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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than "Accidental Creative"
Todd Henry's first book was Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice, which examined the creative process and provides strategies to maximize your creativity while maintaining healthy work habits.

In Die Empty, Todd helps individuals and companies stop deferring their most important work. The book provides a process and principles for...
Published 14 months ago by Jesse Lahey

versus
24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Book is great, KINDLE has serious problems
The book itself is marvelous. Sadly this is another great example of why I have lost so much enthusiasm for KINDLE versions. The formatting has serious problems that make it almost unreadable in places. For example, at the section titled 'CHECKPOINT' at about 23% the typeface is suddenly very faint grey instead of black -- the pages look blank unless you look closely. In...
Published 13 months ago by William W. Zeitler


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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than "Accidental Creative", September 27, 2013
Todd Henry's first book was Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice, which examined the creative process and provides strategies to maximize your creativity while maintaining healthy work habits.

In Die Empty, Todd helps individuals and companies stop deferring their most important work. The book provides a process and principles for tapping into your passion -- at first, that may sound like several other books on the market, but this incorporates Todd's uber-valuable approach to the create-on-demand expectations of today's workplace.

The book is organized around the "seven deadly sins of mediocrity" for individuals and teams:

AIMLESSNESS: The book's chapter "Define Your Battles" helps you identify what you will stand for.
BOREDOM: "Be Fiercely Curious" provides several strategies to avoid "busy boredom," including what he calls a "bliss station."
COMFORT: "Step Out of Your Comfort Zone" helps you establish a new vector and set step, sprint, and stretch goals on your new course.
DELUSION: "Know Yourself" helps you identify what truly resonates with you and what unique contribution you alone are capable of pursuing.
EGO: "Be Confidently Adaptable" helps you prevent an inflated ego from stalling progress on your most important work.
FEAR: "Find Your Voice" helps you take small, calculated risks every day.
GUARDEDNESS: "Stay Connected" helps you maintain productive collaboration rather than closing off from relationships when things get busy.

Todd also outlines four key factors that will determine your long-term effectiveness in life and work. Your F.A.T.E. determines your fate!

I liked Accidental Creative, but I love Die Empty. As the author has continued to develop his ideas and speak to audiences large and small, his writing style, insight, and fascinating stories hit a whole new level in this book.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Carpe Diem book for this generation!, September 26, 2013
I started this book and was immediately hooked. Todd lays down the foundation for what "die empty" means and why it's so important. We get one life that goes fast. We can spend our life on a lot of things but only with focus and intention can we truly invest ourselves and our lives into what matters the most.

Todd leads the way to show how we can die empty. He states, "We have only a certain amount of time available to us, and how we choose to spend our days is significant...we feel the ticking of the clock, and the accompanying sense that we may be missing our opportunity to make a contribution to the world. However, we often ignore these impulses as a result of the relentless pragmatics of life and work."

Todd sets out to answer the question, "How do you set in motion a course of action that will allow you to unleash your best, most valuable work while you still can?"

Over the course of the book Todd doesn't give empty cliches or motivational speeches. Instead he shares his observations in his work and real life applicable disciplines we can incorporate into life- from examine where we are going, to the reason we need to step out of our comfort zone to the importance of developing and chasing our curiosity.

This isn't a quick fix book. It's not a call to crazy-busy activity. It's an instruction manual on how to live so that we die empty of regret and full of the satisfaction that we lived life well, giving, serving, spending ourselves on what really mattered.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Antidote to Procrastination, September 27, 2013
This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
I was first introduced to Todd Herny's work through his first title "The Accidental Creative". I knew right away I just had to share his message with my coworkers. It's not often you find someone who really understands the creative process and the myriad pitfalls so many of us creative professionals face in our work and careers. Recently I had the opportunity to hear Todd speak at a leadership event and was immediately reminded just how important and necessary his voice is to the community. Needless to say, I was excited to hear he had written a new book that focused on unleashing excelent work.

"How much of your day do you spend doing work that you'll be proud of later?"
This is the question Todd asks us to consider in his newest title "Die Empty". It's a tough question, but it's one worth grappling with. Let's face it, at some point we're going to run out of tomorrows. And all those great ideas we've been sitting on, those noble projects and worthy causes we hoped we'd get to one day will be left undone. And should that happen, the world will be poorer as a result of our procrastination. "Die Empty" is a powerful antidote to that scenario. It's a weapon against procrastination.

Todd's book doesn't just contain wisdom and aspirations (though there's plenty of that) it provides actionable processes and road maps designed to help us understand our values and to empower those values to drive the work we do. It's a powerful tool for those of us determined to throw our full weight - our values, our talents and our passions - into our work, families and communities.

