Do You Love the Thing You Do? with Bruce Henderson

Bruce Griffin Henderson is an author and the Chief Creative Officer of SmileDirectClub, the next generation oral care company. From touring musician, to author, to cancer survivor — he’s seen a lot and learned even more in his life. Each stop along the way has contributed to his unique perspective on the world, leaving him with an appreciation for the journey and allowing him to de-emphasize the outcome.

What Brett asks:

  • [06:18] Tell me about how the music really grabbed you.
  • [12:10] Was music your calling? Was it necessary to lead you to your calling?
  • [16:10] Have you been able to let go of attachment to outcome?
  • [19:10] Is there something valuable about really letting go?
  • [22:40] You mentioned a life event as a catalyst for change. Can you elaborate on that?
  • [27:23] In hindsight, how do you view the experience of having cancer, and needing to switch careers to get insurance?
  • [34:20] What was it like to be in Austin in the late 70s and early 80s?
  • [41:15] Let’s talk about your writing and your work today.

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Everything leads to the next thing. Did Bruce make a career as a hit recording artist? No, but he had a few great years and found his calling: self-expression through writing. This allowed him to pivot into the world of writing, and his fascination with people gave him the idea for his first book. Then, when the web started coming along, Bruce shifted again, this time to advertising, because he was fascinated by the potential of publishing on the web, but he was still writing. Each experience informed the next.
  • It’s more fulfilling, and things often come much easier, when you’re able to pursue something for the love of doing it — not with a specific outcome in mind. “I wanted a career in the music business so badly, and got a record deal, and then made more records after that, appeared on national TV, that kind of stuff. But sometimes, it seemed like the more I wanted it, the more that I wanted the outcome, and the harder I tried for it, in many ways, the more elusive it became. Or at least, I didn’t achieve the success I was striving for. When I got into the business I’m in now, I came into it wanting to make a living writing, and my path forward has seemed so much easier than when I wanted an outcome much worse.”
  • You can have a great time anywhere if you don’t expect it to be someplace else. You simply have to find what’s good about your situation, or the place where you live, or the people you’re surrounded with. Otherwise, you’re just going to be unhappy.