dr. Perlmutter interviewed on a few different podcasts this past year and I was so impressed with his message and his demeanor, I had to look him up. And my PodClub (which is like a book club, except we use just 1 podcast episode to listen to and discuss instead of reading a whole book) – we used one of the podcasts he was interviewed on for one of our meetings this year. 

His books include the New York Times bestseller Grain Brain, as well as Brain Wash and so many others. I was really moved by the book Brain Wash and his description of the connection between flour and sugar and dementia and other cognitive impairments. His writing can be a little too scientific for me, so sometimes it’s hard for me to follow, but I love listening to him being interviewed. 

Dr. Cal Newport

I got super excited when I first “met” Cal Newport – probably about 4 or 5 years ago. His message and theories were so clear and direct that I got his book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” right away and loved the whole theme and all of the advice. Then, over the years, as other teachers made their way into my awareness, I didn’t continue to follow him as much, until I was reminded of him again recently when I heard him on a Jenny Blake Pivot podcast episode discussing his book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. And it reminded me of how much I appreciated his direct style. It made me want to get to know him and his work again. He writes about the intersection of technology and culture.

Dr. Carol Dweck

Years ago I started reading the book Mindset. I found the description and examples of the difference between a fixed and growth mindset very interesting, but, I didn’t finish reading the book, because, honestly, the recognition of the fixed mindset hit a little too close to home – and I found myself blaming myself for holding myself back with that type of thinking. Ever since I put the book down and didn’t pick it up again though, I’ve been thinking about it and realizing, it really was helpful and profound information and I should probably give it another try – but for some reason, I couldn’t find it available to listen to from any of my library apps or from audible. And I tried.

Listening is my preferred method of reading non-fiction and I didn’t think I would pay as close attention if I read it. So, I waited, and kept looking.. And finally, in October, I got the email that the audio book was available – so I decided to listen to it like it was my job. And I loved it. And I took notes. And I realized – I wanted to follow along and go back and re-read and underline, so I ordered the print copy of the book too! All this to say.. Dr Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, might just be one of my future favorite teachers!

Dr. Susan David

Another teacher whose interview we used for a PodClub in 2020 is Dr. Susan David. She is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. She’s the author of the book Emotional Agility which introduced me to the most amazing concept: how to get insight about what happens from our feelings, and use this awareness to align our values and make changes. This work aligns so perfectly with my coaching experience and philosophy. 

Gretchen Rubin

A few years ago, I was a huge new fan of Gretchen Rubin and I just couldn’t stop talking about her and her book, “The Four Tendencies.” The book describes how we gain self-knowledge by considering the answer to the simple question:  “How do I respond to expectations?” I talked about the four tendencies with my coworkers. I made everyone in my family take the quiz to see what their tendencies were. I explained my own and others’ behaviors through my understanding of the tendencies.

It seemed so helpful and interesting. As time passed, I got interested in other subjects and authors, but I always remember how profound this methodology was for me (and for the people I shared it with). So, maybe in 2021, I’ll revisit Ms. Rubin’s work and share something about the four tendencies in a future post. 

My Colleagues

The next category of candidates for future teachers include my colleagues. For example, I learn so much from other podcasters and other coaches. I’ve met some really interesting and inspiring people this year. In fact, I’ve been interviewed as a guest for 2 other podcasts (so far)  – so if you want to hear my conversations with another podcast host, check out the Self Project Podcast on December 16th 2020 with Kristy Martin, who is a Life Transformation Coach who helps Women Rediscover Their Magic with Human Design, Spirituality, & Creativity. Aren’t you so excited to meet her?

I was also interviewed by the host of the Joyful Headspace podcast. Marissa Sail Fike calls herself a Word Bender – isn’t that interesting? She’s the author of the upcoming book “Edified.”

I look forward to collaborating with other podcast hosts, coaches and personal development professionals. In June of this year, I introduced you to one of my favorite teachers, Nicole Perkins in an interview on this site and I’m thinking about introducing you to more of my colleagues in interviews in the coming year. You’ll have to let me know if you have someone in mind for me to talk with.

Meeting People

I’ve also met so many interesting people through my podcast, through networking and through some really fun facebook groups (including Friendship 5×5 which is the facebook group I run for fun, friendly, females- so consider joining us in that group if you haven’t yet.) 

I’m so grateful that, despite the twists and turns of 2020, I’ve still been able to connect with, meet and get to know so many new people who are so lovely and interesting and who I’m sure will teach me so much as we continue our relationships.

My Coaching Clients

The most non-traditional category of my favorite teachers in 2020 has been my coaching clients. I love meeting with them each week and helping them get awareness around their thoughts. I always feel like I learn so much about myself when I’m coaching someone else.  Coaching my clients helps me see a different way of thinking through learning about their perspectives and thinking habits. I get to notice what’s a big deal for them that’s not for me (and vice versa).

The willingness of my clients to be open and vulnerable and consider questions and be coached makes me a better coach, and a better client too(because, yes, I get coached by my coach weekly as well). I love seeing transformation (in all of us) and being reminded that anything is possible. 

A Thank you Card, Love Note and Fan Letter to You!

I love you so much! You are amazing and interesting and inspiring. I can not express to you how honored and flattered I am that you read or listen to my work and tell me what you learned, and leave comments and send me messages. It just makes my day every single time and keeps me motivated to keep thinking about and improving my podcast. 

I love looking at my stats and thinking about who is listening and what they’re thinking about. I’m so excited when you refer back to something you heard me mention or when you try an exercise that I suggest. 

You may think you’re one of my fans if you read or listen to what I write and record and I want to tell you – I’m YOUR fan too! I love that you’re interested in personal development. I think it’s so great that you’re curious about learning how your mind works. So, thank you for coming along with me and for sharing feedback.. And I do consider you one of my favorite teachers too!

Next Year

Next year, I don’t think I’ll talk about a favorite teacher on the first Friday anymore – but I can imagine myself giving you a book report about a teacher I’m learning about. And, like I mentioned, I’m also considering incorporating some interviews – I only had 1 interview this past year, and it might be interesting to have more next year. 

Do you have feedback and ideas and suggestions for what I should do with this next year? I’d love to hear from you!

Your Input

You can share your feedback with me: anonymously with an online survey – or on a voice to voice phone call where we can actually talk to each other and ask and answer questions!

In exchange for your time and thoughtful responses, I’ll give you some of my time and thoughtful responses. Let’s spend an hour on the phone together – 30 minutes for me to interview you about my podcast and 30 minutes for you to have coaching, brainstorming or tech tutoring with me.

Go to the Online Survey

Schedule an Interview

Get the Companion Workbook

Want to get a compiled list of the teachers I mentioned in this post? It’s included in the companion workbook, along with many of the exercises and worksheets that go along with each of the other posts on this site – so no matter when you joined me, and no matter what you’re currently working on, if you download the companion workbook you should be able to follow along with most of the worksheets and exercises that I mention. Go get that pdf right now.