21: Todd Henry: Die Empty and Unleash Your Best Work Everyday

Todd is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps creative people and teams generate brilliant ideas. He regularly speaks and consults with companies, both large and small, about how to develop practices and systems that lead to everyday brilliance. Todd’s work has been featured by Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, HBR.org, US News & World Report, and many other major media outlets.

Todd’s first book, The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice offers strategies for how to thrive in the creative marketplace and has been called “one of the best books to date on how to structure your ideas, and manage the creative process and work that comes out of it” by Jack Covert, author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time and founder of 800-CEO-READ.

His latest book, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, unlocks the forces that cause even the brightest, most skilled people to become stagnant in their life and career, and introduces practices that help them build a body of work they can be proud of.

Favorite Success Quote

“I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.”- Steve Martin, Comedian

Key Points

1. The Most Valuable Land in the World is the Graveyard

The most valuable place in the entire world is the graveyard.

Underneath its surface lie businesses that were never started, books that were never written, love that was never given, and discoveries that were never made.

So many men take their gifts and their true potential with them to their death bed.

They die full of potential and power that they were afraid to embrace and unleash on the world.

There is so much lying dormant inside each and every one of us.

But unfortunately, most men will never awaken that sleeping giant inside of them.

2. Die Empty 

Once you realize that the richest place in the world is the graveyard, then it should become your mission, your purpose to die empty.

Take nothing with you when you leave this world.

Unleash your passion, ideas, love, and power onto the world while you still can.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Don’t let one more day go by where you rob the world of your gifts.

If you are not being your all and giving everything that you have to the world, then you are living selfishly.

Remember that you are going to die and live life like it’s your last day to make the impact that you have always wanted to make.

3. Passion Is Something You Are Willing to Suffer For 

We love to sling around the word “passion” anytime we enjoy something.

But we need to remember that passion isn’t about the things we like, it’s about the things we are willing to suffer for.

If you are truly passionate about something, then you need to be willing to suffer for it.

You need to be willing to bleed and cry and even die for the things that you are truly passionate about.

When you reframe passion as the things which you are willing to bleed for, it changes your perspective on life.

What are your real passions?

Are you really passionate about business? Are you really passionate about your marriage? Are you really passionate about the life that you are living?

If not, something needs to change.

Because true success only comes when you are willing to suffer for the things you want.

4. Quit Playing the Victim

You are 100% responsible for everything in your life and everything not in your life.

You can’t blame the government, your family, your race, gender, or society.

In the modern world, you can’t play the victim card if you want to succeed.

With the power of the internet, it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you grew up, what your skin color, sexual orientation, or beliefs are.

If you are willing to create something that people want, you can have success beyond your wildest dreams.

But you have to start by cutting out the crap and taking responsibility for your life.

Uncle Sam isn’t coming to the rescue, Mom and Dad aren’t coming to save you, and the goodwill of society will only last so long.

Quit being a slave to your circumstances and start being a master.

5. Become Fiercely Curious 

We live in the most interesting time in human history.

With the click of a button you can discover anything that you want, you can learn any skill you desire, and you can follow your curiosity.

If you are willing to embrace it.

Life is for the living and so many people miss out on their greatest passions and gifts because they were not willing to explore their entire range of interests.

You need to become fiercely curious.

You never know when that one Google search or that one video will result in uncovering your passion and your next big thing.

Stop sitting in a rut and embrace a fierce curiosity.

Influential Books

Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Jordan MacKenzie

 The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes


Connect with Todd Henry



Todd’s best selling book Die Empty and the Accidental Creative

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