How to Live
27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion
Not quite non-fiction, not quite self-help. It’s a work of art about conflicting philosophies.
Many books believe they know how you should live. But each book disagrees with the next. In “How to Live”, each chapter believes it knows how you should live. And each chapter disagrees with the next.
One chapter makes a compelling argument for why you should be completely independent, keeping all options open. The next chapter argues why you should commit to one career, one place, and one person.
One chapter persuades you to be fully present, and experience each moment. The next, to delay gratification and invest for the future.
Which one is right? Which does the author believe? All of them. It's a philosophy of conflicting philosophies.
A very unique and thought-provoking book. Meant for reflection as much as instruction.
113 incredibly succinct pages of profound insights. No philosophers are quoted. No -isms are named. Only actionable directives. The end result feels more like poetry than prose.
- $15 : ebook, audiobook, and all digital formats forever
- (epub, mobi, pdf, mp3, html, etc. No DRM.)
- $19 : paper book includes all digital formats
- (really just $4 for the paper, so only $4 for each additional copy)
Publication date: 2021-05-28
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-99-115230-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-99-115231-2
Audiobook ISBN: 978-1-99-115237-4
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-99-115235-0
Preview the audiobook:
“Always brilliant and succinct, I guarantee you have not read a book like this before. 27 life philosophies on how to live a good life, each feeling profound and incredibly true, yet somehow they all manage to contradict each other… you know, like life. Derek is brilliant. He’s full of pithy wisdom and quirky ideas. I love his brain and love his books. If you want something different, yet still readable, check it out.”
— Mark Manson, author, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Derek Sivers is one of my favorite humans, and I call him often for advice. Think of him as a philosopher-king programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster. I might need to do a second volume of my next book 100% dedicated to the knowledge bombs of Derek Sivers. So much good stuff. Hard to cut.”
— Tim Ferriss, author, 4-Hour Workweek
“One thing ‘How To Live’ doesn’t do is tell you how to live. Yet, after reading it, you might be closer to answering that question for yourself. Half self-help and half art, it beautifully transcends its genre. Seriously one of my favorite books.”
— Johannes Wilke
“A thrilling, exhilarating, life-affirming, daring, psychedelic roller-coaster ride in a hall of mirrors through the wisdom of the ages. I initially began to highlight some phrases, but I soon realized my entire ebook was yellow. How To Live is the most unique book I’ve ever read and surely one of the best. And if any of this sounds like hyperbole, the book is better than anything I just said.”
— Michael Colucci, theater founder and director
“Brilliant. Derek’s best book yet, and for me possibly one of the best books ever. Brilliant format, actionable directives, and provides the best possible answer to the loaded question of how to live. Every chapter and every sentence is thought provoking, so much to ruminate on. Pure substance, 0% fluff, which is so rare.”
— Diego Montejo
“‘How to Live’ is an absolute piece of art. I started hoping that it would teach me the secrets of how to live. But no, in the middle the conflicting messages led me to the real message: that there is no right way to live. There are pieces of life that we gather from everyone, to build ours. I’ve been re-reading almost every single day and the message keeps getting clearer, like a good wine. It is a big inspiration.”
— Lucas Vilela, developer
“I absolutely LOVE this book. I’ve read thousands of books and I think it’s my favorite. I was planning to highlight, but every sentence is so well-thought-out and important, it would just end up being a yellow book!”
— Matt Wickstrom
“Magnificently succinct. So elegantly terse that it feels utterly complete. The sheer craftsmanship/sculpting of the language is just breathtaking. I read a LOT, and my mind is bending at the sheer discipline, effort and ruthlessness it must have taken to whittle this down. Rather than lose substance it actually gains body/mass and impact. Un-frickin’-believable. Really outstanding.”
— Zubin Pratap, founder
“It’s deep, really deep. Just like a Buddhist koan, the more you meditate on it the more you uncover within your own mind, the more you understand. If I said any more I would spoil it. What should be a relatively simple premise made me think more, and deeper, than I have in a while. What more could you want from a book?”
— Colin Walker, writer
“In ancient Greece, various schools (Stoics, Epicurians, Hedonists, etc.) each offered their own philosophy for how to live your life. This book is the closest thing I’ve found to a modern version of that. Each of the 27 short chapters makes a different argument for the right way to live. The chapters blatantly contradict each other and while your instinct is to ask, “so which one’s right?” the book’s ending gives you a better way to look at it. (I won’t give it away!) I ended up buying the ebook and reading it slowly over the course of several months, taking dozens of pages of notes along the way. I felt like I was trying on each philosophy like an article of clothing to see how it fits. It was a lovely exercise, and one I’d recommend to anyone.”
— Bryan Braun, developer
“This is the ultimate self-help book. By that, I mean it’s the last one you'll ever need to read. After this, every other equivalent will seem one dimensional by comparison. It destroys an entire genre.”
— Rowan Simpson, investor
“How To Live is probably THE most remarkable book I’ve owned and read and gifted. Never, never, have I been so engaged and challenged by someone’s writing and perspective on the topic of day to day living. This book is, without doubt, the one that has had the most profound effect on me. EVERYONE, but everyone, should read this. But be prepared for the book to sit close by at all times. It’s vital reading to constantly ensure that we genuinely connect with our true intentions in life. This book is a 21st Century Masterpiece.”
— Chris Craker, producer
“Reading it. Reflecting on it. Pausing after reading a few sentences. Arguing with it. Agreeing. Re-thinking. Arguing again. It’s the best thing ever written about living. I love every atom of it. A masterpiece. And a truly useful life handbook. It’s the book I will keep revisiting over and over again — the book I will gift to my loved ones.”
— Jade Panugan, Craftdeology
“The most powerful art piece I read this year. Read it in order, slow and focused. Don’t skip to the conclusion earlier. It will change you. Every time I read it I discover something new.”
— Mihai Hly Hlodec, developer
“WOW I loved ‘How to Live’! I’ve recommended it to a few of my close friends and I tell them honestly that it’s one of the most unique books I’ve read. It’s not really fiction or nonfiction, it’s a meditation.”
— Michael Poyatt, musician
- Be independent.
- Fill your senses.
- Do nothing.
- Think super-long-term.
- Intertwine with the world.
- Make memories.
- Master something.
- Let randomness rule.
- Pursue pain.
- Do whatever you want now.
- Be a famous pioneer.
- Chase the future.
- Value only what has endured.
- Follow the great book.
- Laugh at life.
- Prepare for the worst.
- Live for others.
- Get rich.
- Reinvent yourself regularly.
- Don’t die.
- Make a million mistakes.
- Make change.
- Balance everything.
- $15 : ebook, audiobook, and all digital formats forever
- (epub, mobi, pdf, mp3, html, etc. No DRM.)
- $19 : paper book includes all digital formats
- (really just $4 for the paper, so only $4 for each additional copy)
“How to Live” is an absolute piece of art.
I started hoping that it would teach me the secrets of how to live. But no, in the middle the conflicting messages led me to the real message: that there is no right way to live. There are pieces of life that we gather from everyone, to build ours.
Some insights are phenomenal — like “marriage is for when you’re not in love” — took me like a punch.
It changed my way to think about people, I see as everyone is a chapter and we get better at seeing the chapter about others, therefore understanding them better, not judging and only taking what resonates with us.
I've been re-reading almost every single day and the message keeps getting clearer, like a good wine.
I'm about to become a dad and I can say that I will be a better guide to my daughter, providing inspiration, not instructions.
A lot of hours and a lot of knowledge were put into this book and I'm very grateful to have access to it.
Every chapter seems to be written by a different person, a wise grampa, a dad, a psychologist, and a banker.
It is a big inspiration. — Lucas Vilela
One thing How To Live doesn't do is tell you how to live. Yet, after reading it, you might be closer to answering that question for yourself. Half self-help and half art, it beautifully transcends its genre. Seriously one of my favorite books. — Johannes Wilke
How To Live has a provocative subtitle that becomes clear very early. The subtitle is: 27 Conflicting Answers and One Weird Conclusion
Turns out, the subtitle is perfect for the content of the book. I loved How To Live, in all its glorious contradictions…and perhaps because of them. After all, those very contradictions make it clear that we are all required to process and embrace conflicting thoughts, feelings, ideas, and goals. Every day. That’s life.
On every page, How To Live defies the conventional wisdom that there are no new ideas under the sun. And yet, those new ideas paradoxically illuminate the archetypal wisdom of the collective unconscious. How To Live oxygenates ancient bedrock wisdom and supercharges it with post-modern enlightenment.
It is a sui generis prescription for the next evolution of our species in some undiscovered country. I would put How To Live among the list of great books mentioned in the “Follow the Great Book” chapter.
How To Live defies description and is impossible to summarize, because the key takeaway is the feeling you get while reading it. Typically, I share what this book or that book said. How To Live is different. I feel compelled to share my experience, my feelings while reading it:
It is a thrilling, exhilarating, life-affirming, daring, psychedelic roller-coaster ride in a hall of mirrors through the wisdom of the ages compressed into a laser beam of passion for life and love for humanity.
I initially felt I was reading something outside the box, but I soon realized there wasn’t a box within light years.
I initially began to highlight some phrases, but I soon realized my entire PDF was yellow.
This is not merely a self-improvement book, it is a riveting novel about living life in which the protagonist—yep, that means you—becomes a superhero in a whirlpool of ecstasy about being alive…and getting better every day.
How To Live is the most unique book I’ve ever read…and surely one of the best. And if any of this sounds like hyperbole, the book is better than anything I just said.
Thank you, Derek. — Michael Colucci
This book is infuriating because diametrically opposed ideas make perfect sense and I can pull examples from my own life for both extremes.
This book is stimulating in forcing me to recognize the fundamental contradictions in my life and helping to navigate them.
This book is difficult to read because it's so concentrated that I need to stop and think about every sentence.
This book is practical in helping me fit my own decisions to different approaches to life.
This book has no stories.
This book helps me to understand and rewrite my own stories.
This book is eternal. I'll be re-reading chosen in random chapters to see how they fit my changing moods, circumstances, and decisions. — Victoria Fineberg
How to Live is one of those books that feels like a ride in a theme park. The kind that goes through different themes, you have no idea what to expect and even if you do, you leave each theme with a different impression. This is short-lived because immediately after, you have a completely new adventure waiting for you.
Each chapter takes you to different corners of your own beliefs or misbeliefs. It challenges us to reshuffle our thoughts to a new conclusion.
This is what happened to me with the very first chapter, Be Independent. These two words surfaced certain ideas and feelings but as you go through line by line, your thoughts travel through agreeing that dependency is bad, to being ok with a little dependency, cheering for independency, and then being not so sure of it all. It's not clear what the author actually believes on these topics. The voice in the book is neutral, crisp, and unemotional, because instead of trying to impose a point of view is thinking aloud and trying to make sense of what life means and how to live it best.
As the book surveys a wide range of topics that cover all different areas of life, a curation that is carefully handpicked, we land towards the last third of the book, On Love. It's a beautifully written poem to love; not the kind that we read about or see in movies, but the love that is lived and experienced. The love that we grow to love. I felt that every single line was nuanced, perfectly relatable, and written out of first-hand real experience. No sugar-coating, no downplaying, no cliches. This chapter speaks with so much truth and authority and it was the most relatable piece on love I've read in a long while.
The book is a collection of 27 independent pieces. And just like hopscotch depending on what you read first your perception on the content might change. It is a book to read, re-read, and experience. One of those living pieces that speak to you in different ways depending on your day.
The abrupt conclusion at the end feels less like a plot twist and more like a friendly nudge. The book is meant to be an experiment. It invites you to change your view. The voice is less transparent about what "it" actually thinks. Instead, it wants us to reach to the conclusion ourselves, that there is not one way to live life and it's up to us to make it what we want it to be. How freeing and terrifying that is. Enjoy the ride! — Monica Lim
This book elicited many emotions and thoughts for me, which at times seemed contradictory. At times I found it exciting then frustrating, open-minded then dogmatic, obtuse and then insightful. As I continued to read, I realized that I was taking it literally, while (in my opinion) it isn't meant to be taken literally. That allowed me to step back from focusing on the specific "recommendations" (I use quotes here deliberately), and instead think about the juxtaposition of the different--and often contradictory--ways to live described in each chapter. If they are contradictory, they can't all be true, can they? And yet they are.
One of the great rewards of the book was seeing my own evolution towards that realization. At the end (and even a bit before), I realized that it's about the journey of living. At different times in your life, there are different ways to live. None of us is static, I am not the same person I was 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. It doesn't necessarily make sense for me to live the same way now as I did then. The question that fascinates me now and that the book really got me to consider is, am I consciously making choices about how I live, or am I letting outside circumstances dictate how I live? Who is in charge? Shouldn’t it be me?
