Good Day all, here we go again its the middle of the week and I’m back again to share another analysis. I am on a constant creativity mindset as of late and I am reading, watching and just thinking about getting more creative. I could remember Austin in the podcast I listened to yesterday talked about this guy Todd Henry who has a book named die empty, where he uses death as a way to open your eyes to the fact we are gonna die sooner or later so use each day to bring out the best in you. He is also runs a website that has a podcast that I visited yesterday named the accidental creative and plan to analyse one of his interviews tomorrow. Well this interview is from another entrepreneur named Chris Ducker where he aims to make you more successful in both business and life.
Here is the podcast link http://www.chrisducker.com/die-empty-todd-henry/
- Ideas from the Grave – 4:50
- Writing a book is a labor of love – 8:48
- How to start producing your most valuable work – 12:30
- Drawing those battle lines in the sand but close to the shore line – 13:53
- Be Fiercely Curious – 16:58
- We are aware but do we understand – 19:00
- Fiercely Curious part 2 – 24:32
- Uncertainty as a crutch for lack of progression – 26:26
- Technique to risk – 28:16
- Candy Chang – 32:33
- Does that represent me? – 34:07
- Todd’s Final words – 35:41
Key Points Taken
Ideas from the Grave – 4:50
We begin in a meeting, a South African is leading the conversation and asked the room What you think is the most valuable land in the world? It’s a strange question to ask out of the blue don’t you think? The people start throwing out answers Todd included, some were the gold mines in south Africa, the oil fields in the middle east, Manhattan, all wrong answers. He responded by saying I think the most valuable land in the world is….. the Graveyard, because the graveyard holds all the unlaunched businesses, unreconciled relationships, all the ideas people carried around with them but never relinquished on the world. But one day their opportunities ran out, all their values, those aspirations, ideas, and hopes are buried with them in the ground. Todd took out his note card and wrote on it Die Empty, because he vowed that when he reached the end of his life that he does not carry all of his value to the grave, instead do everything in his power to get it out of him to share with the world everyday. More or less living in the now, ensuring the contributions you provide are seen and leave an impact while you have the opportunity to do so. With this way of living the book’s title also gives extra meaning which is dying empty is a great thing, because you die with no regrets since you left your legacy in the world and have nothing to take with you to the grave.
Writing a book is a labor of love – 8:48
You have to care deeply when embark on writing a book, not only for the content inside but the audience you want to target, the outcome you wanna see. Josh Kaufman the writer of two books the personal mba and the first 20 hours told Todd he’s not gonna write a book that he’s not willing to read over 22 times. Dont be committed to being an author be committed to the outcome you are trying to achieve and the audience you are trying to serve. Be real when writing on your subject matter, realize the content you are putting out there is not to appease your readers but to give them the hard truths. Victor frankl said ‘I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.’ What he means is “that when you have freedom to express our self through platforms to go out and impact the world and create value, with those platforms comes the responsibility not to spend that freedom on ourselves but to spend it in the service of others.”
How to start producing your most valuable work – 12:30
When this topic comes up mostly what comes to mind is the question of what is my purpose or what is my calling, I know I myself ask that question a lot. This constant probing for an answer may never come and it causes most people to become paralyzed which is more known as purpose paralysis. But Todd claims we are asking the wrong question since we don’t have “A Purpose”, we have multiple purposes and multiple ways of adding value. The question you should be asking is what battles are there for me to fight today? You will more be remembered by people for the times you stood up for, the things you drew the line in the sand for. You don’t get to choose how people perceive our body of work but you do get to choose where we put our focus time and energy everyday.
Drawing those battle lines in the sand but close to the shore line – 13:53
You start with aspirations of attacking these problems but along the way they can be become obscured and take a different path, where you end up chasing things that are a distraction to the main goal. They cause us to settle into a place of mediocrity, which when broken up its origin is of two words medius (which means middle) and ocris (which means rugged mountain). So you began a journey and ended halfway up a rugged mountain and settled with no intention of going any further.
