51: Die Empty — With Todd Henry

"You cannot pursue greatness and comfort at the same time . . . How do you set in motion a course of action that will allow you to unleash your best, most valuable work while you still can?"

—Todd Henry, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

Many people want to avoid thinking about death, let alone talking about it—not to mention writing a book with "die" in the title. Not Todd Henry. True to the concept of memento mori, reflecting on death to be more present and grateful in life, Todd believes contemplating death helps us fully explore and realize our creative gifts. I absolutely loved this conversation and Todd's thoughts on how to "die empty" without feeling pressure to do it all; how to minimize minutiae and pursue great work while also riding out natural dips in creativity, transition, or clarity. 

Todd says, "I want to know that if I lay my head down tonight and don't wake up tomorrow, I have emptied myself of whatever creativity is lingering inside, with minimal regrets about how I spent my focus, time, and energy." This week's podcast will illuminate how you can live this way too. 

About Todd Henry


Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of three books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words), and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work. 

His book Die Empty was named by Amazon.com as one of the best books of 2013. His latest book, Louder Than Words, is about how to develop an authentic voice that resonates and creates impact. Bestselling author Tom Rath called it "One of the best guides to living a meaningful life I have ever read.”

Topics We Cover

  • Why the most valuable land in the world is the graveyard

  • How to "die empty" without regret

  • How to take decisive action to make steady progress

  • Escape mediocrity and daily ruts

  • How success can also lead to fear and resistance

  • The importance of taking strategic risks every day

  • Ask, "Am I surprising myself as I'm working?"

  • What he's learned from ten years of podcasting

Podcast: Todd Henry

Listen below or on iTunesSoundCloudOvercastStitcher, or Google Play Music:

Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunesAndroid or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.