And that, for me, was the greatest insight of my journey through the book. If you've never thought about how you are living, or if you have but want to refine that thinking, then I recommend the journey to you, too. — Dave Margil
I just can’t get over how magnificently succinct HOW TO LIVE is.
Counter-intuitively, it is so elegantly terse that it FEELS utterly complete.
Apart from the actual content, the sheer craftsmanship/sculpting of the language is just breathtaking.
Sorry to gush on like this, but I write a bit and I read a LOT, and my mind is bending at the sheer discipline, effort and ruthlessness it must have taken to whittle this down.
And rather than lose substance it actually gains body/mass and impact. Un-frickin'-believable. Really outstanding job. — Zubin Pratap
The beauty is in the curation of these individual atomic units of wisdom, each building on the last within their specific scope. It's in finding the connections between seemingly disparate pieces and being able to thread them into a meaningful narrative as though they belonged together from the outset.
The book's tagline is "27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion" but, once you get over the initial surprise, it's not really that weird at all. It's deep, really deep. Just like a Buddhist koan, the more you meditate on it the more you uncover within your own mind, the more you understand. If I said any more I would spoil it, but read it and you will get there sooner than you might expect.
The subtitular 27 answers are indeed conflicting, at least to a point, and you might think "why would I want to read something that doesn't give me one true answer?" Oh, but it does, you just have to find your own way there — follow the subtle signposts until you reach that "Aha!" moment.
This time, the atomic units of wisdom do more than build, they become entangled into an amorphous quantum energy that feels ready to explode at any moment. It is a wonder that each answer is presented and argued as eloquently and passionately as the one before — in isolation, each could persuade you that it is, indeed, how to live. But, think on them a moment longer, and you can observe that entanglement in action, tease out some finer threads that would have been far more apparent were the answers provided in a different order. Again, the beauty is in the curation, in the deliberate juxtaposition of "truths".
What should be a relatively simple premise made me think more, and deeper, than I have in a while. What more could you want from a book? — Colin Walker
Brilliant. It is truly Derek's best book yet, and for me possibly one of the best books ever. It combines the brilliant format of 'Sum', with very actionable directives, and actually provides the best possible answer to the loaded question of 'how to live'. Every chapter and every sentence is thought provoking, so much to ruminate on. Pure substance, 0% fluff, which is so rare.
I enjoyed it like the most delicious dark chocolate ever. I wanted to binge-read it, then I stopped myself because I wanted to make it last longer, and digest every answer deeply before moving onto the next one. — Diego Montejo
In ancient Greece, various schools (Stoics, Epicurians, Hedonists, etc.) each offered their own philosophy for how to live your life.
This book is the closest thing I’ve found to a modern version of that.
Each of the 27 short chapters makes a different argument for the right way to live. One chapter says “Pursue Learning”. Another says “Pursue Wealth.” One says to chase the future while another says to live in the present.
The chapters blatantly contradict each other and while your instinct is to ask, “so which one’s right?” the book’s ending gives you a better way to look at it. (I won’t give it away!)
I ended up buying the ebook and reading it slowly over the course of several months, taking dozens of pages of notes along the way.
I felt like I was trying on each philosophy like an article of clothing to see how it fits.
It was a lovely exercise, and one I’d recommend to anyone. — Bryan Braun
Loved this book on two levels.
One, the answers contain a bunch of useful, practical approaches that are worth trying in different life situations if one is stuck, bored, or simply needs a paradigm shift, a gentle push, to move to a next stage of life.
Two, the truly conflicting nature of these answers makes you realize how what you hold true today, may not be true for you tomorrow, and may never be true for somebody else. This also makes you see that your beliefs and coping strategies are arbitrary and the real question is not how to live (because the answer always starts with "It depends on..."), but what are you really looking for? At the end of the day, the human being is looking for peace of mind, happiness, satisfaction, fulfilment, contentment.
The conflicting nature of the 27 answers reminds you that your happiness doesn't depend on how well or which answer you execute given their arbitrary nature. Your happiness depends on your relationship to the outcomes that any of these answers may produce for you, which relationship may be loving (acceptance) or hateful (resistance).
The genius of the book lies in that it doesn't tell you "this is how it is", but walks you through these different answers and lets you arrive at your own conclusions. — Zsolt Babocsai
I was mostly slightly depressed throughout the pandemic - not realising how much I had relied on interacting with other people in the workplace in the past to regulate my own mood. Being on my own at home, left to my own devices I had allowed myself to descend into unhealthy inactivity and negativity.
“How To Live” was a turning point for me in that I started imagining having more control over how my life might turn out or what mood or mental state I want to be in. I’m still very much a work in progress but l’m getting there thank God.
I had never read self help books before, but “How To Live” is quick to read.
It enabled me to imagine me playing a different hand to the cards that I have been given in life.
The book sort of enabled me to see my life as a song and see myself as the sound engineer who has the control deck in front of me.
I can tweak any setting I want.
One chapter may have ‘spontaneity’ turned up to 10 and ‘planning’ ahead turned down to 1.
Another chapter will have those settings reversed and so on.
Each chapter describes how to apply these various settings to in your life, in practice. — Jimmy Connelly
In the best way possible, this was one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read.
It’s not confusing. It’s actually one of the easiest to read books I’ve ever read. But Derek Sivers has tapped into a truth that few (if any) other authors have understood: their perspective is one of many right ones.
So instead of ‘picking’ a side, Derek presents them all, not as a debate, but as heart-felt individual takes of the world.
This creates a challenge because now you HAVE to engage the material. You can’t say yes to everything (like most self-help books encourage). Instead, you have to look some of these heartfelt opinions dead in the eye and say “No, not for me”.
And this is one of the first times I’ve ever read a book that has forced an action out of me.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s different. I’ve never read anything like it.
You should read this book. — Brian Schuster
How To Live is probably THE most remarkable book I've owned and read and gifted.
All of us (surely!) who know a little of the inner working of Derek's mind, want to know "how best to live" and seek insights, advice and tools to assist that process.
Never, never, have I been so engaged and challenged by someone's writing and perspective on the topic of day to day living. This book is, without doubt, the one that has had the most profound effect on me.
EVERYONE, but everyone, should read this. But be prepared for the book to sit close by at all times. It's 'vital reading' to constantly ensure that we genuinely connect with our true intentions in life... this book is a 21st Century Masterpiece. And, for simpletons like me, an easy read: but, that said, it stretches my powers of cognitive thinking on a daily basis. — Chris Craker
This book stayed with me. I got WAY more out of the audio book than reading it. The points he makes are more impactful hearing them for some reason.
For me, it’s his most impactful work as it offers an olive branch between differing ideologies and lifestyle choices.
By far the biggest thing is it gave me perspective on how other people live and the pros and cons to those choices. I’ve been too judgmental in the past and this book — somehow — made me come to terms with and accepting of other people’s lifestyle choices. It’s a huge gift. Instead of being annoyed now, I just look at the pros of their choices and move on. The huge negative to my choice (absurdly forward thinking / stoicism) was losing my twenties and thirties to having my head down with my business.
At one point in the book, on the money chapter, @ 2hr 26min in, it’s like he was talking right at me. I had to pull my car over. The losing steam / gratification reduction part of earning money I had never heard anyone else talk about. Ever. — Andrew Thoresen
Been reading "How to Live" for a while now.
Reflecting on it.
Pausing after reading a few sentences.
Arguing with it. Agreeing. Re-thinking. Arguing again.
It's the best thing ever written about living.
A book that encapsulates the idea: “There's no right or wrong way to live. It’s all up to you.”
I love every atom of it.
And a *truly* useful life handbook.
It's the book I will keep revisiting over and over again.
The book I will gift to my loved ones. — Jade Panugan
We traverse the world in a vessel.
The vessel is home and has multiple windows.
Each window shows a view of the world.
Each, a unique process and experience.
The windows are many, but we control which one is used.
No window is the wrong choice.
Derek's 27 conflicting answers are put in gentile, concise words but are packed with philosophy, consciousness and meaning. He's like an elegant boxer, well-trained and efficient, throwing precise jabs at an opponent. The opponent being our anxious, doubtful or prejudiced minds, wondering if any of life's paths are the correct one.
The weird conclusion is not weird at all. It's the answer. We're composers of a symphony. Conductors of an orchestra, made up of multiple instruments. Each with its own unique cadence, flavor, texture. Each instrument enters and exits the symphony at the time the composer and conductor demands. — Bernardo Salazar
I loved this book. It was like reading a massively helpful poem :-) — Alys Bunce
No book has made me contemplate so many times while reading. The moment I was done with the last page, I had my diary out to capture my understanding from each of the 27 answers to that one principal question, how should I live.
As Derek says in the subtitle of the book, they are all conflicting answers. But the conclusion is not weird at all — for one, Derek is a masterful and a deep thinker. Each short chapter has most knowledge presented in the least number of words possible. Wisdom to words ratio is pretty high with this gem of a book.
At the surface, the book is pretty straightforward to read. Short chapters. Short, easy sentences. But, dig deep, and it is one of the most difficult books to fathom. It will force you to question what you have believed throughout your life, and it’s that questioning that will leave your mind unclouded.
It’s easy to write long, elaborate prose. But it takes time to shorten it, and I am glad Derek took that time. In his words, it took him four years, often writing 16 hours a day, to condense it down from the first draft of 1300 pages to 115.
What results is one of the most powerful and important books ever written. Take time and read it slowly. — Amit Gawande
The most powerful art piece I read this year.
Read it in order, answer 1 to 27, slow and focused. Don't skip to the conclusion earlier.
It will change you. Every time I read it I discover something new. — Mihai Hly Hlodec
I’m quite a black-and-white/binary thinker on things. I always want hard-and-fast rules I can apply to my entire life — like “never lie under any circumstance”.
“How to Live” was great because it was essentially 27 self-help “books” around my way of thinking. All of them resonated in the first couple of paragraphs, and induced a sense of dread by the end where I realised if that’s the path I chose, how much I value would be left on the table.
It helped me to think that there’s nothing wrong with having goals or priorities. But the “I live by X rule and if that means my family/friends/mental health suffer as a result: so be it” is, to me, a pretty suboptimal way to live. — Mike McQuaid
Sivers has reached an epitome of clarity in his latest masterpiece that would make Hemingway want to come out of his grave. It’s full of contradictions by design (almost bringing clarity through confusion) and there is not one unnecessary word or article. It’s Sivers reaching his purest form in writing, with lessons for life that bewilder and make you think more about your own. A must read for all humans. — Harsha Garlapati
Derek summarizes lessons based on experiences in short, understandable way.
It is refreshing to read someone's thoughts on life without reading a chapter of stories per each line of meaning.
Some familiar learnings written in text, some are not familiar–to be learned. It is not absolute of course. Answers are useful for different stages of life.
Motivating. VERY motivating.
Got new GLASSES on LIFE just like that. MANY new glasses on how to approach life.
I think it is the best, concise, understandable, motivating text I have read about meaningful questions in life life in a very long time. — JOSE MARIA PEREZ-MACIAS MARTIN
"How to live" is a great read. Torn between starkly contrasting ways of live, I have found myself time and time again wholeheartedly agreeing with one chapter's argumentation, only to have it completely dethroned by the next chapter's answer to what "THE" way to live is. Written in the succinct style that makes Sivers' books so enjoyable, this is a splendid book. Twisted at times, and always thought-provoking. — Julius Hillebrand
"How to Live" is a compilation of insight and wisdom that Derek Sivers has learned and applied over the years. Sivers is a minimalist and it's evident in his writing; it's poetic. His words are chosen carefully in order to get his ideas across in the most efficient way possible, with the least amount of words possible. Think self-improvement meets Haiku.
This does not read like a self-improvement book, it's more a log of the author's deepest convictions on how to live the best life possible.
The audiobook is read by the author. Derek's voice is soothing to listen to and his reading is clear. He reads with conviction and passion. I can only give his books my highest recommendation. — Tamer Tewfik
I’ve read How to Live front-to-back THREE TIMES, and it has a permanent home on my bedside table.
The way he strips sentences to their purest form is majestic. — Scott Stockdale
Derek says that this is his best book ever, and I fully understand that an author is always going to have his/her own perspective on a book, not just because of the experience of bringing it into being, but because of what he/she hopes the book might achieve. It is that latter reason, I think, that inspired Derek to say this was his best book ever. He is truly trying to challenge existing paradigms for "how to live" in a world with so many conflicting messages.
