Breakthrough Today and You Can Die Empty

Living your enriched life is something only you can create.  You have the power within.  You know what is in your heart, what you desire to leave to the world. I’ve been thinking about this concept for a long time.  Only when listening to a podcast did I realize that this is the purpose of this blog.

See, each of us has a huge amount of potential to create and give something to the world.  You have that “je ne sai quoi” to leave a legacy.  It may be quilting, acting, creating fantastic code to innovate the web, or working with teenagers,  it doesn’t really matter what it is. What matter is  when you think about it, talk about it, write about it, you are on fire! It is one of your passions.  I don’t believe that you have just one passion. You and I have topics that light us up, and which topic we choose to spend time on becomes a passion.   That passion inspires others with what you, and only YOU, can give to the world.  And you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?  You know what that passion is.

So I’m a nerd.  There I said it.  Whew.  Glad we got that out of the way.  I buy books like some women buy shoes.  Every once in a great while, I find a book I have to have.  I have to get to the core of the issue and not just read, but embrace it, absorb it, take in the very stuff that it is and make it a part of my mind.  My very center.  This is not a philosophy to consider, a business model to pattern, or another study full of data points and logarithms for further evaluation.  No, this concept rings true.  This is a piece of literature that invokes a pattern of thought I have been pondering, questioning, and asking about for quite sometime and I hunger to hear and study more.

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

I’ve found that the podcast has been the most effective method for me to take in new information as I’m folding laundry, washing a dish or two, or cleaning.  Chores have become immensely enjoyable.  Whodathunk?  It’s not just a chore now, it’s a workshop of thought while my hands are busy on the mundane.  Oh, the power of the podcast.  Chris Ducker, powerful entrepreneur, interviewed Todd Henry and asked so many questions about his book, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.  And I was in awe.  This spoke straight to me. There were so many times I was nodding and vocally agreeing with comments.

In essence, his message is tend the soil you have been given, and CREATE a harvest for the future.  Plant the seeds for those you leave behind. Leave a legacy. But, how do you create a legacy today?

How is your legacy created even with the mundane acts of daily life?

"Be fiercely curious." Todd Henry
“Be fiercely curious.” Todd Henry in his book “Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day”

First, find what is holding you back.

Henry is quoted, saying: “Be Fiercely Curious.”  Ask a lot of questions.  Challenge the assumptions you have had in life.  Are you like me and have been thinking, “Well, I’ve always been a big girl. I come from a big family. I don’t think I’ll ever be fit.”  What is that?  How has that assumption molded my daily behavior?  Why didn’t I see that before? What other assumptions on my life are holding me back?

What assumptions of your life are holding you back?  Do you have to do that task every day or are you doing it because you’ve always done it that way?  Is there another way to create an environment that you love?  Do you think that you’re stuck financially and will never be out of debt?  Can you hear the self-fulfilling prophecies created by your own voice?  Could you earn money in a very different way AND help those around you?  Can you create something better today? It takes a completely different mindset to start thinking this way- but that’s where the magic happens.  That’s where life becomes exciting!  Todd Henry explains it like this:

We don’t like uncertainty… We prefer the certainty of immediate results, rather that the potential that will expend a lot of effort and on the other side of the effort there will be nothing.  But that is where breakthrough comes from.  The process itself is worth it.  The process of making something, the process of risking, of trying things in and of itself is worth it if we want to contribute and build a brilliant body of work over time.

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

This is EXACTLY what WomanEnriched is all about: breaking through.  I was finding myself doing the chores, getting the jobs done, and checking things off the never ending list of  to-do items.  This is good; however, I needed to breakthrough.  I knew that there was MORE inside me.  There was much more that I wanted to create.  More I wanted to give to the world.  But it took RISK.

I want to share my thoughts, my friendship, my heart with the world in a very personal way. I want to cheer people on, remind them of their value and help them achieve even more than they had believed they could.  Why?  Because I believe there are others who need these thoughts. I trust that there are good people in the world who want to read this content and share their insights with me.  I consider the people who read these posts as not just people, but friends. Real friends.  Even if I never meet them in person. I appreciate them immensely, for they are doing a considerable amount of good in the world. Don’t they deserve a shot of Vitamin B (Or Vitamin Blog as I like to call it) and some homemade sunshine from one that cares? Can someone inspire them to do a little more?  Can I?  I want to.  Only time will tell.  But that’s what I want to be.

