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Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day Hardcover – September 26, 2013
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Henry is the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consulting firm that helps organizations generate new ideas. His first book, The Accidental Creative (2011), offered strategies for how to thrive in the creative marketplace and was supported by a podcast of the same name. The imperative of the new book to “die empty” may sound exhausting, but it’s not about working yourself to the bone until you have nothing left to give. Instead, it’s about reminding yourself that your life is finite to create a sense of urgency that breaks the habit of putting your best work off until tomorrow. Many modern professionals are “busily bored,” cranking through a lot of work but not engaged or meeting their larger objectives. Henry provides a number of tactics and mental challenges to keep you focused on short, medium, and long-range goals. Keep this one by your bedside and read a section or two at the beginning or end of the day to keep yourself on track. --David Siegfried
- Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception
- David Allen, author of the international bestseller Getting Things Done
- Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art and Turning Pro
- Chris Guillebeau, NYT Bestselling author of The $100 Startup
"Die Empty looks past simple slogans to highlight detailed strategies for building a meaningful life; a must-read for anyone interested in moving from inspiration to action."
"We all want confirmation that our life compass is pointed in the direction and that we are on course. Die Empty provides practical methods for reflecting and then immediately taking action that keeps you on the right path and helps you unlock your full potential on a daily basis."
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I am age 67 and all forecasts say I should live to age 85. Therefore, I've got almost 20 years to build up my legacy. This book helped me define outcomes and a plan to do that.
I made lots of notes during the reading of this book, but three key takeaways were:
1. Problem finding is more important than problem solving, for if we don't define the most important problems clearly, we can end up promoting a single solution to every issue, i.e., I've got a hammer so everything looks like a nail.
2. The inherent problem with the advice "follow your passion" is that it focuses on what you can GET, not what you can GIVE. The perfect passion is something you enjoy that benefits others.
3. Intellectual growth results not from accumulating but instead integrating knowledge.
My legacy? Stamp out normal.
This is huge. From a career and personal perspective, it sets you apart from everyone else. People will want to work with you. You’ll be making a bigger difference. You’ll enjoy what you’re doing at a much deeper level.
In the book, Henry states: If you believe you’re capable of more, your best work is ahead of you. I love it. Then, he guides you through a process to step out of your comfort zone. His 3-step approach includes:
1) Mapping: figuring out your plan.
2) Making it happen; doing the work.
3) Meshing: prepping for long term success.
I strongly encourage people to read this book simply to understand that concept better — and hopefully, embrace it. My life has changed immeasurably since I committed to wholeheartedly giving away my personal gifts.
Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. Go for it.
I've been working for six months on figuring out where I should be directing my life. I'm a business owner and a creative person over all, but I've been feeling listless and adrift. I was finishing up a guided writing class with a creativity mentor when she turned me on to Seth Godin. He in turn had written glowing praise for Todd Henry and Die Empty. When I saw that I took it as a sign and jumped in feet first.
Since this is my first reading, I don't know that any of the wonderful writing that Todd did has fully sunk in to my practical world. I do know this. Next Tuesday I begin teaching a class at a local university and the first thing my students will see when they come in to class will be a quote from this book.