Like me, you may find yourself deeply underlining the sections you agree with and almost speed-reading the sections you don't. But that's the point: you need to be willing to immerse yourself in the "alternative" world view of every chapter in order to get the overarching message: there is no one way to live your life. There are many - find elements that appeal to you and your personality and lean into them. But also be open to retooling and reorienting today, tomorrow, next year, or next decade — Stephen Heiner
This is the ultimate self help book. By that I mean, it's the last one you'll ever need to read. After this, every other equivalent will seem one dimensional by comparison. It destroys an entire genre. Dammit Derek, what have you done?! — Rowan Simpson
Written with great clarity, makes you think objectively about what philosophy of life matches your values, only to understand that within all the contradictions you can find your own coherence. One of the most inspiring books I've ever read. — Tadeu Alves
Ernest Becker once wrote: "The problem of man’s knowledge is not to oppose and to demolish opposing views, but to include them in a larger theoretical structure. One of the ironies of the creative process is that it partly cripples itself in order to function. I mean that, usually, in order to turn out a piece of work the author has to exaggerate the emphasis of it, to oppose it in a forcefully competitive way to other versions of truth; and he gets carried away by his own exaggeration, as his distinctive image is built on it... There is a great pressure to come up with concepts that help men understand their dilemma; there is an urge toward vital ideas, toward a simplification of needless intellectual complexity. Sometimes this makes for big lies that resolve tensions and make it easy for action to move forward with just the rationalizations that people need. But it also makes for the slow disengagement of truths that help men get a grip on what is happening to them, that tell them where the problems really are."
Derek's genius little book acknowledges this problem, satirises it, and overcomes it in a way few other books have ever managed. And he does it, naturally, with typically beautiful, penetrating panache. — Paul Davies
This is certainly the best book I've read in many years. And I've read a lot. A guide to think about living. A guide o re-think too. Delightfully conflicting. Easy to read. Do yourself a favour and read this book. Read it slowly. Savour it. Share it with someone you love. Then carry it with you always. — Pablo Suárez Rivaya
"HOW TO LIVE" Review:
Derek Sivers is my favorite author.
His site looks like a word page.
A plain cover with just the title.
With no more than 100 pages.
That you can read separately.
He is the living proof that you can deliver something deep...
In a very digestible way.
He also taught me:
That you can be a millionare.
And still accessible.
He answers all my emails.
And doesn't even know me.
I've read all his books:
"Anything You Want"
"Hell Yeah or No"
"Your Music And People"
And now, "How To Live".
In the latter, he chooses a bold path:
Each text in the title is followed by another With an opposite opinion.
"Discover Your Life Purpose"
"Don't Discover You Life Purpose"
That hit me hard.
I'm very methodic.
And while taking a note, Another article came up with exactly the opposite.
Should I erase what I have written?
Should I write about both points of view?
Darek plays with this Until the end of the book.
And does not give us a direct explanation about it.
After all, what's the meaning of it?
Here is what I got:
You will find brilliant people Defending one idea.
And then you will bump into even more brilliant people claiming exactly the opposite.
It's up to you!
To compile everything.
Discard the rest.
And create your own point of view.
More than give you answers, this book teaches you to establish yours.
That's how to live.
Am I right, Derek?
Thank you. — Arnaldo Neto
How To Live is the most powerful and transformational book I’ve ever read.
I’m in awe of the clarity, precision, and skill with which Derek delivers what feels like centuries of the most important insights for living as a human into 115 pages.
I bought an extra copy to loan out and the first person said "I started reading How To Live….wow….thank you for bringing that into my world!!!”
I’ve never felt so energized, empowered, and clear-minded. I am thrilled with all the newly available possibilities I discovered.
How To Live is an immediately actionable and transformational masterpeice. — Michael Potuck
My favorite book I read this year! This book allows you to learn life lessons from an array of personalities and perspectives. Reading this, I was able to gain valuable insights into why certain people value what they value. These insights and observations sparked my thinking process and helped me determine what I value in life. I highly recommend reading this! — Spencer Williams
I've been reading the book for over a month now and haven't been able to finish it, because it is so thought provoking.
I read a chapter and dwell on it for a few days before reading the next one.
Being two thirds into it I fing myself going back to older chapters to compare opposite ideas and trying to hold both inside my head at the same time.
To me this is less of a book than a journey into myself. It's scary and amazing at the same time. — Mark Henninger
WOW I loved “How to Live”!
I've recommended it to a few of my close friends and I tell them honestly that it’s one of the most unique books I’ve read.
It’s not really fiction or nonfiction, it’s a meditation. — Michael Poyatt
Very interesting read. Makes you think a lot and contemplate things. Can't rush through it either or you'll miss the big picture. Reminds me of songs designed with lots of space to breathe. The book almost begs to be the size it would be with all the fluff, but without it. Just the extra space. Every sentence standing out on its own. Very insightful and well done. — Dr. Brent S. Seifert
I absolutely LOVE this book.
I've read thousands of books and I think it's my favorite.
I was planning to highlight, but every sentence is so well-thought-out and important, it would just end up being a yellow book! — Matt Wickstrom
How to Live is a timeless Zen Koan masquerading as a self-help book. — Justin Stec
Always brilliant and succinct, I guarantee you have not read a book like this before. It’s basically 27 life philosophies on how to live a good life, each feeling profound and incredibly true, yet somehow they all manage to contradict each other… you know, like life.
Derek is brilliant. He’s full of pithy wisdom and quirky ideas. I love his brain and love his books. If you want something different, yet still readable, check him out. — Mark Manson
This is one of those books that isn't just to be read once. The first read provides a solid bedrock of very high quality thought on how to live. You'll undeniably want to keep revisiting and experimenting with actually applying the book's ideas in your life. Stand on this book like a bible. Go on long hikes with it like a pair of high quality boots that you're breaking in for the perfect fit. — Adam
The contradictory advice from chapter to chapter starts out jarring, and ends up perfectly harmonious. The book is full to the brim of timeless advice; and Derek encourages the reader to incorporate the things that speak to you and discard the rest. It is both/and, both duck and bunny. The book for me is a field guide of how to live, drawing from many different life philosophies. I consider it a buffet of knowledge rather than a prix fixe meal. You’ll find things that speak to you on your own journey. A lesson in efficiency; no fluff or unnecessary words. A masterpiece that I’ll return to over and over throughout my life. Kudos Derek, very well done. — Michael Burton
This was one of the most transformative books that I have ever read. The extremes to which Derek takes each possible answer forced me to feel my way through it and determine what I want on each of these axis. The conflicting answers made me see the world from different angles.
This book does not give you an answer, but can help you find one personalized to yourself. It is a book that I fully expect to continue going over and learning from for years to come. — Awstin Chubb
Filled to the brim with insight on the human condition, it highlights Derek Sivers' skill of summarily communicating deep understanding without getting distracted by side issues or pushing theories where they don't fit. The book is perfect to read one chapter at a time, whichever happens to grab your attention that day. It is not a normal book and it doesn't try to be, but by the last page it is guaranteed to leave you a different person than when you started it. A recommendation for anyone. — Dennis van de Werken
I savoured every minute of this book. I read it incredibly slowly, a little bit every day, because it was so much fun to read and I could feel my anxiety dissolving with every page. This book taught me how to think independently and question the beliefs that were holding me prisoner and making me suffer. I feel so much lighter after reading it! — Megan Cassidy
Delightful book - both playful and deep! Reminds me just a bit of fantastic conversations I used to have with a dear friend with a very similar guiding principle - "how to live well" where we would pick various positions to take (some sincerely and some provisionally, just for fun) and then volley back and forth, reasons for and against. It was exhilarating and thought-provoking. Just like this gem of a book. I will be gifting it repeatedly in the months and years ahead. — Patrick Walker
This is an extraordinary piece of work from Derek that demands to be re-read immediately one finishes it. It really is titanic in its philosophical scope but all the time grounded in a real, earthy relevance at a time of turbulence and uncertainty. I loved it, I really did. It’s become something of top drawer reference manual replete with a whole load of margin notes, post it’s and highlighted chunks. Magnificent. — Carlo Navato
Where I am going, Derek is returning. He has seen the corners and swept the dust. I’m climbing up from 1,000 feet above sea level, he is coming down from 5,000. Amateurs talk tactics & apps, veteran Derek talks worldviews and operating systems. I consider myself intelligent, but Derek has perspective gained from long years of deliberate living. I have reformatted my life, businesses and relationships several times reading this book. — Tom Ong
"HOW TO LIVE" is a book like no other, because of its wonderful ambiguity. It is bold and gentle at the same time, it is right, it is left, it short and long. It is like an analysis and like a meditation. It excited and soothed me. It is arrogant and humble. The book is like modern art: It is not about itself, not about you, but what relationship you build towards it. It consists of answers only and still asks you a million questions. I love it and I feel like it loves me back. — Peter Fischer
If I had to pick the best quote from the book, I would have to quote half of it.
At first, I thought that the book is about extremes, and the author's intention is to convict readers that no "way of life" is superior to another.
There were some "ways to live" that entirely resonated with me. Others don't. So I thought that maybe the book will help me find my way of life from all possible and stick with it. As if everyone should choose one set of clothes and wear them for the rest of their life.
But it was the conclusion that has enlightened me. We don't have to choose one set of clothes and wear it for the rest of our life, we can change clothes during our journey. You may love wearing jeans, but when you are about to swim you should change, otherwise you won't appreciate the experience of swimming. The same in life, there are moments in your life when you should change the comfortable "independence" to (possibly uncomfortable) "dependence" in order to fully appreciate some moments in your life. Moreover, you can combine multiple "ways to live" together; you can be both "dependent" and "loving"; other times "independent" and "pursuing wealth." You are the composer; you can decide when each of the "ways to live" plays.
This book is like freedom, both inspiring and overwhelming. Answering the question "ok, so what should I do now?" hasn't become any easier.
Derek did a great job gathering convincing arguments on each of these 27 "ways to live". It required open-mindedness, curiosity, self-doubt, and of course, life experience.
Masterpiece. — Stanislaw Baranski
This book is small, but it's as big as life.
As Derek brilliantly states at the beginning: read it slowly, otherwise you'll do the book (and yourself) a massive disservice. Each sentence is worth lots of pondering: hours, days, weeks... hell, it's probably going to take me years to fully internalize. Often Derek summarizes entire books in a single sentence. I don't think it's humanly possible to squeeze more wisdom into a package like this.
I always judge the value of a book by how often you come back to it. This one will stay close to me for a long time to come. — Daniel Ciocîrlan
In short - Bravo!
In long - I didn't follow the advice about reading this book slowly. Instead, I read it the first time as fast as I could and I have to say the impact was incredible. There are a lot of books on life (and life hacking) out there but this book is truly different. I was in a daze for a few days after the first reading. Don't skip to the end! Let the words do their work and the conclusion will fall upon you like a cloudbust!!
In the near future, I am sure this will be considered one of the finest philosophical works of thinking and being that came out of the crazy times we are living in. — Alex Warden
This book allows me to remember that every moment can be interpreted with a different lens. It's a cure for "If all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail". And also, to every issue, my response doesn't have to be either/or, it can be yes/yes. — Leonardo Moreno
It is really good.
But: I'm a Sivers fan. 10 years ago I sent him an email out of the blue because I knew that he had moved to Singapore and I wanted to do the same. Lo and behold, in good old Sivers fashion he replied and introduced me to a young accountant who would eventually help me to set foot into the country and start a business and quite quickly get my PR status. 10 years later, this very accountant is still working with me, I made a fortune in Singapore, married the love of my life and somehow I feel forever a little bit indebted to Derek because he sent me, a complete stranger, that one contact. So I am biased.
Being an expat and traveller, an entrepreneur, a musician, a designer, a creator, a rebel, a humanitarian and a husband myself, I found myself nodding along. "Yeah, I get it. I did that. I'd totally do that".
There are a lot of chapters about having many women and at first it bothered me a little, but I *think* I understand that each chapter is an exaggeration, not to be taken quite literally, more like an extreme, a thought experiment, what if you walked the talk all the way to the end?
It also needs to be read slowly, as warned in the introduction. Actually, I think the first read should be fast, so you get the whole picture. But that will leave you wanting and unimpressed. Now that I'm through it once, it is time for my second read.
My second read will probably take me a few years.