Be Fiercely Curious – 16:58
Don’t become one of the “busily bored”, these are people who will have many things on their plate but none of them they pursue hard enough. They just find something new things to be curious about but never delve in as deep as they should and just move on. Todd has found that the ones who ask the best questions wins, the ones ask the questions that closest to the truth and are most precise based on the problem are ones who eventually win. But most of us don’t ask questions we settle for close enough, we are entertained by whats on our phones or social media, when we have access to so much information, instead we decide to hurl birds at pigs. It doesn’t mean we should not seek entertainment every now and again but when that becomes a replacement for developing our minds and seeking the deeper questions for solving problems, only then should you begin to worry.
We are aware but do we understand – 19:00
With the internet your interaction is more global than anything now, you get news on anything like it’s happening in your backyard. But now that you have this intimacy with world do you take time to think and understand what is happening around you, or do you just take everything at face value and move on to the next cute cat video. Joseph Campbell calls this place the bliss station, a place where we do nothing but feed our minds and souls, pursue our curiosity, ask deeper questions and give ourselves the opportunity not to know things. The seeds of tomorrow are planted in the seeds of today’s activity.
Fiercely Curious part 2 – 24:32
Main thing is not allow assumptions to clog your train of thought, best way to do that is to question those assumptions which lead to innovative thought because no one is asking those kind of questions. This will improve our thought patterns as well as make the questions we ask more powerful and efficient in gaining a better and better ideas.
Uncertainty as a crutch for lack of progression – 26:26
As human beings we don’t like having uncertainties, the what if’s keep us back from going forward in life because we are all unsure of what will be the outcome of risk. The result is not a sure bet based on the effort we put in so we stay on safe side or the middle ground because prefer the certainty of immediate results. But that is where break throughs come from, by having the will to suspend fear from the equation and thinking the process itself is worth it, even if the result is intangible.
Technique to risk – 28:16
Taking risks are a set of calculated bets, Jim Collins the author of Great by Choice says “Fire bullets then cannon balls.” Which means you fire small calculated bullets to calibrate your shots then when its calibrated you put all your effort behind firing a cannon ball that becomes the big innovation. So Todd’s advice for us is to take small emotional risks in the direction you want to move, then as you prove to yourself that you are seeing progress, shoot the cannon ball.
Candy Chang – 32:33
Before I die…
Candy Chang (ted talk here) had lost someone very dear to her and it struck her a cord in her, which made her turn an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard with the aforementioned question Before I die _____ and let people fill in the blanks. It didn’t take long till people came along and began filling the board with meaningful aspirations they had before dying. Since then the concept has been replicated all over the world. It’s easy for us to forget that we only have a finite amount of days to live, each day we are closer to death. One of Todd’s friend named Brian is quoted as saying “The death rate is hovering right around 100% mark.”
Does that represent me? – 34:07
All of us at the end of it all will have a body of work to answer for, how filled will that book be, or will it have many blank pages. Did you contribute the way you wanted to or did live someone else’s story? Did you live your life constantly reacting or acting intentionally and contributing value that was unique to you and that you cared about? “The things you would regret are times in your life that you chose to do the safe thing instead of thing your intuition told you was right.”
Todd’s Final words – 35:41
“At the end of your life when you lay your head down for the last time, if you are not purposeful about your life you will have a lot of regret but if you are purposeful about structuring your life in such a way that you are spending those 4 finite resources (focus, assets, time, energy) in a meaningful and purposeful way. You will lay your head down pointing to your body of work and saying “YES! That represents me” and you will die empty of regret but full of satisfaction of a life well lived.”
This was a very intellectual heavy 39 minutes, Todd really drilled into my head the idea of living with purpose, from beginning to end. He is an intelligent man and I will definitely check out his book to see what more I can learn from his theories. The mindset of drawing a line in the sand to ensure you live battling for what you think is right and what you aim to change. Understanding what is going on around you and asking questions that more than just scratch the surface of the issue by being fiercely curious. Building a station of bliss along with not having uncertainty inhibit our progress to seek answers of success. Technique of shooting small bullets before launching a cannon ball when encountering risk and finally when you die make sure you can say YES that body of work represents me and I lived a damn good life.