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Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,936 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Most of us live with the stubborn idea that we'll always have tomorrow. But sooner or later all of our tomorrows will run out. Each day that you postpone the hard work and succumb to the clutter that chokes creativity, discipline, and innovation will result in a net deficit to the world, to your company, and to yourself. Die Empty is a tool for individuals and companies th ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 26th 2013 by Portfolio (first published May 30th 2013)
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Nahid You'll get a bit inspiration at the beginning of the book. But as you proceed, you will succumb to boredom.
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Laura Leaney
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first 30 pages or so resonated with me, mostly because I waste a lot of time deviating from well-intentioned plans. I also love the title. The rest of it was painfully boring. Better self-help lessons might be found in the writings of Marcus Aurelius. I'm pretty sure he "died empty" without giving too much thought to catch phrases like the "Seven Deadly Sins of Mediocrity."

The author's ideas are fine, but the writing is dull and clichéd: Engage today with urgency and diligence. Plant seeds
Emma Sea
Jun 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
The book sat very uneasily with me, for more reasons than simply the repetition of bland aphorism. It's clear Henry's target market is the middle-class white-collar worker, and although Henry discusses entrepreneurs in many places, the overall tone of the book is very much that the cure for a meaningless paper-pushing middle-management life riddled with Koinophobia is to put more energy into your work; all your energy; all your drive.

When Henry talks about frustrated staff who whine, "My manager
Chung Chin
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
From the cover jacket - "Die Empty is a tool for people who aren't willing to put off their most important work for another day. Todd Henry explains the forces that keeps us in stagnation and introduces a process for instilling consistent practices into your life that will keep you on a true and steady course."

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again. - Andre Gide

This quote came to mind as I was reading through the book
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A disclaimer is in order. I have been a Todd Henry enthusiast since I read his first book, The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice. His regular podcast is on my weekly “must listen to” list. I was thrilled when I heard the title and theme of his second book. I’m what business guru, Ken Blanchard, calls a “raving fan” of Todd’s work. Admittedly, I’m biased not just because we share the same first name.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day is about how we can unlea
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous read about making a difference in your life each and every day rather than living by your to-do list. I will keep this by my side as a reference and reminder to live and act with purpose.
Þórsteinn Ágústsson
The title says it all, the book is empty!
Pretty dull, full of common truth told much better elsewhere. Had to force my self through 3/4 than I couldnt take it any more
Ryan Boomershine
I read a few books like this a year, because I feel I must. I do desire to keep some sort of finger to the pulse of what modern man finds to be the answer to productivity and effectiveness, and this book is really well reviewed.

This book is to productivity jargon what the Moulin Rouge is the can-can. [By that I mean it is a sort of epicenter, if you must know why I must deal in crude metaphor.]

In fact, Henry skirts alongside biblical mores the whole book through without ever hitting them head-on
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: to-be-sold
What a disappointment. I read the first chapter for free and was intrigued enough to download the worksheets and order a copy of the book. Unfortunately, the book is not geared toward "creatives" at all, but people laboring for start-ups and larger businesses, "creating" under the gun for their corporate masters. It's about making yourself feel better about pouring your soul into work for someone else's profit.

Reading this book was less an exercise in getting out of it what I put into it and mor
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Motivational talks don't usually touch on death, this one built it's premise on the fact that you are going to die one day. To quote, "the death rate is hovering somewhere around 100%". Given this unavoidable fact, how does this effect your life decisions? What we regret most is not living up too and fulfilling our potential. Life is full of unrealized dreams and goals, not because they were attempted and failed, but because we chose the comfortable path and just didn't really try.

Through a cou
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: first-reads
If there’s one book that America’s politicians should be reading, it’s Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry. Although the book is aimed at creative professionals, and they’re used for most examples, the principles and insights gleaned can relate to anyone that’s willing to get honest with themselves and open up to Henry’s advice. Die Empty is less about a stringent set of rules and tasks that you must accomplish and more about adopting a different mindset. Henry makes sure t ...more
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title "Die Empty" gives the impression on how to be ambitious and driven to achieve all your dreams. This was more about methodically improving yourself and picking the things that are important. He gives an example of how his son had hurt himself by trying to jump two steps at a time going downstairs. He freaked out from the crying and was ready to enact a new rule of "no jumping on stairs". Then he stepped back. This was the first time it happened. Obviously, his son felt the pain of makin ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Outlines seven ways that humans fall into stagnation or mediocrity not only at work but also in other areas of our lives. Describes each factor and how to remedy it in a easy to understand way. I recommend it to anyone that what to improve their life.
Ben Nesvig
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
If The War of Art, So Good They Can't Ignore You, and chapter 4 of The 33 Strategies of War had a book baby, this would be the result. And I mean that in a good way. The book has a lot of solid applicable advice that anyone can use to be more effective, get clarity, and do better work.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
An honest, practical read that applies to everyone. A good book that will make you think.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Classic “new year, new you” read. Lol at myself.

It was good. The stuff about the traps we fall in to - especially the trap of comfort - resonates.