Another reviewer said it's a "modern day "Meditations"" and I think that nails it. There's a lot of Stoicism buried in this book, albeit far more accessible than any of the stoic source materials. — Martin Brochhaus
Reading How to Live feels like speed-dating gurus in the hotel bar of an intergalactic wellness conference. Each chapter is written with utter conviction, but the book is hopelessly promiscuous. It's thought-provoking and infuriating in equal measure and all the better for it... — Oliver Holms
Wow. I've been following Derek Sivers for many years and at some point had the feeling I was hearing the same ideas over and over again in podcasts, his books, etc. Wrong. Derek was writing this masterpiece. It's probably the most highlighted book I've read. Every sentence forces you to stop and reflect.
If there's one "but" -this being a "good but"- it's that you need to be ready for it. If this is your first reflection at life, or you haven't lived enough, you probably will miss the profoundness of this book. If this is not the case, grab a highlighter with plenty of ink in it, stop the world, and read this. — Javier Redondo
How To Live is a fascinating assortment of ways to live that quite often are “dialectical” in their contrarian approaches. One chapter says “Be Independent” and the next chapter says “Commit”, which could be interpreted as the opposite in some ways; however, both concepts are right depending on circumstances. He does this throughout the book and the pictures in the Conclusion sum it up best: Life depends on perspective, which can have more than one meaning and you are the conductor of it! — John Coe
Derek is the modern day epitome of "How to Live" himself. He has lived a charming unique life, embodying his principles.
This book is the mark of a Zen master. Each argument is like a zen koan - makes you think, nudges your mind open.
Each thought is like a mental reprogramming trip. Every chapter starts with a compelling counter-intuitive thesis about that argument, piles up evidence, shows how that thought is beautiful & enriching, how you can live by that perspective on multiple aspects of your life and how it makes life beautiful in its own way.
And then, the next chapter gives you another surprising thought!
Derek's books are a workout for your mind - they keep it flexible and supple. — Hitanshu Gandhi
I wish Derek wrote this book 20 years ago. It gave me a different perspective about life. It taught me the importance of having a balance in everything you do. — Manjula Liyanage
Clear, concise and intentionally contradictory. This book is wisdom distilled, on going your own way in life. Superb. — Ineacho O'Garro
As I was reading this book, I kept highlighting sentences and paragraphs on it. At times, I noticed I was highlight almost entire chapters! Besides writing my own notes on the pages.
Derek's skills to boil important thoughts down into something that grabs my attention is insane. It has been only 2 months or so since I've read the book, and I'm planning on reading it again very soon, setting aside time for self-reflection.
The year isn't over yet, but this is already among my favorite books in 2021! — Claudio Lassala
Going between each directive was like riding the waves of a chaotic river. You’d get taken up, thinking you’re on a great ride then you’d change direction, back down, left, right, up again. I loved the roller coaster of it all. I found it best to read 1 or 2 chapters per day and let it sit. Absorb the ideas and think how they’d apply to your own life. I’ve already reread a couple of the chapters. What’s beautiful is that they all imply each other. You can’t be independent unless you commit. You can’t pursue pain unless you know the feeling of doing whatever you want now. A wonderful coincidence of opposites. — Daniel Bourke
Wow! What a great book. I didn’t realize at first what the ultimate purpose of this book was, and maybe I got this wrong… but I disagreed with some of the ideas in some of the chapters so deeply that it really surprised me to bring some of these underlying beliefs to the surface and I found it made me more intentional. I just really like how it challenged me to think differently and also think about the merits of different viewpoints. In any case, I loved it and have read through it a couple times already and it just continues to really make me think. — Reuben Thiessen
A beautiful piece of writing that I believe I’ll revisit many times. Gave me some well needed perspective on how I might be making life decisions currently and where I could go. — Alex Edwards
I tried to read How to Live fast, but it was impossible. The book is so deep that, for every chapter, I needed some time to reflect and absorb the message.
I'm going to share a letter that I've written to a friend after reading the chapter "Create" of the book: https://arantespp.com/create
"Do you know what is the most valuable real estate in the world is? The graveyard. Do you know why?" — Pedro Arantes
I have read this book three times and love it. A delight to read, with very clear and thought provoking content. Never have I read a book before that challenged my current thinking and outlook on life. — Adam Gaskill
This year I have been read more than 50 books and this book is probably the most touch my heart. I have highlighted lots of sentences because I believe these sentences will impact my life and direction a lot. Among these topics, one of the most impressive ones is “commit” because it really makes a lot of sense for why I felt confused or distracted. Of course, some sentences I still do not agree with on all the contents 100%, but I highly recommended this book, which is full of wisdom. — Qing-Qi
One of the best books I’ve ever read. Condensed wisdom as only Derek Sivers, Aristotle, and Confucius does it. Puts the way you live and think in a whole new light by using different lenses. — Henrik Saetre
How to Live is a book I know I will be re-reading and revisitng very often for the rest of my life. Every sentence carries the wisdom of a whole book and everything remains fresh and to the point. The book presents radical ideas and unique perspectives that remain practical for everyday decisions but also for bigger moments in life, when we would benefit from some advice. I definitely would recommend How to Live! — Mahdi Sabour
Subverts the self-help trope of providing "the formula" for success by offering 27 bold, compelling, contradictory formulae. In doing so, Derek challenges you to recognize life's inherent complexity without using it as an excuse for inaction. This book is a wisdom multitool. — Eliot Peter
This book distills 27 of the deepest and most diverse outlooks on life I've ever read. They're all positive, all actionable, and each could compel positive changes in your own life. It's short because every word counts. I plan to re-read this many times. — Andy McLeod
So Good I've read 'How To Live' three times. There can be no doubt every reader will find something of great merit within the pages. I could be specific: but that would spoil the essence of wisdom. One certainty is: Derek never lets the reader down. If you are seeking a way out of a 'Mundane to Friday' life. 'How to Live' may just set the seeds of freedom within your inner-being. Buy it! Be free! Ian Timothy. — Ian Timothy
Every year I read "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, and I'm considering applying that same practice to this book. It is unlike anything else I've ever read. I don't now how to describe the content other than it's EXACTLY what the title and subtitle suggest. I continue to wrestle with the question, "How can all of these seem right when evaluated in isolation, and yet seem so conflicting when compared to each other?" — David Wells
Derek Sivers took the “put yourself in other people’s shoes” to another level. To be more exact, he took it to the 27th level.
Derek makes arguments from the other side like no one else. This is a brilliant way to teach us to have more empathy and learn that everything has a trade-off.
And he saved the best perspective for last: Balance. Derek makes a point that the key to success is finding the balance between everything. You will have to read it to discover the secret...
What a gift for the world. Thank you, Derek. — Wilson Silva
How to live is a great book for anyone who wants to stretch their perspective and try on different ways of approaching life. You can try them out in your mind, or if you are really compelled by a perspective you can try it out in your real life. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and I'm certain that it created some shifts in my thinking. — Vi Wickam
Sivers "How To Live" is a modern take on living in our time. Written in prose similar to the, Tao Te Ching, but with a modern-twist; this book made me reflect and think on life and the choices we face every day. Quite honestly, it was the first book I finished all year; and the most impactful. Thank you, Derek! — Alex Levine
I loved the way that Derek has presented the '27 one sided arguments' as compelling wise counsel that sit in contradiction to each other. A great way of illustrating how there is no singular narrative to expound the best way of living- (I suspect that each of these arguments may also illustrate different seasons of Derek's own life choices.) Well worth reading and chewing over the many thoughts and ideas! — Rachel Taylor-Beales
Derek is a master at transmitting impactful ideas in clear and concise sentences. This has been my favorite book yet, do not miss out. — Ari C. Salas-Porras
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function," according to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here, Derek Sivers offers 27—reading and reconciling so many sensible yet conflicting pieces of advice is a mind-opening experience and unlike any other book of advice I've read. Highly recommended. — David Moldawer
I'm better for having read this book.
I understand myself more.
I understand others more.
Read it slowly and you may just find yourself. — Joshua McDonnell
Having looked forward to getting my hands on his latest book for ages now, I've just had the pleasure of finishing "How to Live" by Derek Sivers.
The book is his response to "Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives", which offers 40 different answers to the question "What was life all about?" from the perspective of you having just died and suddenly finding out. Every answer is unique and frames life as something very different, and totally changes how you *would have* lived had you knew the answer while alive.
"How to Live" is almost the companion, but aims at exploring what life might be about now – while you're still experiencing it and while you can still change it.
The book contains 27 very different answers to the question "What should I do with my life?", all taking a completely unique perspective about what's important. I had to read it with a very open mind, as there's a lot to disagree with when you take 27 different extreme answers of any one question, but read right the book is wonderfully provocative and leaves a lot of Derek's philosophies floating around your mind, challenging your own positions. It's so broad that you'll almost certainly find a version of your current lifestyle in there, as well as a few ideas about how it could be very different... if you wanted it to be.
If you're into that sort of thinking – being mentally poked and prodded about profound choices, or things you didn't even necessarily consider as choices – it's an awesome book. For me it created lots of good questions about everything from lifestyle, love, and purpose to where I should be and what I should be doing.
Here's a little quote that stood out (among many others):
"There’s only one difference between a successful person and a failure. A failure quits, which concludes the story, and earns the title. Your growth zone is your failure zone. Both are at the edge of your limits. That’s where you find a suitable challenge. Aim for what will probably fail. If you aim for what you know you can do, you’re aiming too low." — Martin Rue
This book is a magnet of ideas that I will read once a year. Some ideas attract you, some repel you. But they all make you think, consider, imagine, contemplate, and dream. They say in life, you start off sledding down a fresh snowy hill, climbing up and doing it again. Soon you have a well-worn path and you go down the same way every time. It's hard to break free from that path, the sides are tall, they keep you going the same way every time. What's it going to take to change? A new sled? A new hill? A new you? — Brent Engels
Had to keep reminding myself of the title "conflicting" as I, myself, found myself conflicted saying "Hell yes" to inconsistent things. Yet that tension demonstrates the point that there is no right way, only maybe ones that don't serve us as well as they could and that awareness and discernment triumphs over judgment. I found enough value in this book to send to my children and a few friends for their enjoyment and hopeful benefit. — Cort Kinker
I was looking forward to reading "How to Live" and it didn't disappoint.
In each chapter of the book, Derek takes one good piece of life-advice and he describes what life would look like if you made it ONLY about that. Doing this mental exercise is already interesting, and will make you reflect, but it's much more interesting when you do it for 27 different –and most of the time contradictory– pieces of life-advice as Derek does in his book, because it lets you see how all these pieces of advice are correct but at the same time incorrect.
A thought provoking book that will not leave you indifferent. And like all of Derek's writing, every chapter is concise and to the point. — Ángel Alegre
The book instantly puts me into ‘what did I do to myself for a long while?’ mode.
Its brevity is designed for reading without minding much the chapter sequence. It suits even the busiest of people and bilinguals. I consider it a line-per-line quote, packed with wisdom to ponder about, with suggestive clues on actions that will affect the future. I was left alone to decide on how they apply – and they are practical!
It gives a timeline glance of how to live outside the box, gets me to places, even in words. Its overall outline instills discipline. You’ll get an idea about the author’s meaning of sustainable living.
Although there are one or two chapters, where relating to it can only slap your irreversible mistakes that are impossible to change anymore, there are still many stimulating thoughts to move forward to. With proper management of habits and decisions, life can be very fruitful indeed!
It is a highly recommended reading for independent youth in their 20’s or yuppies with very radical mind. It is not so recommended for the closed-minded.
The book inspired me to write this journal in my web right away:
https://www.artmusicworks.com/jour31_graveyard.html — Ann Badere-Santos
It's like The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran) meets the Tao De Ching (Lao Tzu) meets Derek Sivers - a fresh and bold format to house so much of the author's lived wisdom as a musician, entrepreneur, father and human. A great book of poem-like ruminations to keep bedside. — Darren C. Joe
I love how this book owns the contradictions in life, how it reaches out and reaches in at the same time. How it pushes and pulls with simple clarity. Embrace all of yourself, embrace this book, embrace the world, embrace your path. — Troy May
There's no one way to live, and this book is a great place to start figuring out all the options. Every chapter was convincing, and that's funny, because sometimes there were back to back chapters which contradicted each other! The chapters I disagreed with made me think even more than the ones I resonated with. They taught me things about myself and made me ask questions that I was uncomfortable voicing.
There's one chapter that is titled "Follow a great book" which advices the reader to pick a book and stick with it, and explore life through its lens. I think "How to Live" could itself be one such book. The thing with Derek's writing is that it yields so much more on re-reading it. I'm going to be returning to this book again and again, for sure. — Adhithya K Ravindra
"How To Live" is an instant classic that will be referenced a hundred years from now. Did you ever want a book that spelled out how to live various parts of your life, from living an independent life, thinking long-term and how to make memories. Even, how to become rich.
