331: Todd Henry | Die Empty


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Give your all while you can.

"I want to know that on my last day when they lay me down in my grave, I am not taking my best work to the grave with me."-Todd Henry

The Cheat Sheet:
  • The best possible education experience you can have. (10:30)
  • Should anyone go to college? (20:50)
  • The key to overcoming America's economic malaise revealed. (27:00)
  • Why it's never too late to enter the marketplace. (29:50)
  • What's one of the biggest issues people have, according to Todd? (32:10)
  • The most valuable land in the world is where? (37:30)
  • And so much more...

If you chose to live today by the motto "die empty" what would you do differently? What projects would you start, what relationships would you enrich and which would you let go of? These two words became the motto for this episode's guest few years ago and they had such an impact that he decided to write a book on the topic.

Todd Henry, author of Die Empty, joins us to talk about the value of going to college or not going, the deadly sins of mediocrity, how to avoid becoming mediocre or get yourself out of that rut if you're already in it...and so much more on the 331st episode of The Art of Charm.

More About This Show:

Todd Henry is the best-selling author behind such notable books as The Accidental Creative and Die Empty. He's also the man behind The Accidental Creative podcast and a consultant who helps companies create more effectively. He calls himself "an arms dealer for the creative revolution"!

His "arms dealings" originally stem from the assistance he offered his friends, they were people who worked in large companies but often struggled with how to create effectively in their jobs. He called them Accidental Creatives because they didn't see themselves as creative types but they were still working their way through the creative process. The name stuck and later became the title of his first book.

But Todd was most strongly influenced by two words he later stumbled upon, die empty. He felt these words had meaning not just for him, but for everyone. They were the keys to living a full, rich life and shaking off the dulling effects of mediocrity. He published a book called Die Empty and talks at length in this episode about how to do so.

He discusses the 7 deadly sins of mediocrity in that book and in this episode we hone in on the first: aimlessness. He says mediocrity is combined from two other root words: medius and ocris. Medius meaning middle and ocris meaning rugged mountain; mediocre means to stop halfway up the rugged mountain.

Many people do this by becoming comfortable where they are and never moving beyond that position, never challenging themselves further. Aimlessness is one of the reasons, one of the deadly sins that causes this. Aimlessness happens when someone loses sight of their true passion and connection to their passion project, they get stuck as a result.

Todd says we can avoid this the same way he does: by following EMPTY which stands for Ethic Mission People Tasks You. Here's a breakdown of what each of those words in empty stand for:

Ethic means asking yourself how do I engage in work every day? What do I bring to my work on a daily basis? Mission means applying your productive passion and understanding the thing you're really trying to do. It's the ultimate outcome you're committed to. People relates to the people in your life you have to interact with. how can you build relationships into your life that are stimulating, challenging and cause me to see the world in new ways? Tasks are the tasks if you accomplish them this week they would make it successful in your mind. You represents yourself and how you care for yourself. What self-care do you make a priority in your life? And are you developing discipline for intentional growth for yourself?

And finally Todd gives us some specific ways we can implement his advice immediately. The first thing he suggests is to form of circle of 5-7 people you meet with once a month. The goal of your group is to get together and talk about work you're doing, your aspirations, what you're planning to do.

Todd offers more actionable advice along with his thoughts on the pros and cons of college, how he's educating his children and tons more! It was a pleasure to have Todd on the show, I want to thank him for joining us and to thank you for being here too. Enjoy the episode and we'll see you next time.


If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Todd know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Todd on Twitter!

Resources from this episode:

Todd Henry's web siteThe Accidental Creative, Todd Henry's podcast Die Empty, Todd Henry's book Die Empty, Todd Henry's book on Audible Todd Henry on TwitterSchool of Greatness podcast

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