Obligation vs. Opportunity

by | Process

Think about how you’ve spent your last 24 hours. How much time did you spend on building something rather than on maintaining something that already existed? Most of us spend the majority of our lives in maintenance mode, whether it’s professionally or personally. We are hired to maintain a system that someone else invented, we maintain our relationships rather than leading them, or we reactively do what we have to in order to get the work done but we don’t spend much time thinking about building capacity for future work. We live lives of obligation.

The shift from obligation mode to opportunity mode is critical for any creative who wants to be prolific, brilliant and healthy. We must be thinking regularly about how we are investing in our capacity to do better work in the future. We must be personally accountable for our own growth. We must build practices into our life that make us effective rather than obsessing on efficiency.

Are you living your life for obligation or for opportunity? I’d challenge you to do something today that is forward-looking and increases your capacity to do brilliant work.

Todd Henry

Todd Henry

Positioning himself as an “arms dealer for the creative revolution”, Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of five books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, The Motivation Code) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.


Learn how to structure your life and work to be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Accidental Creative helps creative pros do the best work of their lives. Our workshopstools, and podcasts will help you have better ideas, collaborate seamlessly, and thrive under pressure.


Since 2005 we've served up weekly podcast episodes to help you stay prolific, brilliant, and healthy. Follow the show in your favorite app:

Share This