Siver's book breaks down every part of your life from your career, to how to interact with people and master one thing in your life.
I found the writing to be straight to the point. I highlighted major sections as it was so densely packed good. There wasn't a part that I felt wasn't needed. And that is what I look for in a classic self-development book, great advice down to the point and direct.
I highly enjoyed this book. You can tell Siver's took quite a bit of time finely honing his writing. It's very well written and easy to digest.
I gave this book a 5-star out of 5-star rating because it will be a book that I incorporate into my daily life, that I'll reference my notes and highlights for the rest of my life. I don't give this high praise on any book usually but the classic self-development books that have highly influenced my life. — Christopher Sherrod
Pretty much every chapter is an eye-opening experience, I had to put the book down after each chapter just to think and reflect for a bit. Highly recommended!! — BK
Derek Sivers is a modern philosopher with ancient wisdom.
The existential question brings the reader to navigate those seas where each of us has drawn. In this book the journey is easy to read and with a winning concise style that enchants you to keep on going, just like life.
Sivers lays a path of alternative options how to live life that doesn't seem to promise a goal, the final destination, the answer.
Yet the reader keeps finding lighthouses that shed light on the path they're actually in their real life.
Like in a multitude of universes and dimensions that all are possible, Sivers offers a buffet of ingredients that the reader can leverage on to create their own recipe of how to live their life.
Sivers is aware that every human being is a spectrum of different colours that paint one's life, so the reader is encouraged to be resilient with oneself, and mix and match the advices on how to live that more suit their frequencies.
There are several powerful keys in Sivers' work: enthusiasm, exploration, expression, commitment, yet detachment, with a pinch of Stoicism, Hedonism, and Buddhist Zen. All mixed with practical advices keeping in mind our modern society.
Highly recommended to adults and teens, as it's never too early or too late to consider _how to live_ ? — Laura Clesceri
One of the best books I've read in a while. It reminds me of the type of timeless wisdom instilled in something like Poor Charlie's Almanack. I loved the paradoxical explorations that serve as reminders to ask the right questions in different situations. This book makes you think about what's important to you and apply it to your life with practical guidance. Well done Derek! — David Birsen
This book is one of my favourites.
Derek describes succinctly how to live life's each stage. I do think to really live it's good to spend at least 6 months in each 'answer'. The secret is to know "what" stage is good "when"? and to change yourself accordingly for your life symphony. — Ionut Norocel
One first starts to hear thoughts that fight views one once held inviolable. Then, almost surreptitiously one adjusts and seems not so startled again by their strangeness because they seem to only cause one to imagine what wasn't but could be if given the chance.
I feel privileged to have been a tiny little part of this, Derek.
It'll travel great distances, over millions of minds, affecting myriad of tongues in unending conversations. Because mankind is still in search of How To Live.
And, you didn't tell us. You just let in more air into the subject. For a deeper examination. — Ron Mgbatogu
Derek to me is like an enlightened person. I turn to his books when i am in despair and lost. "How To Live" filters through all the fluff and gives you these golden nuggets and you are like Wow!!! Amazing writing on how one can really Live listening to your soul. He's truly the Real Monk that sold his Ferrari. This guy is at a different level of Thinking and thus his ideas are what a Wise Man would give you. Most importantly he walks the talk and that just makes it so amazing. Been very fortunate to have read anything and everything by him. — Siddharth Rangnekar
I used Derek's book as my morning meditation for several weeks. I took my time (As he suggests) and read a few lines each morning. I thought about what each section meant to me, how I related to it and how it made me feel.
Honestly, this book could be used in a classroom environment. I recommend it to everyone! — Doug Fergus
Ist is a super fascinating book.
Because of the short chapters I do not hesitate to start reading quickly one or two in between other things.
On the other hand because of the deep ness of the topics and the versatility you. And read it more than one time.
So for me it seems like an endless fountain of deep thoughts. Without barriers. Available anytime.
Marvelous! thank you for this masterpiece. — Klaus Breyer
Fantastic book - really makes you consider a broad range of perspectives and opinions. It's often easy to get caught up in believing there is one "right" answer, and this book makes you question every single one of them.
Seeing Derek effectively argue against beliefs I have or have had in the past in humorously confident way made me think critically about which values I held and how I will move forward with them.
Highly recommend! — Ryan Combes
The amount of wisdom per page is greater than any other book. This is a new classic.
I read it, and then reread all my highlights, but because its such an easy read, I just leafed through the book again, and made even more highlights. 10/10 — Rasmus Kvejborg
Very rarely do you travel through so many core perspectives in such a short period of time. Came out the other side with some fresh, very useful ideas on how to live my own life, and a nice appreciation for the various approaches we can choose to take at any one time. Highly recommend! — Cameron Hill
This book is just outstanding. Make yourself a favour and buy it. Very short, I read it every month or two because it really keeps opening my mind.
As it states, every chapter conflicts with the others but every chapter will make you think "My goodness, it is true. This is how to live."
Repeat for 27 conflicting times and your brain is in overdrive. But in a good way. — Alex Lanaro
Beautifully written and very concise. Each chapter is a different set of principles/directives/suggestions on how to live. You could combine a few of them together but many of them also contrast each other which means there is something for everyone. I can also see how you might use this differently for different phases of your life. This is your best book! — James Pearson
- it’s the best Derek has ever written (I have read all of it)
- At first, it bothered me since I felt I was being told what to do. But then it hit me, he is simply making us question all of our beliefs and tenets. Then I relaxed and loved the ride. Dove deep into my assumptions. Read slow and thought.
- At first, the contradictions bothered me. But then it hit me again, that if you don’t contradict yourself, you haven’t given the other beliefs enough time and experience.
Each new year and each new decade I hope to find me contradicting my previous self. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they have bought great joy to myself and many people close to me. — Lucas Lopatin
I love this book. It makes you think about things you typically don't think about, ideas that you've come to take for granted as your own - without ever questioning them. Give it time, don't rush through it. It's gold. — Julia Proos
This book is an awesome thought experiment. At first you're thinking, "Derek has gone mad". Then he helps you realize "how to live" is exactly the way you already are. — Kyle Mathis
I don’t know how Derek keeps upping the ante, but everything I see from him provides me with a new perspective on how to view the universe and navigate the waters. “How to Live” is the latest example where the life lesson statements he makes are just as good individually on their own as they are collectively in chapters or in the book as a whole. If you were looking for a comprehensive methodology on to live your life and to better your philosophies on how to approach your life, “How to Live” is definitely for you. — Ken Corum
This book was fantastic and one of the most useful I've ever read. Its ratio of insight to word count is unparalleled, and nearly every page has several ideas that are alone worth the price of the book. Highly recommended! — Caleb Derosier
I found How to Live so interesting that I read the whole thing in one sitting, cancelling all other plans :)
As I read it on my Kindle I highlighted the sentences and phrases that rang true to how I would answer the question, "how to live?" for my own life.
After finishing the book I realised that my Kindle highlights, when combined, would be my own chapter.
If you're not sure about who you are or what you're here to do, this book is perfect for you.
If you think you're sure about who you are and what you're here to do, this book is perfect for you.
For me, the overriding message was that I could be happy living in a number of different ways. I don't think it really matters how you live, I think it matters that you choose how you live.
How to Live is a classic piece of Derek Sivers art: wonderfully concise, beautifully humble, posing as many questions as it answers and providing inspiration and ample space for thought. As with all of Derek's books so far, epiphanies and breakthroughs are inevitable. — Jodie Cook
Are you an explorer? A creator? A visionary? A pioneer?
This book is for anyone who wants to make the most of their limited time on earth through experimentation, optimization, and self-discovery.
It's a marvel from the opening page. Inspiration put to words. Highly recommended. — Mike Stop Continues
As a mid 20s something struggling with decided what to do in life, I found this book very compelling. I shared it with all my friends and they loved it. I loved it. I can’t wait to reread it. I still quote parts of it today that have helped me get my thoughts on track. I will leave you with one here that helped me massively. I always picked up 1000 different hobbies and dropped them quickly, as many people do: “Sometime you have to sacrifice your alternate selves”
Thanks Derek. I mean it. Keep on, keeping on. — Alex Aldrick
I always feel that I live in such a dilemma:
- humble but demand greatness
- love my neighbours but also think others are hell
- enjoy my solitude but also need community support
Derek's new book has listed so many conflicting answers that I have that resonate with me in many ways. You are not alone. You always have choices. It doesn't matter which way you choose. Enjoy the journey and not let your inner conflict become a roadblock. — Camellia Yang
There are many ways to be creative and make things happen in life. There are also many approaches to how to live one’s life. Derek Sivers’ book, “HOW TO LIVE,” provides 27 different approaches or attitudes toward life and the challenges we may face.
This book showed me ways to deal with changes in my surroundings, as I mature and grow older. There is not just one way to live. Some things in life are not totally within my own control. However, as this book points out, the outcomes in my life may have a lot to do with my outlook on life.
It seemed that Derek’s advice to me was to take pause and reflect, if possible, before reacting to circumstances or making decisions about things. Then, once I react to someone or something, and once I make a decision about something, it’s time to move on and make the best of it.
One way that reading this book has affected my life, is that I’ve decided to pay more attention to my love of music. Now, I’m committed to devoting loving attention to it and appreciation for it every day. As I’m having fun learning daily --while singing and playing my guitar, or other instrument-- I want to share, connect, and empathize with others as they learn too.
This book is well written, and succinct. Take it all in, chapter by chapter, with an open mind. I’m looking forward to listening to the audio version of it now. — Nan Crowe Bieneman
Derek Sivers once again confirms through his latest book How to Live that he is among the most thought provoking, compassionate, and important life coaches of his generation.
What Derek artfully reveals in this text is a wisdom of when the mind of science meets the passion of soul. He provides a plethora of cohesive and powerful options in considering how best to navigate through this journey we call life.
Regardless of your station, identity, age, or inclinations, How To Live is a must read. Indeed How To Live invites us to engage in a journey of self exploration for the purpose of enjoying and living the life of service we are intended to be. — Clifton West
I wanted to highlight 80+ percent of the book so instead I decided to re-read quarterly. It is that type of book, a perennial. Full of wisdom and fervor to motivate you into whatever you want to do. At the end of the book, you see the tradeoffs, the benefits and at least for me the courage to decide without getting hung up on all the alternatives. — Luis
How to Live isn't a step-by-step guide that will help you change your life in so many days or weeks. It's a book that inspires you to challenge your assumptions. It's a book that makes you think deeply about your life: what you do and how you do it, your aspirations and goals and how to achieve them. — Scott Nesbitt
Derek has managed to condense all the self help books into one volume. There is something in here for anyone. — Lindsay
Brilliant book! I really enjoyed reading the short chapters every morning and letting them sink in during the day. I feel like Derek has written this book so that every single word counts for something. Highly recommend. — Alexander Price
Every artist needs to read this book. It's informative, innovative, and straight to the point. Get it and read it. It's a survival kit for Artists. Antoinette Perry — Marie Antoinette Perry
THIS is a piece of work.
For Derek as the author - but also for us as the readers.
When it came out, I was SO excited and wanted to plow through it. Then I read the first sentences:
"Here’s how to live: Be independent.
All misery comes from dependency. "
If I had the paper version of the book, I would paint it with all the text markers I had. Almost every line makes me stop and want to think about it.
Absolutely not what I expected.
Absolutely what I need.
Want another example?
"New habits are what you’re trying.
Old habits are who you are."
"Mastery is the best goal because the rich can’t buy it, the impatient can’t rush it, the privileged can’t inherit it, and nobody can steal it. "
It is SO good!
Cant wait for the Paperversion, so I can go crazy with Markers and Bookmarks in it :) — Alex Kahl
This book is like a buffet of ideas. Some dishes you’re already intimately familiar with. You might have even cooked some of them to perfection; more times than you can count.
Others are vaguely familiar… and tasting them broadens your horizons.
And some of them… are frankly better served to other people.
I liked the book as an inspiration and as a good tour guide.