I have no doubt Die Empty will quickly become a manifesto for professionals intent on living out their passions.
Wanna unleash your best work? Read the book, Then roll up your sleeves and get at it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living A Life Well Spent, September 26, 2013
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This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
Last summer a good friend of mine passed away and I remember sitting by his bed with him and his fiancee when the Doctors told him there was nothing left that they could do to cure his illness. With the same grace he displayed throughout his life, he accepted the news and when the room cleared leaving only the three of us we talked about the remaining days. We asked him about the things he wanted us to do with him and/or on his behalf with the time he had left (he would be confined to hospice for the remainder). We asked him if there was any "unfinished business" that he might need us to tend to. He had been ill for a while and therefore even more deliberate than usual about how he spent his time, with whom he spent it, and the experiences he accumulated as time dissipated. He had done everything he wanted in his short life, he had tended to the business that would take care of loved ones once he was gone, and he had no regrets and no unfinished business about which to think over what was his last couple of weeks. Though his life was full, as Todd Henry would say, he lived in such a way that he would soon "Die Empty".

I loved "The Accidental Creative" (Todd's first book), read Todd's blog regularly, and listen to each of his podcasts...Inspiring! "Die Empty" is different...it's even better!! I aspire to live a life that leads me to feeling the same way my good friend did during his final days. That life requires us to spend a large portion of our time outside of our comfort zone, to reclaim our curiosity, and to stop talking about the "hypothetical value" of our ideas. Life is about action. Life is about doing. Life is about fulfillment and follow through. This book reminds us that passion is about suffering, not just enjoyment. And that if we care enough to "Die Empty", we need to be willing to suffer for the people and things we hold most dear. Reading this book may not be easy and it may make it a little more difficult to look yourself in the mirror today. However, by reading, heeding, and practicing the teachings we will all likely appreciate what we see as we reflect on our actions when our life comes to a close.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough love for grown-ups, September 26, 2013
This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
Many books are written to give guidance on how to live a meaningful life, whether professionally and personally. Often these attempts fall short because they end up being not much more than a 200 page motivational speech. The reader is given some inspirational quotes and examples of how famous people became successful by following ancient wisdom. Then those books conclude by telling us somehow we can be successful too.

"Die Empty" takes a different approach that results in much greater value for the reader. The book starts with a strong dose of tough love blended with hope and optimism. After these introductory chapters where the author explains his core beliefs, the remainder is geared towards practical techniques, exercises and questions.

The tough love arrives in the early chapters when we're told the book has no "quick fixes or shot-in-the-arm tactics" This is followed with comments such as "no one is served by false promises of effortless bliss," and "all the positive thinking in the world will not amount to anything without decisive action." The undercurrent of that attitude remains throughout the book.

But Chapter One also has sets the stage with hope and optimism by saying we're all capable of more and our best work is still ahead.

The author explains his set of core beliefs, which include - "your days are numbered you only have a finite number. Someday they will run out."

And during your life, "you have a unique contribution to make to the world. No one else can make your contribution for you."

Finally the author reminds us that if we don't make our unique contribution we are robbing our family, peers, and the community at large.

After the introductory chapters, the author doesn't leave us hanging because the remainder of the book takes us to the heart of the matter and help us figure out how to discover and make our unique contribution. Some of the chapter titles, such as "Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone" and "Find Your Voice" might sound like a typical self-help book. But don't be deceived because the questions and exercises included with each chapter make this book extremely valuable.

I'd recommend you read the book through once to get a good overview. Then go back and pick just a few ideas to work on in your own life. Trying to implement everything at once could easily be overwhelming so use your own judgment.

This is not the type of book you will read, get a warm and fuzzy feeling, and then put on the shelf. "Die Empty" is a grown-up, thought-provoking book you'll want to refer to often.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Regrets, October 3, 2013
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This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
I had the opportunity to read Todd Henry's first book ( The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice ) and also interact with him in my Innovation consulting. After meeting him in person, I was most impressed with his unyielding desire to do things that matter and make sure they impact other people. As I learned of this new book, it seemed like the perfect topic for someone who was already living the content.

The book has been easy to digest and apply quickly. I found myself immediately brainstorming ways that my current commitments could have significantly more meaning and also dream (and plan) for work that could bring fulfillment. I have always has a deep sense that there was something in this world that I was "supposed to do" and this book gives a strong foundation for following that through and making sure I don't put it off until it's too late.

Todd is often tongue and cheek about the irony of writing a book about ways to live with the focus of death on the forefront. He handles this existential topic well. There are also tools created to make a nice component for this content. I plan on using them with my small work team and also with some of my clients. As I talk to more and more people about this topic, it seems that we live in a day when most people want to do more than just earn money. This book really helped clarify how to walk that out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guidebook for how to do Great Work, September 26, 2013
Todd Henry's latest book helps to provide answers to how we can maximize our creative lives. While I'm not a big fan of the "Die Empty" title, it does make sense with explanation. This book answers the critical questions we all have about doing our best creative work in this new economy.

