Die Empty Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Die Empty talks about the importance of following your dreams and aspirations, living a meaningful, active life, and using your native gifts to create a legacy and inspire others to tap into their own potential as well.

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Die Empty Summary

The cold, harsh truth about life is that it has an ending. Much like everything else, humans have a cycle to fulfill, which always ends in death. Although scary, death is a natural part of life, as it creates space for new life to emerge. However, what we choose to do in our limited time here on Earth is what truly matters. 

Many people act as if their days are infinite, living in the mundane and putting their life on repeat. However, the meaning of life goes much deeper than that. In Die Empty, Todd Henry explores the beautiful idea of using inherited gifts to create something valuable in the world and leave it a little bit better than you found it. 

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. There are three types of people when it comes to life.
  2. Excellence can be achieved by doing your best every day with urgency and diligence
  3. There are three sets of goals that help you become who you want to be: the Step, the Sprint, and the Stretch.

Let’s wrap up these lessons by taking a minute to go through each one of them in detail. Here we go!

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Lesson 1: A meaningful life implies being a developer, yet most people are drivers, drifters, or dreamers

First thing first, let’s talk about being a developer. According to the author, a developer is someone who does three types of work: mapping, making, and meshing. Mapping means defining your goals, or your map in life. Making is obviously the part where you do the actual work, while meshing is about developing skills to grow and evolve.

A developer encompasses all those fields and ultimately reaches self-actualization. However, too few of us reach that stage. Some get lost on the way and become one of the three: 

  1. A driver (someone who does the mapping and making, but no meshing).
  2. A drifter (the person who does the making and meshing, but omits mapping).
  3. A dreamer (no making, but lots of mapping and meshing) 

Sadly, without all three, chances of achieving our full potential and building something valuable with our inner resources drop significantly.

Lesson 2: Take action against mediocrity by living your best day every day

Mediocrity – the single worst enemy of excellence, and probably the one thing that keeps you from achieving your full potential. Mediocrity keeps people in their comfort zone, allowing them to compromise on their highest potential. Frankly, most people live in mediocrity. 

Their condition is far too comfortable to change, yet not good enough to satisfy them. According to A. Maslow, failing to achieve the top of the hierarchy of needs will eventually haunt us, making us feel miserable. Deep inside, you know what you’re capable of and where you should be heading, but are you brave enough to pursue it?

The cure to this vicious cycle of self-sabotage is to try and live your best, most inspiring life every day. There’s an imagination exercise that you can try, according to the author. Say you have someone taking note of your every action for a day, then turning all that into a biography about you that everyone will know about. How’d you act then? 

What would you do now, if you knew someone was learning from you? Practicing this exercise can help you get inspired, motivated, and realize what a purposeful day looks like to you. Moreover, it’ll help you take concrete steps toward your goals and implicitly, towards self-fulfillment. Help yourself do away with the negative talk and self-sabotage and take concrete action, starting right now!

Lesson 3: To grow into a better human, you’ll have to set three kinds of goals

Growth is an incremental process, and much like everything valuable in life, it takes time to build. Becoming the person we want to be can only happen if we know how that version of ourselves looks like and establish a plan of action. Therefore, the book presents three types of goals:

  • Step
  • Sprint
  • Stretch

A step goal is about the small, incremental progress you do everyday. This is a daily objective, much like a to-do list that helps you stay on track. A sprint goal is a medium-term goal, usually of about two weeks. This is in place to help you push harder for an episode in your life and achieve intermediate objectives.

A stretch is a goal for the long run. Setting objectives in this area will have you push beyond your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s more important than others. There’s a difference between the urgency when it comes to these three types of goals, but they’re all interconnected and required for you to achieve your best self.

Die Empty Review

Die Empty explores the beauty behind working purposefully, living a meaningful life, setting goals to achieve your potential and make it a habit to evaluate yourself on your way to success. This book will help you set your lifetime goal and mark the objectives in between, so that you end up with a step by step strategy for achieving your given purpose. By starting small, dreaming big, and learning to utilize the inner resources you’ve been given, you can build something remarkable, beat all odds, and die empty of all regrets that you could have.

Who would I recommend the Die Empty summary to?

The 30-year-old who wants to quit their 9-5 to chase their dreams, the 35-year-old entrepreneur who wants to create valuable products and leave a legacy behind, or the 28-year-old person who feels like they have a higher purpose but don’t know how to unlock their true potential. 

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.