I’m even going to guess that if you jump into it with open mind, you will undoubtedly find a few dishes to spark a new curiosity for further culinary explorations. Or perhaps to solidify your long held belief that your way is the best way (for you). — Michal Jirků
Derek’s words are full of wisdom and calming to the soul. Get his books and then read and reread them as you’re trying to figure out life or business. His books are on my “arms-length” bookshelf. — Bill Rice
This book was amazing. I have recently tried to emulate particular chapters and live a day thinking a certain way as described in the book. It surely breaks up the monotony and opens my eyes to alternative ways to see the world. — Devin Hersey
A powerful book that makes you reevaluate many aspects of your life. It is packed full of wisdom and conflict, but prescriptive. A wonderful and concise angel on your shoulder. I will continue to revisit this book over the years. — Jonathan Lee
Its reads like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in a different point of view, or a thousand different points of view. — Siddhant
Although I expected it to be extra ordinary but even then it surpassed expectations. I particularly liked the part on 'Randomness'. It's a whole new perspective on life and enables one to detach easily from outcomes. It obviates the need to explain happenings just say it's random and move on. Great book Derek. God bless and thanks a lot. — Suman Sinha
This book is short, but it’s meant to be read slow. As I’ve worked through it I’ve had so many “aha” moments. I’m so thankful Derek wrote it! There’s uncommon wisdom and insight in the pages. I highly recommend it! — Matt Cannon
I used a chapter a day of How to Live as prompts for my journalling practice. I bathed in it, reflected on it, and engaged (argued) with it. There is something truly powerful about work that helps you truly appreciate the beautiful nuance and open roads of life. The desire for concrete answers might bring us to the book, but we get to take something far more valuable from it...a freedom from 'doing it right', and a chance to build a practice of asking ourselves better questions about the important things. — Andy Schema
How To Live is a rollercoaster of advise and seemingly sturdy proclamations that you'll highlight and cheer almost randomly according to your mood until you realise the real lessons it is teaching it you about freedom, conscious living, and the need to aways question your beliefs. — Matthew De George
I loved this book. I wanted to underline almost every sentence. Very to the point. Wisdom condensed. — Theresa Fuchs
From the first sentence to the last, my gut reaction was the same—this is a perfect book. The razor-sharp wisdom cuts deep! That the advice in each chapter is so brilliantly thorough, yet, in the extremes, so contradictory, is striking and beautiful. It’s certainly possible my rave review suggest I’m simply a perfect match for the “target audience,” in which case it’s a testament to Sivers’ sincerity and brilliant marketing. 10/10! — Chris Coletti
At times beautiful, poignant, and contradictory. I'll buy any book Derek writes because there are always unique gems of wisdom inside. — Bennett Garner
Brilliant. Effect was like a Zen koan, I questioned my beliefs and pretty soon my mind gave up and left me in a strange and wonderful place. — Michael Kavanagh
How to Live is one of the best and most enjoyable books I've read in a while. Instead of following a typical path of a self-help book and giving you one answer to the title question, it gives you 27 – and all that for the price of one!
Each chapter gives a compelling argument for a certain way to live your life. There are no half-hearted answers and it's clear that Derek put serious thought into presenting each one in a convincing way. Yet, just in the next chapter he may turn that answer upside down and present the opposite perspective with the same level of confidence.
This book is like a supermarket of ideas. There's something to pick from every shelf and it brilliantly illustrates that there are many ways to live one's life, each with its costs and perks. It's eye opening and while reading it I already thought about starting it all over again. — Krzysztof Szafranek
Great book, full of good thoughts! Ready to use arguments to do what makes you feel alive and happy. And if it doesn't work, just change it and try something else, you'll find other arguments for it too! — Loïc Malsch
Wow. As expected Derek’s latest book might contain the best insights on life I have ever read. He spent years editing this down to the most concise amazing nuggets. I’m planning on retreading this regularly. Amazing! — Greg Pilla
It’s been an incredible book. I loved reflecting on the different lives that a person can have, it’s a very nice existential exercise that we rarely do. In each chapter I could feel identified with each idea despite being contradictory. I think it’s a practical philosophical book and very easy to understand. It really made me thinking outside the box, thank you. — Marina Aisa
How to Live was one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a long time. — Jerad Hill
I really enjoyed this book. The writing style is beautiful and interesting. It's packed with food for thought and the fun part is to reflect on what works for you and what doesn't. You can probably reread the book in a few years and come to different conclusions. Thank you Derek for this wonderful book! I highly recommend it. — Fredi
I like the short sentences- you can easily find a lot quotable sentences in any random pages.
If you find a chapter is describing the way you live, or it is the way you want to live, make sure you read TWICE the previous or next chapter for an opposite idea.
You may ask "how to live?", or you may find "how to live!"
I found questions are more interesting than answers. — Ray 温
Fricking loved this book!
I found myself laughing, nodding my head, taking notes in the margins, and excitedly waiting for the weird conclusion.
Absolutely loved it. — Peter Shepherd
Brilliant. Awesome book. Beautiful, simple writing that makes you think. I’m reading through it for my 3rd time already. Each time through I find something new. I love the opposing thoughts and ideas, the different perspectives. In the end it’s about finding what works for you - at any given time. — Bradley Keyes
Each answer/chapter is a perfect meditation on how to live life. As Derek says, they can sometimes be conflicting but that's the point! The contrast in each answer puts the emphasis on the right point at the right time. Very worth the small investment of your time. — Drew Malone
This is my favorite type of book: short, reflective, full of sentences barely more than seven words long, but forces me to sit and reread each sentence multiple times to fully take in and understand them, covering a wide range of commonplace topics in life. Few authors deliver such savory texts as this. Sivers surely didn't disappoint with this one (with cadence to boot!). — Tina
Excellent book, sound wisdom, loved it. Everything Sivers writes is gold, cheers! — Patrick
This has been on of the most thought provoking books I've read in recent years. I found myself bouncing back and forth multiple times to re-read portions to acknowledge case / counter-case aspects. — Scott Reaska
Excellent book. Read the conflicting chapters to understand the conclusion. Believe in what you can do, change your beliefs about what you can’t do (e.g. speak in public). Cut out the noise (advertising, news, social media – you don’t ‘need’ it). If this book inspires you to change your life, get started now. — Robert Allen
How a book of answers caused me to ask myself so many questions is beyond me. This is a great read that keeps you engaged and intrigued. — Chad King
Simply a delight to read. Derek has compressed his life lessons from the extraordinary life he's lived into this masterpiece. Every sentence is worth its weight in gold and I envy all who intend to read it that have not yet done so. — Tim White
I don’t think any book has made me think more deeply. We spend our lives in internal conflict and Derek’s attempt to crystallise this is fascinating. There’s so much to digest here, I’m reading chapters over and over. Thank you :-) — Joseph Tuck
Sharing hard-won life knowledge delivered in a delightfully clear and concise way, this is a must-read for people in all walks of life. It dances across so many areas topics—learning, loving, committing, and even "not dying"—but is never unfair or preachy. In fact, my favorite part of the book is that Sivers readily admits that much like life itself, this book is full of paradoxes and it's up to you to find the right balance between them all. This should be considered mandatory reading for anyone looking to enjoy and understand life a bit more than they do today. — Jay
"How to Live" is a great book. It gives you a repertoire of, hmmm, "doctrines" for how to approach life.
From the point of view of the individual conflicting answers, every one is written concisely, but in-depth enough. There's usually the rationale, different angles, and examples for every particular answer.
From the point of view of the whole set of the different conflicting answers, Derek makes it very explicit that the different answers are conflicting and that the goal is to approach life with the right "doctrine" for each situation.
The biggest value of the book for me was:
1. It draws a clear "map of the territory".
2. Each of the "paths" that you can take is explained thoroughly, you know fairly well in which direction to move. At the same time, it's abstract enough to be applicable generally. It doesn't give any specific recipes. — Maxim Svistunov
How to Live is such a gem of a book. I loved it!
Light spoiler alert:
As I was reading it I thought, "yeah!" Then I thought, "huh.." And then I thought, "..wait wat!?" And then I was confused because it contradicted itself. And then I double-checked the sub-title and began to suspect something fascinating was happening.
And then as each chapter unfolded, I gradually began to realize I was peering into a prism with all the reflections of possibility of life.
There is nothing quite like a book whose implicit lessons are baked into the structure of the book. And the explicit lessons sneakily feed the implicit lesson over time. By the end, a real sense of possibility and awe and freedom emerges. And then the simple cymbal crash of an ending. Really wonderful! — Chris Lesage
10/10. It helps you to understand how not to live. — Bishal Shrestha
I stopped making highlights in my Kindle after page 20 because I'd been highlighting 80% of the book. It's remarkably concise for being "about" so many things. I also really liked the format and writing style as well.
I'll be gifting this book to many friends this holiday season. — Rett Larson
I love this book. Each chapter contains simple philosophical statements that are packed with meaning. I suspect that if you were to read the book once/year and highlight key passages - you will end up with every page highlighted over the course of a life.
I am looking forward to having the physical copy so I can pick up a reread on a whim between other life events. — Matthew Laing
I like how the book is short and without unnecessary filler. Intended to be read slowly. I found myself dreaming about the different ways to live and what my own tradeoffs are in the way I am living. Love the conclusion too. I don't think it could be more concise. — Jerry Sha
The most kindle highlights of any book I've read — Mark
This book managed to make one way of living appear as the obvious one, only to have me equally convinced about the complete opposite in the very next chapter. A great read whether you are looking for ideas for your own life or empathy for those who chose a different path. — Niklas Carlsson
One of my favorite books I've ever read. Not only was it enjoyable to read, but it also got me excited to try self-experiments — living by different philosophies for a certain period of time. — Amaan Sayed
A wonderful concept for a book, executed in Derek's unique concise style. I had the strange experience of wholeheartedly agreeing with something that absolutely contradicted something I had wholeheartedly agreed with just a few pages before. This is a book to be savoured and enjoyed slowly. Each chapter is a perfect jumping off place for a deep meditation. An interesting experiment would be to spend 27 days living in the manner suggested in each chapter. Thanks, Derek, for providing me with food for thought. — Dom Evans
I've read and re-read this book at least 3 times. I've taken 4,000 words from Derek's approximately 23,000 and made my own little document of excerpts and bullet points, which I feel is most relevant and helpful to me at this time. I think 'How To Live' is brilliant, concise, and for me, essential. — Shaun Holley
This book motivated me to put down the rest of my books and to start making MY OWN LIFE amazing. Derek certainly has a unique way of speaking to me. Can't recommend this book enough for anyone questioning their current life situation (so everyone). — Drew Millar
I didn’t know what to think after the first few chapters, but became intrigued by the number of ways to design a life.
It makes you work for the answer to what best fits you. It makes you invest time and energy into creating your own path.
So many books now spoon-feed powerful content, but it’s not retained because the reader has no part in creating it!
How to Live provides options with a gentle push forward. Very helpful book. — Tom Maguire
How to live could probably be the compendium of good habits and routines I'd have loved to write myself. It is actionable, well-written, concise, and to the point. It is also full of contradictory advice, which at first might sound counterintuitive, but in the end, it is what life is all about, contradictions — isn't it? — Marc Collado
Jazz. So many thought-provoking passages. Go slow. Go fast. Full of contradiction. But straight to the point. You too will end up highlighting 90% of the book like I did. — Rohit Agarwal
This book is like a little jar of pixie dust. Each little directive is a sprinkle that can make you fly. In all seriousness though it started changing my life on page one. — Russell Turner
This book is up there with Brian Browne Walker's translation of the Tao Te Ching. I've purchased hardcover copies to give to friends and family. — David Martin
It was a privilege to read this book. I’m a slow reader because I only read at night, but that turned out to be a benefit, because it allowed me to sit with each mindset presented in each chapter for a day or two before moving on. Each chapter shamelessly contradicts the previous, as if you are traveling the world talking to different people with completely different advice. You keep what works for you, and learn to recognize and empathize with how different people lead their own lives. Intriguing concept that’s beautifully implemented. Obrigado Derek! — Joel Rendall
One of my favorites. This is a really different book. Read it slowly, one, two or one hundred times if you want. Full of wisdom and advice. I really loved the different but sometimes contradictory approaches. 11/10. — José Antonio Mariscal Peñafiel
Derek put complicated things in simple words and offers straight-forward "if you want this, do that"-recommendations to a degree of simplicity it often blew my mind.
There are just a few books that made me say "WOW" out loudly on my commute - This book is one of them. — Felix Gehm
This is a weird, interesting, insightful book.
Most books on this topic give you ideas and tactics from the author’s perspective — things they have done that have worked well. The idea is that if you integrate those ideas into your life, then you will also have a better life.
This book is different.
Instead of saying “do this” and your life will be better, it says, “here are 27 different ways to approach life. Sample them and see which ones works best for you.”
The weird part is that most of the “27 ways” contradict each other.
Some of them are complete opposites — you can’t do both. At least not at the same time.
I love this book because it demonstrates:
* That “the best way” is not the same for everyone.
* What is “the best way” during one phase of your life might not be “the best way” at other times.
