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Publisher's Summary

Most of us live with the stubborn idea that we'll always have tomorrow to do our most important and valuable work. We fill our days with frantic activity, bouncing from task to task, scrambling to make deadlines and chase the next promotion. But by the end of each day we're often left asking ourselves "did the work I do today really matter?" We feel the ticking of the clock, but we're stuck in first gear, unsure of the path forward and without a road map to guide us.

Here's the hard truth: sooner or later all of our tomorrows will run out, so how we choose to spend today is significant. Each day that we postpone difficult tasks and succumb to the clutter that chokes creativity, discipline, and innovation results in a net deficit to the world, our organizations, and ourselves.

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 keep us in stagnation, and introduces a process for instilling consistent practices into your life that will keep you on a true and steady course. It's not about slaving over a project or living on a whim it's about embracing the idea that time is finite and making the unique contribution to the world that only you can make. Henry shows how to cultivate the mindset and the methods you need to sustain your enthusiasm, push through mental barriers, and unleash your best work each day.

Sure to bring a newfound clarity and a sense of urgency to how you approach your work every day, Die Empty will help you reach for and achieve your goals.

©2013 Todd Henry (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"One of the best books of the year. Passionate, practical and powerful, Todd will help you do more and do it better, starting right now." Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception"A simple, masterful manual for leading a fulfilled life... Bravo, Todd Henry!" (David Allen, author of the international best seller Getting Things Done)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Phil
  • Loudon, TN, United States
  • 04-08-14

Same Old Same Old

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Rehashed stuff. Platitudes. Dull reading.

Did Die Empty inspire you to do anything?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

Sounds like a corporate motivational speaker writing a book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Deeeeep sigh. And a tired one at that.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Todd is probably well-meaning and sincere. I believe he is. But I'm just as well-meaning and sincere, when I say this book truly made me stressed. It doesn't feel organised, and just like my issue was with Todd's previous book "The Accidental Creative", this one quickly propels into manic overdrive mode, encouraging you to make a list of this, make a list of this, build this into your routine, and hey - you also need to do this and this and this and this.

I'm by no means against doing exercises, thinking and contemplating, but the more I read and think about productivity, the creative process, and life in general; it becomes more and more evident that 99% of "us" (as in "the western, young to middle-aged knowledge working class") are way too stressed and overworked.

We are getting too far away from what's really important in life. And another list, brainstorm, habit, goal: does *not* alleviate that problem. Quite the contrary: it *is* the problem.

One of the biggest "villains" in that tale, is David Allen. I was following his GTD methodology for years, and can wholeheartedly say that it's downright wrong in many of its concepts on human productivity and stress. Will not go into detail about that here, just say that Todd sounds like a GTD by-product. David Allen also endorsed his book with a glowing testimonial.

Lists are not a cure for a stressed out life. Lists are part of the problem. You can always think up more ideas, more projects, more tasks and note them down on a gazillion lists. But it will *not* make you more productive. Just overwhelmed.

Brain science doesn't back up the claims of GTD.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Okay narration, but too overworked, in my opinion.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Die Empty?

Tighten it up. Balance it out.

Any additional comments?

Read The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte, for a more mindful, healthy substitute for Die Empty. One that will make you happy. Now - and at your deathbed.

I also highly recommend Autopilot by Andrew Smart, and Your Brain at Work by David Rock.

81 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Good ideas but struggling listening

I had mixed feelings while listening to the audio book. The book is full of good ideas and inspiration, it made me want to work on my goals eagerly. However, time after time my attention wandered away, and I had to force myself to pay attention. I think if you haven't listened to similar books before, it's worth to give a try, but if you are familiar with this type of books, this one doesn't give you as much as you expect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great material!

The content is unbelievable. I recommend stopping at the checkpoints and digging into the assignments he gives you to do. You'll get some great tips if you just listen through nonstop, but to really create a new path for yourself, you have to apply it to your own life first.

As for the reader (the author), it was okay. I've heard authors who are terrible readers, but Henry did a good job with pace and tone. Unless the author has significant history improving their speaking ability or communication skills, it's worth the money to hire a professional narrator. Henry does a decent reading, but it could have been better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Few Good Ideas, Scattershot Presentation

What would have made Die Empty better?

The book felt incredibly unorganized. There were some nice sounding ideas delivered with an "I'm a creative productive entrepreneur and I'm going to help you unlock your hidden potential in a hip way" vibe but almost none of it is practical or actionable in any way. The topics covered felt all over the place and it had no flow to the content.

As another reviewer noted, when the rubber meets the road, the author's suggestion for actions and exercises often end up being list making or other similar tail chasing efforts. These do not form the basis for any kind of practical set of habits, practices or methods for improvement and in the end undermine the few good bits of wisdom present.

The author also seemed to make a lot of implicit assumptions about the reader's career arc and vocational aspirations making some of the content irrelevant, or worse, skewed to a particular narrow mindset/target.

Most of the really valuable content of this book was presented by the end of the first chapter; and then rather than flesh that out into something that could be a significant work he added enough filler to sell it and make some money.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not the accidental creative, that's for sure. ;)

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was fine. It felt stiff at times but the problem here is content. Which, unfortunately there is no cure for...

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappoinment. I expected a lot more from this book based on its edgy sounding title and the author's early claims to address productivity and goal setting from an unflinchingly honest look at our mortality and its relationship to "work".

Any additional comments?

This is not one of those books you look forward to firing up every time you start your audible session. Its one of those where you grit your teeth and wonder if it is going to redeem itself or not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Start then falls on its face

What disappointed you about Die Empty?

The only data I got out of it I can use is on the back cover. Went on and on

Has Die Empty turned you off from other books in this genre?

NO just this author

Would you be willing to try another one of Todd Henry’s performances?

NO

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, to do your best work now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Be fulfilled at the end of the day

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 making this mistake and would unlikely do it again. We lose sight of the value of learning from our mistakes and growing our wisdom from those experiences. We create rules for ourselves and others. Then they never learn from experience; they only suffocate from all the rules surrounding them. It's through these insights that you learn what actions you can take so you start to feel more fulfilled at the end of each day.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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An Excellent Listen....

....for those who have been freelancing for awhile now and feel they could use a business overhaul.

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I will listen several times

I gained a lot from this book, but plan to listen a few more times to get more. May have to by the actual book.

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Gold in the mountain

Like disparate gold mines spread across a large mountain. This book offers value by condensing key points of other Great thinkers and books. The last 20 minutes are by far the best. The author shares his personal struggles and distills his own inner wisdom. The book often gives me the feeling of listening to Seth Godin but I'm not a hater -- at least he's imitating/reading great work.

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  • dat21
  • 09-11-16

Really enjoyed this book. Very helpful advice.

Would you listen to Die Empty again? Why?

I would probably go back and listen to certain chapters again as I try to implement some of the steps.

Any additional comments?

A great personal development book with a strong message, sounds controversial but is really just the hard facts of life and a very positive mantra to give the best of yourself to everything you do.

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  • MS P M MACDONALD
  • 06-13-17

Powerful read

Todd opened my eyes up to practical solutions and suggestions for inertia and building a sense of purpose. Fantastic take-aways and beautifully narrated.

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