HOW TO BE ALIVE: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps The World ~Colin Beavan – Author of No Impact Man
I was expecting a self-help book when I agreed to review HOW TO BE ALIVE for TLC Book Tours. And yes, it is a self-help book and also one, which challenges the reader to know that as you help yourself you will also help others – you can change the world with one small step and repeat one small step strategies. The author says: “That’s what this book is about – the quest for a joyous and meaningful life while living in a frightening, confusing world that needs our help.”
It is good to start this kind of living journey by knowing who you are and what is your life purpose. The book is also a beginning workbook to assess those parts of your life and how they manifest. Beavan also offers a free workbook one can download off his website – no lie, this is good stuff found here. You probably will not be abandoning your cubicle after the first chapter but rather you will be writing down on paper the lists of happy moment in your life and remembering just how fabulous they felt. How good you felt in various situations and experiences, which assist in your definition of self and how you could live a values driven life.
Early on in my life I embraced Voluntary Simplicity and a Green Lifestyle. Our family uses bicycles and lived with only one car. We walked the 50 minutes to school with the children and also to tennis lessons and soccer. We grew lots of our food, shopped the farmer’s market and the free-trade store. We worked at the food coop and did very little shopping. Our home had solar panels, and nothing toxic in the building materials. I learned a great deal from HOW TO BE ALIVE even though I left the traditional work role early on and embraced alternative work early in life. Actually, we live in a community that has a giant alternative life-style membership; lots of green living folks, and I still found more to learn and discuss from reading and working with this book. Beavan also opened up my thinking about alternative folks in New York City and even in Texas – yes! They do indeed exist.
Right in the middle of the book I discovered a quote from Kim Woodbridge, who is a blogging/Facebook friend from Philadelphia! Delightful!
“Lifequester = Someone who tries to under stand her True Nature and uses that understanding to make a better life for herself and others.” (author)
There are lots of quotes from Religious leaders, political leaders, and famous souls and the writing is gently informative laced with great stories and examples. There are good references and referrals to other projects and individual’s work. I could have spent a month on this book alone; what a dynamic way to start the New Year without making resolutions and feeling better about one’s self with each section perused. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, especially if one wishes to find more happiness and even more happiness for the whole world. It will resonant and activate lots of tiny steps to leave the world a better place for all.
From the book, About the Author:
Writer and social change activist COLIN BEAVAN attracted international attention for his yearlong lifestyle-redesign project and the wildly popular book, No Impact Man, and the Sundance-selected documentary film that it inspired. He has appeared on Nightline, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report, The Montel Williams Show and NPR, and his story has been featured in news outlets from Time Magazine to the New York Times. A sought after speaker, he also consults with businesses on improving eco-friendly and human-centered practices. He is the founder of the No Impact Project and a dharma teacher in Kwan Um School of Zen. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“This is the book where self-help turns into helping the world – and then turns back into helping yourself find a better life. Fascinating and timely!” –Bill McKibben