 Second, Take small risks every day.

Want to write a book?  Tell one friend today and once you hear that cheering you on, will help you have confidence to tell two more.  Want to be a screenwriter even though you are working 10 hour days?  You’ve got 30 minutes of peace before you go to bed.  You do.  You could write down some key thoughts you have on a sticky note, then when you sit down to work you just go to work.  Want to be a potter?  Find a class in the community.  You can do this.  You really should do this, too.

Because at the end of the day, will you wonder about your choices?  Did you live a life having a breakthrough or did you play it safe? Did you spend time giving value to others?  Were your relationships the warm, rich ones that ooze happiness in your life? Did you give it your best? Only you can answer these questions,  don’t check out of life with regret.  Todd Henry sums it up this way:

Based on conversations I’ve had with people, based on research done by others, the things you will regret are the times in your life when you chose to do the safe thing instead of doing the thing that your intuition told you was right.

Listen, at the end of your life, when you lay your head down for the last time, if you’re not purposeful about  your life you will have a lot of regrets. But if you are purposeful about structuring your life in such a way that your spending those four finite resources: focus, assets, time, energy in a meaningful and purposeful way you will lay your head down for the last time pointing to a body of work and saying, “Yes!  That represents me!” and you will die empty of regret, but you will die full of satisfaction for a life well lived.  And I think that’s all any of us can ask for.” 

Todd Henry

Third, Consider this TED Talk by Candy Chang.

 

Powerful stuff, huh?  I can’t stop thinking about what that enormous chalkboard for the whole world would look like with everyone writing down that thing they want to do before they die.  Every one has a passion.  Now, let’s break through.  Complete strangers posted their life’s goal on a chalkboard to share with the world. Write yours down on a sticky note, may be you post it on the bathroom mirror so while you are preparing for day, you are keeping your mind focused.  Perhaps it’s at your cubicle, so you remember what you are doing there.  Maybe it’s on the fridge. And, show it to me.  Take a picture and put it on Instagram using #breakthroughtoday .

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Tell me, how do you work on your passion and keep up with the daily minutia?

15 Replies to “Breakthrough Today and You Can Die Empty”

  1. That is really powerful. It seems a lot like the book I am reading right now, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. I put this book on my Amazon wish list to read next. Those small moments, like you said, even 30 minutes can lead you to doing all the things that you want to do. We just have to be able to force ourselves to sit down and DO the work. That’s the tough part, but it can be done.

  2. Passion is so important. I can’t imagine sustaining enthusiasm if working on something that leaves you cold. I appreciate your list of books. I find that if I talk to someone about my passion that it perks me up and I easily feel enthused again.

  3. Great points! I think being curious is a key element of growth. As kids, we all had it and somehow grew out of it. I think it’s because the Big People in our life instilled a deep sense of caution in us out of love — they wanted us to be safe. But as Big People now ourselves, we have the choice to make — to indulge in that curiosity, to explore and take risks. Too many people don’t … which is a loss to them and the world.

  4. I love this, and agree! If you are not following your passion you WILL get burnt out, no doubt about it. I do the same thing! I have found that when I am filling myself with a great sermon or teaching that helps to ignite what’s burning inside, I get a lot of the mundane daily stuff done that much easier. Great post Amy!

    1. Melodie, I agree. The phrase “get out your comfort zone” has become a buzzword, even overused. Those small little risks add up to much more than we realize.

  5. Great information! Passion is so important in what you’re doing. I got to learn to get out of my comfort zone more and take risks. Thanks, for the post Amy.

  6. This is really good. It is so important to me that I leave a strong legacy for my little ones. On top of that I want to enjoy life while doing it. I don’t allow things to hold me back. I go for it. Sometimes that is good sometimes it isn’t, but it is a great lessoned learned. I don’t regret anything. I do agree on taking risks, calculated ones, but risks anyhow. If I don’t I think I would miss out on so much. Thanks for sharing.

  7. You know, I do the same thing Amy with the whole audio. I haven’t gotten too much into the podcasting, but I always have my audios on while I’m doing anything around the house or running errands. And love your message here! Resonates with me =)

  8. I completely agree that you have to find your passion and do what you love. I also love listening to podcasts. According the University of California, you can achieve almost the equivalent of a full year’s university education by listening to podcasts in your car while you drive from place to place across a year. I also enjoy listening to podcasts while walking the dogs. I find it highly motivational.

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