The privilege of being able to spend time finding the thing you’re uniquely suited to though. Sometimes I sicken myself. Four stars.
Inspirational business read on how to figure out and focus on what's most important to do right now to reach long-term life and work goals.
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
MMM... The main innovation was an alliteration: mapping, meshing, making. This is equivalent to the old concept that there are three broad categories of jobs (working with Ideas, People or Things) and that each of us tends to prefer one over the other two, but needs to do all three to some extent. I think the old way of talking about it is clearer even if it isn't alliterative. The examples used to illustrate concepts are pretty superficial or else are lifted from other books. It's not malarkey, ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, business
This book's a great complement to David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD). I read GTD shortly before reading Die Empty. GTD teaches you how to be organized and productive. Die Empty helps you figure out how to be productive, but it also helps you determine your goals. The author explains how to pinpoint your goals, make sure they're the right goals, and make a plan for reaching them. This applies to your personal life and your professional life.

(Disclaimer: This is what I got out of the book. T
Catherine Gillespie
Die Empty includes a lot of the same concepts as The Accidental Creative, including advice on how to curate the flow of media you’re subjected to, ideas for how to have weekly and quarterly self-assessments of all of your work and life activities, and how to maximize your focus. It does contain a bit more information about goal setting and how to leverage your focus, time, and energy to be sure you’re really being effective in the roles you identify as your priorities.

{Read my full review here}
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This book has a great title and starts off with promise, but gets bogged down with to many rules and things you have to do to be successful. I think it would be nigh impossible to do everything the author suggests and have any time or energy left to do your best work. Much of the material is not new, but has simply been renamed. On the plus side, I appreciate the author's emphasis on developing character. Many of the principles are based on character traits of honesty, humility, perseverance, et ...more
Jennifer Louden
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Highly useful. I read Todd's first book, Accidental Creative, and found it useful as well, although he does write more for people in organizations then self-employed but still, easy to apply most of the ideas.

This is a book you need to read through, and then decide how you will apply it. I will not be applying all his ideas - they are a bit complicated and overwhelming at first blush, but I will be adapting quite a few.

Read with a highlighter!
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Another bland self-help book with too many "do it this way or your life won't be important" manifestos. The title was good, but there didn't need to be a whole book declaring every practice you need to do in work and life to make it happen.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Finally adding a review to this book so I know why I donated it. This book is clearly aimed at businesspersons. That's fine, but my aspirations are more self-directed and creative and much of this material is not general enough to apply outside of a business environment.

The book started off strong and I was turning pages rapidly until I got about 2/3rds of the way through it. After that, it was just a chore.

Still, it wasn't all for naught. I loved this paragraph, which resonates with me very st
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Die Empty…..LIVE FULL!!

Don’t let the title fool you. Die Empty is an uplifting, engaging and life-affirming read. It is an exploration of the potential in all of us to find work with meaning and life with purpose. Feeling a sense of contribution and connection to what resonates deeply in our soul as our essential work is the essence of well-being, and Henry’s book is an exploration of how to define that work and navigate towards its realization.

Author Todd Henry applies a broad definition to wor
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Although I have a lot of thoughts about this book due to my WOC feminism and such, I got what I needed from this book---such as concrete strategies and exercises about how to be a creative intellectual/goal getter, such as taking risks and setting daily/measurable goals to MAKE ISH HAPPEN! The affirmations really help to shift my mindset, such as: it is than okay to invest in myself and follow my intuition and dreams and show up for MYSELF and others. Every day is a new opportunity to grow/learn ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The title is what caught my eye in the store. Going in I thought it would be like any other self-help book, giving you motivating words but nothing to get you past the dream phase. This book actually gives you information and narratives to give you an idea of how these ideas could be used in the real world. Then you are given questions and activities to actually make you think about what's really holding you back from leading a self-fulfilling life that enriches your own world and possibly anoth ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could be worth having a printed/pdf copy hanging around from which to draw ideas. A lot of fairly neat aphorisms compiled into one work. The "Die Empty" title sets this one apart as it recommends to all of us that we all die someday, so each day (that might be your last) ought to be spent working really hard on what that for which we really have passion. It is essential to establish priorities.
Alvin Soh
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very practical approach to personal management

This is definitely one of the best book I’ve read on personal management. The content discussed comes from a helicopter view of what life really means, and how our daily routines actually link to it. Personally I think if one practice what Todd is advocating in this book, no chance will that person find his/ her life unfulfilling.
Kevin Powe
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Definitely going to need a re-read at some point, but I'm bordering on a Todd Henry Cult member. This is shorter and punchier than Accidental Creative, and poses some really key questions to be asking yourself regularly. Highly recommended, and a good starting point for finding your momentum and urgency.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Inspiring and thought-provoking, along the lines of Jon Acuff’s Start or other business type books. Whether you work in an office or for yourself, this book will help you evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and how to fix it, without giving such ridiculous (and pointless) advice as “follow your heart”.
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“Passion” has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means “to suffer or endure.” Therefore, at the root of passion is suffering. This is a far cry from the way we casually toss around the word in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of asking “What would bring me enjoyment?” which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask “What work am I willing to suffer for today?” Great work requires suffering for something beyond yourself. It’s created when you bend your life around a mission and spend yourself on something you deem worthy of your best effort. What is your worthwhile cause?” 5 likes
“Make sure that you’re nurturing your process. It’s the only thing you can truly control, and it’s the thing you’ll always have regardless of where you end up.” 4 likes
More quotes…