Do you ever feel like no matter what playlist you pick on Spotify to listen to in that moment, you just don’t ~feel~ it and can’t get into it? That’s how I felt at the gym the other day, so I decided to try listening to podcasts again.
Personal Best is a self-improvement show where two normal guys, Rob Norman and Andrew Norton, find normal people with an eccentric hang up and help them get over it.
What I love about this podcast is how relatable and authentic each episode is because Rob and Andrew don’t shy away from admitting when something doesn’t go as planned. They take the constraints they are met with like time and resources and make it work to the best of their abilities. It’s not heavily scripted, so it’s unlike many self-improvement shows that only talk about the successful big changes in people’s lives.
I want to share two stories I really enjoyed and my favorite lessons from each story.
“Figure out a way to live with whatever you can reasonably do”
The first episode was about a woman named Robin, who seems to have her life all figured out, except for one thing – she is a chronic snoozer. Rob and Andrew had to get creative in their approach.
They tried things like Robin telling strangers about her goal to not the snooze button for a whole week and going through a haunted house of lessons where people from her life show how their lives would be different if Robin continued her habit of snoozing. The thing that stuck with her was setting her alarm tone as the recording of her mom telling her when she hears the alarm she has to get up on repeat.
Robin wonders, “How do you live with yourself and the imperfections you have, especially when it’s easy to compare yourself to others that are in your face all the time on social media?” And her answer to that question is to just figure out a way to live with whatever you can reasonably do because there is no such thing as perfection. As someone who is a perfectionist when it comes to creative work in my life, hearing Robin’s story reminded me that perfectionism is not achievable. I need to accept that I’m imperfect and I can only do my best.
“Change takes time. It’s okay to celebrate the little accomplishments in your life”
Brent came on the show and expressed his life-long dream to be present during a balloon drop. When asked why he hasn’t orchestrated one for himself, he says he isn’t the kind of person who will celebrate himself when something good happens in his life. The goal became helping Brent learn to celebrate himself because what good is a balloon drop if the person doesn’t think they’re worth it?
In the episode, they consult an expert on celebrations. She says it’s a pretty brave thing to do to celebrate yourself because it involves taking a look at yourself and saying, “I’m not perfect but I’m proud of these things I’ve done in my life!”
Rob and Andrew tried things like writing him a song and having him read compliments from friends and family out loud and verbally accepting them to get him comfortable with celebrating himself.
For his last challenge, Brent was tasked to plan his own celebration in a week. He admits that he couldn’t get it done but he did have dinner with two friends. I’m kind of glad that in just a week, Brent didn’t become this new person who could comfortably celebrate himself like it’s second nature to him. Because it isn’t. And that’s what I like about this episode because it shows that change takes time and it’s important to celebrate the small wins towards who you want to be.
I would 10/10 recommend this podcast to everyone. They’re short and quick episodes for a great pick me up and laugh because of the ridiculous ways Rob and Andrew tries to help these people.
What are some eccentric hang ups in your life that you wish to get over? I’d love to know!
You can check out Personal Best on their website!