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Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day Paperback – April 28, 2015
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"A simple, masterful manual for leading a fulfilled life. I couldn't put it down. Bravo, Todd Henry!"
-- David Allen, author of the international bestseller Getting Things Done
“You have a limited number of days on Earth. This book sends an urgent message: make them count!”
—Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.