I first became interested in this book because of my familiarity with Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man project. Because I really enjoyed both the No Impact book and movie, I was excited to delve into a more recent project of his.
Much of what Beavan notes within the text is common sense, but certainly bears repeating, such as how small steps can and do make a difference in improving one’s quality of life. I appreciated that the book went beyond the typical self-help realm, and actually tackled some bigger picture/beneficial-to-humanity topics, including social justice and service.
Although a bit on the lengthy side, How to Be Alive is a great book for those readers wanting more than the usual self-help fare.
I found a lot to like in this book, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t read it right on the heels of Living Forward, a book on the same subject that I found much more straightforward and inspiring (review to come).
Back to the book at hand. How to Be Alive almost felt like two books: one talking about living your values and another about how to live his values.
I really like the idea of practically working through what it would mean to live in accordance with your beliefs. This is something that I’m always circling back to. To that end, I think that this book is helpful. I also didn’t mind the values that Beavan was encouraging, and he has good suggestions. I just found the two combined to be a bit muddy. (But to be fair, I read the first third of this book while staying up all night traveling).
I did find this book inspiring in my journey to live true to the purpose I have been given.
“The question is not whether you can make a difference to the world and build a wonderful life for yourself while doing so. The question is, do you want to be the type of person who tries?” – p. 78