Written by Morgan DeLisle
Have you heard the parable about the two wolves? If you have, here’s a refresher and if you haven’t, today’s your lucky day. The parable says that a grandpa explained to his grandson that there are two wolves inside each of us, always fighting with each other. One is a good wolf that represents kindness, love, and bravery, but the other is a bad wolf representing greed, hatred, and fear. The grandson then looked at his grandpa and asked: “which wolf wins?” The grandpa responded simply “the one you feed.” It’s this parable that inspired Eric Zimmer to launch his podcast, The One You Feed, a show that has helped so many listeners and continues to do just that.
The podcast teaches listeners to feed the good wolf and seeks to answer the question of “how to live a good life” through interviews with “authors, psychologists, thought-leaders, spiritual teachers, musicians, and so on,” Eric explained when I interviewed him. The guests are given a chance to talk about their work and experience, all centering around living a “better, more fulfilling life.” After starting the show on a whim and a desire to keep his best friend (conveniently an audio engineer) close, Eric has enjoyed making over 200 episodes and seeing his show downloaded around 10 million times.
With so much evidence that people are hungry for his content, it’s no surprise that Eric’s favorite part of making his podcast is hearing from his listeners. “The show seems to have a pretty profound effect on a lot of people. I get emails, not un-regularly, from people saying that the show sort of saved their lives.” Eric has heard many times that the show reaches people on the verge of suicide or has stepped into dark moments and shone a bit of light. Helping people out of depression or other struggles in their lives is incredibly rewarding for Eric, but he also loves that he gets to talk to so many incredible guests.
Eric’s podcast depends on insightful conversations, so I was curious how he goes about choosing guests and what prep work happens before sitting down to record a show. “I basically choose the guests based on what I’m interested in,” Eric explained. He reads books or articles by the individuals and then reaches out. Then, once an interview is scheduled he makes sure to check out whatever the guest’s most recent work is. Eric told me that when he takes the time to become familiar with the guest’s work, the conversation flows more freely because “they realize [he] cares.”
Eric loves what he does and told me that he “wouldn’t say any of it has been difficult.” While putting out a show every Tuesday can be a bit of a grind, all the benefits of podcasting more than make up for it. Eric is excited about the future and is looking forward to “continuing to interact more and in a deeper way with listeners.” He explained that community is key to happiness and healthiness, and Eric wants to help fight off loneliness by helping people connect, even if we haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet.
So, if you’re looking to feed the good wolf, want a bit more community, or want to hear what the experts are saying about how to find happiness and fulfillment, listen to The One You Feed and leave a rating and review to let Eric know what you think!
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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