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Where do brilliant ideas come from? And, is it possible to do great work under pressure every single day? The Accidental Creative podcast explores how to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work as a creative pro. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, and The Motivation Code) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversatio ...
 
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show series
 
There are two distinct walls that we encounter in the creative process. The first is what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance. It's the barrier that keeps us from getting started with our most challenging work. But, there is also a second wall. It's the one we hit when we've achieved a little momentum, and we're tempted to quit. We must learn to pus…
 
It's been a long year, and many creative pros are experiencing some level of creative burnout. It's taken everything we have to deliver on expectations over the past year, and as we now return to a sense of "normal", the uncertainty and expectations are likely to rise even more. On this episode, I offer six tips for dealing with those moments when …
 
Technology is an extension of your capacity to accomplish your will. So, it gives you a “longer lever” when you want to move big rocks. However, we are finding that technology is encroaching upon us in ways we couldn’t have anticipated ten years ago. It’s more difficult to find the space necessary to do the important, creative work we’re tasked wit…
 
In the creative process, one of the silent killers is expectation escalation. It’s very important that we have a healthy understanding of our abilities and developmental opportunities, but for some of us, myself included, our expectations of ourselves and our work is our greatest competitor to full, free creativity. In his work On Intelligence, Jef…
 
We live in an age in which we often only see the best aspects of the lives of others. People share their successful destination, but not the (often difficult) journey they took to get there. This leaves many people thinking there's a missing "manual" that everyone else has but they somehow overlooked. Today's guest is Josh Peck. His new memoir Happ…
 
Twyla Tharp once wrote “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.” If we want to succeed, we need good habits. On the flip side, Warren Buffet said “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”, meaning that our bad habits often don’t seem that bad until they get to the poin…
 
What is a “culture”? We hear that word tossed around in organizations all the time, but it’s often difficult to know what people even mean when they say that word. Worse, managers often talk about building or growing a great culture without a full understanding of what a great culture might even look like. Today’s guest is Daniel Coyle. He’s spent …
 
What does it mean to be successful? I wrote in my book Die Empty that how you define greatness defines you, meaning that what you aspire to - even if you haven’t clearly articulated what it is - will shape how you go about your days and determine your priorities for you. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what success actually means to you,…
 
You have four finite resources to spend on behalf of what matters: focus, assets, time, and energy. How you allocate these four resources will often determine your success or failure. How intentional are you about making plans to spend them in the right places? On this episode, I share a simply 5-step method for planning your day that I've been usi…
 
When you create, you likely aren’t doing it just for yourself. You are probably making things - whether a product, a message, a work of art, or even a strategy - for someone else. You create in order to get some kind of response from the person who experiences your work. An emotion. This is especially true in the world of brand strategy. Your brand…
 
It's one thing to perform at your peak ability, but another thing altogeter to sustain that performance over time. How to peak performers continue to produce great work over long periods of time? Today's guest, Alan Stein, Jr., is the author of the new book Sustain Your Game. In this conversation we discuss how top performers think about time and o…
 
The words “love” and “work” are rarely used in the same sentence. Work is comprised of those tasks we have to do in order to make a living, while love is used to describe those activities driven by passion. But what if love and work don’t have to be mutually exclusive? What if we can discover what we love through our work, not in spite of it? Today…
 
Whether you realize it or not, you are constantly sending signals to everyone around you. These signals tell others whether or not you are interested, whether or not you are interesting, whether you truly believe what you’re saying or if you’re just faking it, whether you’re confident or insecure, and whether or not they should hire or do business …
 
Ten years ago, Austin Kleon released his book Steal Like An Artist. Over the past decade, it's become a must-read classic for anyone wishing to produce great creative work. In celebration of the release of the 10-year Anniversatry edition of the book, we invited Austin back on the show to discuss what he's learned since the release of the book, how…
 
We are at this very moment in a season of transition. Philosophers call this "liminal space", from the Latin word "limen" which means "threshold". It's a season in which something is ending, but the next thing has not yet begun. Many creative pros feel like this describes the season we are all experiencing. The pandemic is ending, but the transitio…
 
"The Great Resignation". That's what they're calling the re-shuffling that's happening across many industries right now. Over the past few years, I've worked closely with a number of companies and have discovered that there are five key reasons why many creative people are choosing to leave their job right now, even when it's not in their own best …
 
What do you do when you have a ton of important creative work to do, and are feeling stressed about your ability to get it done? My solution is to plan a "cave day", which is basically a block of time dedicated to doing deep work. On this episode, I share a few best practices for planning and executing a "cave day", then we interview Molly Sonteng,…
 
She calls herself a "creator and destroyer of worlds". Lisa Soper is a production designer and animator, whose most recent work is with James Gunn on the new HBO Max series Peacemaker. In this conversation we discuss her career path, why her process always begins with pencil and paper, and how she manages to bring spaces to life while managing the …
 
What does the word "wonder" mean to you? If you want to experience more creative breakthroughs in life and work, cultivating a sense of awe and possibility is an absolute necessity. But where does wonder come from, and how can we experience more of it each day? Today's guest is Jeffrey Davis. His new book Tracking Wonder is about how to pursue wond…
 
In the past decade, I've been a guest on hundreds of radio shows and podcasts, and occasionally I have such a good time I want to invite the host onto The Accidental Creative for a chat about creativity. Jay Clouse is the host of the Creative Elements podcast where he interviews creative pros about how they do what they do. In this episode, we disc…
 
Have you ever noticed the little voice inside your head? What does it say to you, especially when you are doing your work? Sometimes that internal voice can turn against us and stand in the way of effectiveness. On this episode, Dr. Ethan Kross teaches about the nature of chatter and what we can do about it. His new book is called Chatter. Get ad-f…
 
Why do some people seem to have a deep well of confidence when entering challenging moments, and others seem to shrink away from opportunity? More importantly, how can you develop the mindset habits that lead to improved clarity and confidence in moments that matter most? Today's guest is Dr. Nate Zinsser. He is a professor at West Point an the aut…
 
It’s bound to happen sooner or later. No matter how skilled you are and no matter how well you’ve prepared, you’re inevitably going to find yourself stuck on a tough problem without a clear path forward. It’s tempting in these circumstances to keep your nose down and continue cranking on the problem. The problem with this method is that you may be …
 
Do you ever feel like you don't really belong in the room? Like your ideas just aren't as good as everyone else's? Like everyone else seems to have it figured out and you don't? You're not alone. The number one struggle that many teams I work with have is a lack of creative confidence, whether in presenting ideas or taking risks. On this episode, I…
 
When I ask "what is the one thing that stands in the way of your productivity?" the most common answer get is "I don't have enough time!" But...really? We each have the same amount of time - 168 hours a week. It's not so much about the quantity of time as it is about how we choose to leverage it. In this episode, I share three big time blocking str…
 
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