* Other people might have a completely different approach to life, and that’s okay. — Rich Harshaw
I truly loved everything about it. The style, the wisdom, the little insights that I'll carry with me as I continue my journey of figuring out the best way to live.
I can't wait to tell other people about it. — Troy Farkas
How to read.
Find a book. Not just any book. Your time and attention is worthy of a great book. One written with humor and intention. A book that is written in language that is digestible so that the authors thoughts are transferred to your mind. A book written with intent - a book where the author wants you to walk away with their ideas firmly transferred.
Make sure the ideas are worthy of your attention. You want to be challenged not by the complexity of the language, but by the thoughts the words provoke.
Take it slowly. Savor your time with the book. Try reading a chapter a day. Really work to understand the meaning. Consider whether you agree or not and if so why or why not.
When you finally finish the text, you may come to realize that you have changed your thinking. Perhaps you understand better why you have made past decisions. Or perhaps you may decide to chart a new course.
The act of transferring our thoughts into someone else’s mind across space and time is a miracle. Enjoy this process.
This is how to read. — Jay Negro
Probably the best book I’ve ever read, no joke. Thank you Derek for sharing your insight on everything! — David Baranowski
The first few lines from this book captivated me, and the rest of the book was equally good. Sivers offers 27 different approaches we can follow to Live a Good Life. Various approaches will appeal to various people, and Sivers caters to a wide range of people. Some approaches are the opposite of each other - for example, Be Independent vs Commit, or Chase the Future vs Value Only What Has Endured. In most cases, however, there are multiple approaches that the reader can adopt. My sense is that picking one approach and aligning one's life in accordance with that approach non-negotiably, while optionally adding other approaches, is optimal. All this said and done, this book is filled with gems and nuggets of wisdom in every page, a one-of-a-kind book. My gratitude to Derek Sivers for writing this masterpiece and simultaneously making the world a better place. — Prahalad Rajkumar
This is a book for thinking people. Those who seek quick recipes might be fascinated by one chapter but immediately confused by the next. So it is not a good idea to stop reading at any chapter - you must consume all and contemplate on all of them. The book looks packed with recipes - but there is none. You are solely responsible for your decisions. So decide - and live - every second. — Bojan
Extremely short book that you'll gulp down in one sitting. Each chapter/answer contradicts with one another which forces you to think really hard how to process it and adjust the ideas to fit within your context. And this is what it makes this book so amazing! My favourite chapter is definitely "Make a million mistakes". — Luka Peharda
This book is supremely enjoyable and thought provoking.
I loved it so much, that after finishing it, I just went straight back to the beginning and started again.
I love Derek’s writing, and moreso, his thinking.
Up there with my very favourite books.
Ideas that are a joy to discover and great fun to think deeply over.
A book to keep coming back to, and relishing all over again.
Wonderful. — Duncan Smith
Great Audio Book Listen. I love when authors read their own books because it puts their own emphasis and heart into the words. Short, digestible chapters. Classic Sivers Style. — Zach Thomas
A punchy exploration of the fundamental dichotomy at the core of Erich Fromme's Escape from Freedom. It turns the dial to 11 on our conflicting needs for individual freedom and community belonging across relationships, career, creativity, etc. Ultimately, Derek finds an integrated path that creates a life of "and" not "or." — Erik Syvertsen
Derek's book 'How to Live' is another classic. The lessons are simple to understand and you'll be left with "I felt like that too" a helluva lot.
If Derek offered a subscription to get access to every book he writes, I'd happily handover my credit card. How to Live is actionable, inspiring, and beautifully written.
A must-read. A future cult classic.
https://medium.com/curious/the-straight-talking-life-truths-worth-remembering-when-you-feel-lost-c733a9f40708 — Tim Denning
Distilled and tight... each chapter has comprehensive ideas around a way to live and optimizing a lifestyle for that focus. I found myself nodding yes to much of the pros and cons and envisioning my life with aspects of that focus. The big question is really how to optimize the choices, because the rewards and costs are more complex if you meld multiple lifestyle choices rather than hyper-focus on one! Thought provoking and enjoyable. Read straight through on one long cross country flight and then I have gone back to revisit certain chapters. The hard work for me is still to come, which is really thinking more deeply about my optimizations and choices... am I allocating time correctly? Are my outcomes and trade-offs what I want? — Read
This book… Wow. I have to read it literally one chapter at a time because each one knocks me sideways and has me deeply contemplating how I’m living my life. It also continually convinces me that a new way of living is correct which is wild…
Seriously, if you aren’t sure how to live, this book will give you some ideas! — Max Fairbank
Windshield wipers for how to see life.
If you're feeling stuck - this book will unstuck you.
It felt like a choose your own adventure for your own life. — Sean Stewart
just the sort of contradictory, polemical and thought provoking set of life instructions I wanted to read right now. Good work Derek, as always. Thank you. — Naomi Brewster
This is one of these rare books where you can't highlight a single line because you would need to highlight the whole book. No fluff, just gems. — Manuel Villmer
I love how the Derek manages to look at life from many unusual and different – often contradicting – perspectives, which inevitably leads to thinking about your own priorities and perspectives and to re-evaluating what's important and how *you* want to live. — Ben Mann
It took me a while to realize that the maddening contradictions in this book relieved me of the burden of trying to follow all its advice. I also realized that I think about what I read in this book (e.g. randomness, mastery) without being aware that I read it here first. — David Hayes
My secular bible. Such a joy to pick up and read a chapter every other day. Replaces all other self help books I own. Thanks Derek, you rock! — Ryan Fisher
I love to highlight bits of writing that particularly speak to me. The words that snag me for attention and action. This whole book is highlight. — Bernadette Parker
— Alex Riviere
This is a great read for anyone seeking to live life to the fullest. There are no wasted words. Sivers is the modern sage who delivers age tested truths in a twenty-first century style. Even to points I did not totally agree with, I was forced to acknowledge their truths. I loved it! — Billy Mitchell
I read and listen regularly to the "Master something" chapter to keep me focused on my path to mastery.
The chapters might be conflicting but there are golden nuggets to take in many of them for one same person.
And it's good to remember that one can live a few of those lives one after the other before leaving this world. — Ivan Costals Angelè
Derek is both a unique and remarkable thinker and person which is fully demonstrated in this excellent book.
Derek personifies the recently presented and popular philosophies of Deep Work, Essentialism and Thinking Slowly.
This has allowed him to fully consider (and frequently live) some of the 'conflicting answers' he explores in this book.
His deep evaluation of ways to spend a life will let you consider the aspects of life that appeal to you and perhaps give you a profound insight into what energizes you.
Buy it and read it frequently to remind you of how you could be living and what that might mean to how you could have a more fulfilling life. — Martin Rhodes
Love this book - took me a chapter or two to get the approach, but when it clicked I think I read it in one sitting. Then went back to re-read, and continue to revisit my highlights and notes (keep a pen/highlighter handy!). Helpful in both reaffirming some of my engrained philosophies and approaches, while also challenging one to reconsider and ensure an appropriate balance. — Neil Mumm
Every word, every sentence had to prove itself and that is exactly why it is so rich. No specific highlights, the book is THE highlight. — Mathias Hielscher
I had to stop reading How to Live before bed, because it generated so much thought and emotion I couldn’t sleep.
How to Live is different from the usual personal development books, as it provides you with food for thought, not dogmatic formulas for happiness.
This book takes a walk through some of the most fundamental wisdom — much of which you’ve heard before — and challenges it. In the end, it all comes together in a way that’s so surprising, it might actually affect how you live your life, forever. — Omar Zenhom
How To Live must hold a world record for the ratio ideas over words.
Derek’s arguments are sometimes contradictory. Good! Life is paradoxical.
Much of the advice Derek has thought up and gathered in this book reflects ideas found in in Buddhism and Stoicism, and I think it also builds on thoughts of people like Nassim Taleb, Kevin Kelly and Seth Godin. If you like these kind of ideas, How To Live is for you. However, if you like fat, fluffy books with an abundance of words and a scarcity of ideas, How to Live is not for you.
The book is dense and intense, yet great fun to read. — Niek de Greef
Another tremendous book from Derek.
Great topics, I really enjoyed addressing these topics, because I have been contemplating on a lot of them and the rest definitely pops-up in one's life.
The duality of the book is amazing, you can always approach life in different ways and in the end there is no right or wrong, just what is best for YOU at the MOMENT.
Looking forward to the next one! — Sándor Iváncsics
Love reading the slices of insight that Derek provides. Never fails to get you thinking from a fresh perspective. — Jake Hanft
I've been procrastinating on doing my taxes, every time I think about doing them I stop and say "I" don't want to do them, they can wait.
After reading How To Live, I thought about my taxes again, this time I noticed my three-year-old boy sitting next to me and realized I didn't need to do my taxes, stay organized, be financially astute for me, I need to do all that for him! Total game-changing metal shift. Thanks Derek, Love you brother — Keith Delmar
I think Derek is one of the greatest thinkers alive and does an excellent job in communicating life wisdom in a succinct and easy to understand way. — Sherry Zhang
I think it is so far the best book by Derek. I go back to it again and again. Thanks Derek, for putting your thoughts out into the world. I hope you will help a lot of people. — Jens Otto Moeller
Read chapters aloud of How To Live to friends and partners. You will be heard and adored as a conduit to the Siversian spirit. 10/10: I will read again! — Will James
As a 23 year old about to graduate college, this book give some excellent ideas of how to live with pragmatic examples. Really enjoyed this book. — Jake Hemmerle
All the advice you ever need, in one wonderfully written, concise format. — Ian Black
As with all of Derek's books and writings, this book is concise, to the point, and inciteful. Derek has a way of persuading that really makes you think and question.
I love this book.
Every chapter is a different point of view on life advice. It's incredibly refreshing and inspiring.
Get it! — Joey Chang
A great book! It has been extremely interesting to notice my own reactions to these different ways of living and it has helped me reflect on how I personally want to live. Thanks Derek! — Onni Anttoora
The only other book I finished reading with enthusiasm this year other than the King James Bible. — Ena Ferrer
Derek Sivers is the most original thinker of our generation. "How To Live" is his most ambitious work to date. HTL could literally change your life. You have been warned ;-) — Jonathan Stark
Loved this book! The writing style is engaging and to the point. I enjoyed how it allowed time and space for thoughts to flow and for deep consideration of the theme of each chapter without much need to re-read. — David Thompson
— Rishi Agrawal
Derek is right. This is his best work yet. I could feel the energy that went into creating it. It is a work of art with many priceless insights. I have ordered multiple copies to give to friends and can see myself rereading this gem many times. I was desperate to get to the conclusion and haven't stopped thinking about it since. Thanks Derek! — Robyn Phillips
Timeless and priceless wisdom, presented in a magnificent way! Thank you, Derek! — Simeon Guetov
I really enjoyed this book. Derek took on one of the most interesting and important questions in life and looked at it through 27 different perspectives. It's honest and inspiring and I respect how Derek is able to carve out time to focus and dive deeply into his passion projects. Thanks so much Derek for taking the time to put out this book! — J.R. Belschner
This is a masterpiece! — Joseph Ratliff
I really enjoyed How to Live.
My takeaway was that in the end, the best you can do is balance the different life approaches based on what the current stage of life you are in requires.
I think this book will be eye opening for many because most people are only exposed to a few ways to live based on what they internalized from their parents and culture. — Igor Kertzman
Such a lovely book. I read this while making a huge change in my life. It was a pleasant reminder that there are many different ways to travel on our journey. — Jarrett Wenzel
Inspiring, enlightening, crisp and impeccable. — Joel Bein
So much wisdom here. I am buying 6 more copies for friends and family. Thank you! — Sophia Prater
How to live? I was always looking for one simple answer. After reading "How to live" I have found out that I can have anything, but not everything. This book might lead you to that anything. — Milan Cícer
This book powerfully shows the variety of lenses one's mind can use to see reality. — Matt Heim
Beautiful. — Terry Li
This book is a Beautiful proof that the Hegelian dialectic applies to all things in life.
Great book. — Jim Gunther
Awesome book. Written in a very sharp and minimalist style.
A little weird at first, but so inspiring!
I sincerely loved <3 — Maxime Boudiaf
Derek's book "How to live" is the Tao Te Ching of the modern age. Beautiful, concise, deep. Thanks for your words Derek. — Zachary Ryan
— Markus Koebberling
Derek's best work yet. Thoughtful, beautiful, and unique. — Joel Christiansen
This book generated so much thought. The chapters are full of wisdom and contradiction. I'm reading it for the second time now. In a much slower pace with a pen and papers. — Mohd Fazli Abdullah
IF you love Derek's perspectives and unique quirks you've read in his blog or through podcasts you will love this book.