Issues like "what is work" and "following our passion", are examined in unique ways to help maximize our contribution and live a meaningful life. Die Empty is a blueprint for doing the best we are capable of.

I constantly struggle with finding focus and career direction. Todd Henry's unique perspectives have helped bring much needed clarity to my work.

If you care about doing bigger and better things in the world, you should read this book.

Nicely done, Todd!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific guide for creating better work (and more of it), September 27, 2013
By 
Ben Nesvig (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
I've read dozens of books this year on productivity, creativity, and creating art. Die Empty is one of the most helpful guides that pretty much anyone could use to get more done and get more meaning out of their work. Beyond the practical advice the book offers, it includes many questions that force introspection and help you develop a better understanding of yourself. It's not so much a "step by step" guide because that would be impossible, but a very helpful framework for thinking about what you do, how you can do it better, and how to get more meaning out of your work.

I love this book because it stresses something people are afraid to talk about - to do great work, you need to develop a sense of urgency. Time is finite. Your life is a backwards clock that's running out. Very few books touch on that subject when I consider it to be one of the most important concepts you can learn about life. One of the themes I noticed from reading so many different books is that most of my favorite authors, thinkers, and inventors had a brush with death. Life forced upon them this feeling of urgency and the need to create because life could end at any moment. While we can't all have a close brush with death (and hopefully don't), the concept of dying empty when that day does come is a lesson everyone needs to hear.

Read it, but more importantly, apply the concepts and answer the questions in the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Book by Todd Henry adds more value to your work and life, September 26, 2013
This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
Within the last month, I attended a conference and heard Todd Henry speak. With 30 years into my career and a zest for lifelong learning, I am selective about conferences and speakers, having heard dozens, if not 100's, over the years. Henry stands above the rest - so I quickly read The Accidental Creative, his first book, and was able to read a review copy of DIE EMPTY. Both are straightforward in a refreshing way; neither book contains a lot of filler material that can cause you to check out while reading. If you are looking to get your worklife on a sustainable track, or to begin or change careers, and lead a balanced life, I highly recommend either of both of these books. The idea that many of the best ideas and output lie buried in graveyards is the premise of DIE EMPTY. Henry again uses a direct approach and solid theories and ideas to guide you in learning to execute your best ideas and to be effective in your work. Among other things,it's about focus, structure, time, energy - I won't give away his acrononyms - and largely about aligning your work with your values. The contents of this book, as well as The Accidental Creative, would cost you thousands of dollars and hours from a coach, so invest in one or both books before you take that step, or use it as a springboard to focus on what you might want from a business or worklife coach. Don't let your best ideas and productivity die with you, but take Henry's challenge to DIE EMPTY.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book with Clarity, January 29, 2014
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This review is from: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Hardcover)
When I first saw the title of this book, I thought....What the heck. I think when many of us read anything that relates to death, we get a bit squeamish, and a title that reads "Die Empty." What is that all about?! The title at first almost turned me off. I am so glad I ended up purchasing the book. As you can see I rated it a well-deserved 5 star rating.

The thing that grabbed me was in the beginning about what land was the most valuable land. I guess one can think of varied answers to that, but the one that hits the soul is "The most valuable land is the graveyard. In the graveyard are buried all of the unwritten novels, never-launched businesses, unreconciled relationships, and all of the other things that people thought, ' I'll get around to that tomorrow." One day, however, their tomorrows ran out." That sure hits home.

Well, this book helps us toward the clarity we need to have so that we die empty, without anything left needing to be done yet that we really had hoped to accomplish in this life. It is not about getting everything done today either.
It is about getting your best work out there, and making progress each day on things that matter. It guides us toward tackling the goals that we really want to tackle. The author of the book helps us separate the goals of what is most important. We are reminded that each of us has a unique contribution to make to the world and no one else can make that contribution but you....and your contribution is NOT about you. Not about you? How can that be? Well, read the book to find out.
But, it does give guidance so that you find the truthful and helpful answers to questions like.... Why you feel intimidated? What resonates with you? What complicates your life? How do you clarify your objectives?
The book helps you in redefining success (and failure). It puts you on the right track.

You know, I cannot state all the benefits you will gain by reading this book. There are just too many to list.

Is the book worth purchasing? You bet it is. I highly recommend it. Once you start reading it, you will not want to put it down till the last page. There is a part in the book that reads "Don't Hold Out On Us." Well, don't Hold out on yourself.....find out what "Don't Hold Out On Us" is about.......... and, read the book.
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Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry (Hardcover - September 26, 2013)
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