Each chapter perfectly contradicts and complement each other making you question many assumptions you may have about living.
Its a great read and if you are even thinking of getting it then I would 100% recommend that you do, years of thought and effort are compressed into just a few pages.
Thank you Derek — Brendan Dunn
Every book of Derek is like a good bottle of wine. You can’t wait to open it, and when you do, you savour each drop of it. A real delight! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. — Eric Noel
This is my favorite book on the philosophy of how to spend your days. Almost every chapter had me going „Yes that‘s exactly it!“, even though I had agreed with the opposite view two chapters prior.
In usual Sivers-style it‘s succinct and straight to the point. No fat on the words whatsoever.
Great read and priceless life perspective. — Ben aka Hans aka Klepper
This is in Top 3 of my favourite books of all time. Good amount of information, straight to the point, practical but inspirational as well. — Claudiu
Lots to chew on! Great paradoxical insights presenting two different life paths, both valid, both noble. — Jim Andretta
Simple and profound, the work of an advanced practitioner.
I read it in one sitting the day I downloaded it and I’ve considered its conclusions most days since.
This book fulfils its title’s promise. Thank you Derek for writing it. — John Bye
One of my favourite books this year.
27 chapters, 27 answers to what’s the best way to live. A treasure trove of inspiration. — David Bauer
A master piece of inspecting opposing ideas and beliefs. — Thomas Van Holder
One of my favorite books. One that I re read now an then because it inspires me. — Radu
How To Live is deeply profound and immediately impactful. Even though it’s designed to be savoured, I couldn’t stop myself from reading it in a day.
I can tell already that I’ll be continuing to revisit this book throughout my life - especially because you weren’t kidding about that weird conclusion! Can’t stop thinking about it. — Aaron Bali
'How to live' is a masterpiece! It touched me deeply. It's full of high level life lessons. — Jelle Derckx
Wonderful guide to find different perspectives on life. It lifted me out of my pandemic-induced state and helped me getting back on (a new) track! — Marc Loehrwald
I love this book, Derek! It made me think in a myriad of ways about my life, and when I read about "citizenship," I applied for a Swiss passport the next day. True story! — Max Frankl
Exactly what the subtitle says. Made me think. Made me laugh. Will read it again from time to time. Buy it, if you want new perspectives and|or are looking for some philosophical brain exercises. 😊 — Dave Studer
Loved this! Each argument starts out making so much sense, then slowly devolves into the most extreme version of how to live your life. A great look at common sense, and how it can be taken to the nth-degree. — Chelly Klann
How to Live looks at life from 27 different angles, each one reasonable and consistent in itself, but you’ll quickly realize that you need to combine all of them to live a fulfilling life. A book that gives you food for thought for the time to come. Highly recommended. — Michael Jakl
I love Derek’s writing because it’s concise and full of meaning. We don’t have time to waste and for those looking for answers in “how to live” this book is filled with important and beautiful lessons that helps us recall our way to live. Each chapter is independent so we can read or re-read just the ones we want. I love it and share it with my loved ones. You don’t have to agree with everything, as sometimes we are just not ready to hear or learn some lessons. It’s a book to carry with you and re-read through life as we evolve we read it differently. — Martha Ramus
Paradigm shifting! Creative and fun ways to approach life. Sometimes contradicts itself but the point is for you to see what will work for you better. Thanks Derek :) — Shubham Korke
Loved it. Very concise yet packs a punch. Deserves multiple reads. And please read it slowly. Slower the better. — Nanda Kumar
Excellent idea to look at things in this way. It is twisting the brain a bit, but that is only good! — Lars Landberg
27 conflicting answers but realised that many would probably make me happy. A worthwhile thing to be aware of! Thanks for always inspiring juicy imaginations Derek. — Alannah Milton
This book is different, in a good way... It made me re-think a lot of my biases and earlier ideas I had on a myriad of subjects. It gave me conflicting thoughts, which I loved.
Almost every sentence can be a chapter by itself if you dive into it. This book keeps on giving especially on consecutive reads. — Hugo Melis
A concise summary of all the questions/answers we ask ourselves on how we should live our lives. Strangely reassuring that there is no single or correct answer and that's ok! — Colin Thomas
A thought provoking look at life thats relatable to everyone at different stages in ones life. This book reminds us there is no correct answer in how to live, loved it! — Adam Setzer
This felt like talking with 27 different nutcases trying to show you their world. Quite an interesting experience. — Oleksii Kyrylchuk
Thank you Derek for your thoughtfulness, deliberateness, and creativity in your books. Reading this reminded me to stop looking for the right answers and to appreciate the value of creativity in getting to a lifestyle that makes me happy. — Ross Kellogg
Excellent book! I was sure I could come up with a new thought or find something new for Derek to think about but he covered it all from all angles. Really enjoyable read! — Marc Hormann
Great book! It is very helpful for me! I really really enjoy it! I hope the book will be published in Vietnam (with a really good translation)! — Phạm Anh Tuấn
Like a roadmap for living life as a HELL YES. Take your time with it there is a lot to unpack, each lesson important and actionable. Thank you Derek! — Jennifer Cain
There is a poetic beauty to this book. — Peter Lyons
Love the dichotomies, and how I can find ways of agreeing with opposites. I have to laugh at myself. — Colin Michael
- fresh takes
- not your usual book
- I love it. — Jonas Sschmahl
Nice, empowering, and illuminating insights on life and the world. — Walter Freiberg
It’s rare that you can say a given author has made both an intellectual difference and a relational difference in your life, but Derek Sivers is one of 3 authors I can say that about. I would buy anything that Sivers writes! — Jon DeLange
A masterpiece. — Tero
“How To Live” comes at ideas held with such uncompromising fervor that you’ll be calling timeout throughout its entirety. This is How To Live. — Lukas Murdock
One of my favorite books written by one of my favorite authors. Derek's writing is clear, concise, and is filled with highlight-worthy passages. This book will challenge the way you think about life. — Yarty Kim
I found this book to be thought-provoking and inspiring. It is a book you don’t read in one sitting but come back to for inspiration and new ideas over and over. — Elke Rønningen
Hi Derek, Greetings from Chile.
Thanks for being my life coach without knowing it. This book is amazing. — Mauricio Gonzalez
Highly concentrated wisdom syrup front to back! — Tim Watzlawik
Derek Sivers has a unique voice and consistently says the unexpected: that's why reading him is so valuable to me! — Thomas Lascher
Derek's clever contrasting points made me think critically and thoughtfully about how I love my life and make decisions. A delightful read! — Lisa Yves Winner
This is a must-read book for you if you have been stuck, lost, or simply don't know your path forward. Which means, all of us. With an ocean of life experience of doing cool sh*t, Derek Sivers lights the way with his layered words of wisdom. The future is bright, thanks to this book. — Ed Hanada
Clear, concise, timeless wisdom. — Terry Godier
Every page in this book is food for hours of thought. Concise, vibrant, and wise. I keep coming back to it over and over again. — Debra Purdy
Derek delivers another piece of gold in his signature, easy to read and comprehend style. Complexity distilled axiomatically into a succinct, potent read. — Jeremiah Goode
This book will make you uncomfortable (in the best way possible).
Some of the essays made me rethink my life and now, instead of having a perfectly predictable routine, I *actually* have to live according to my values. — João Paulo Reis Alves
This book will pull your brain on an epic roller coaster ride of perspective. It may not always feel comfortable, but that's the point. A fantastic read. Once again, thank you Derek. — Adam
Great collection of Derek's unique wisdom and insights. Derek is thought provoking as always. — Scott Wright
2 things I really loved about this book:
1) The argument on how to live in each chapter was so compelling that after reading I wanted to change my life instantly to do what the chapter said (until I read the next one!)
2) The sheer number of different ways Derek came up with to live your life. I don't think anyone could read this and not come away with some ideas about areas of their life they need to pay more attention to. — Stephen Morrison
Derek has again written a book that has fundamentally changed the way I think about the world - and how to live. A high recommendation! — Dan Riley
I loved How to Live. I've never been tempted to clutter up my desktop with anything, but the passage about creating until "your last breath" got to me -- and deserves the place of honor I've already sent you a photo of, Derek.
People often say you'll never regret not spending more time at the office, but I might. And your book won't let me forget it! — Maureen Anderson
One of the best books I’ve read in a while. Very insightful and concise ! — Karan Khattar
The chapters are short but they take a couple of days to digest. — Bruno Barbosa
It took a while for me to appreciate this book, because it's so different from anything else I've ever read. But that's the point. Well worth reading — Russell Smith
Thought-provoking and deep. Will really make you question how you're living! — Edward Dal Santo
A fascinating contradiction of possibilities and possible lives. — Jim Matteson
How to Live is a thought provoking exploration of the compromises in life we all make in the pursuit of a meaningful existence. Derek has done a masterful job of setting the table for your own personal journey towards a clarification of your own values. — Todd Engblom-Stryker
I'm loving the book and the general message that's percolating from the pages. I'm reading a couple of pages now and then, slowly working my way through.
Sometimes, I'm re-reading earlier parts when they feel appropriate for a current situation. I wished I had realized some things earlier, or verbalized feelings this succinctly... — Jochem Schulenklopper
What a cool and fresh new way of looking at life's big questions! — Constantin Gonzalez
Truly inspirational! Gave me many new and inspired view points that have quite literally impacted my day to day life. Really appreciate Derek's candor, it is refreshing to say the least. — Michaela Shiloh
What a whirlwind. A great read and the idea is to toy with the reader to show that you can learn from all sides of life. Contradicting advice and points of view that will help you realize that you truly do need a balance in your life. Take a step back and view situations from different eyes. — Peter Sanchez
Derek provides an authentic, humble, thought-provoking and refreshing approach to life and living from a place of curiosity and living life, instead of the typical "be like me because I'm so successful" self-promotional rhetoric out there. Inspires me to experience life to the fullest. Thank you Derek! — Dan Wingard
A very interesting, thought-provoking little tome that challenges the reader to consider the opposite of their cherished, accepted beliefs about personal growth and how to live a good life. — Rhone D'Errico
A very fun read that had me buying into almost every chapter as the correct way of how to live lol.
Makes you think about things from many new perspectives.
Highly recommend — Evan
Derek continues to be one of my favourite writers.
How To Live looks like a collection of answers to the big question.
Spolier: It's not.
It's a collection of cleverly framed questions to help you discover what is really important to you.
The impact of the book is far greater than the sum of the 27+1 chapters. — Chris Brown
How To Live is a quick read ... I read it on a flight a few weeks ago, and I have to say that it has had a positive effect on my outlook and decision making ever since.
Give it a try, give it a chance, you may find it has a similar effect on you! — Greg Lyon
Each chapter really makes you think, it's like a small session of meditation and philosophy. — Juan Pablo Cardenas
I've heard Derek speak on some of these topics throughout the years, but this collection brings everything into focus. There are many lessons to consider here, but more importantly it provides fresh perspectives and unique insights into this thing we call life. — Stephen Chopek
I've been looking forward to this book for a long time and it's everything I hoped for. I really enjoy how thought-provoking it is... and how my brain gets twisted around depending on which chapter I'm reading. — Brian Jacobsen
I'm taking my time reading this one as there is a lot to reflect on. I have even started having weekly discussions with my mother on each of the points made, and it has become a wonderful bonding time for us, discussing about life and the different way people approach it. — Andrea Garay Vado
Pithy. Contradictory. Frequently wise, excellently distilled, and thought-provoking!
Well worth a read, and certainly worth marinating on for a while... — Jesse French
The book is real and convincible because it is exactly how Derek lives, a simple, meaningful, self-awarded life. — Happy Xiao
This book definitely made me think. The first chapter really threw me for a loop, then I was like, oh I see. I was impressed with the coherence within each different world-view advanced, yet the stark contrasts among them. It's paradox city, and as usual for a Derek Sivers book, it's packed with useful provocations. Enjoy. — Billy Schafer
HOW TO LIVE is such a compelling book. In life we often have the temptation to go all in on one philosophy. In this book, many philosophies are taken to their extremes and this allowed me to see both the strengths and the things that ring true to me, but also the ways that they can go too far. I haven't finished it yet, but I already get the sense that my conclusion will be we have to be an amalgamation of these philosophies to be our best, most authentic self. Beautiful book that really makes you think. Thank you. — David Keck
I read a chapter or two or three at a time. My goal is to only read one chapter and deeply ponder it, but Derek's writing is hard to stop reading after one chapter. From the time I first listened to Derek on a podcast, I was thirsty to learn as much as I could from him. This book is packed full of layered insights and the deep thoughts. I highly recommend this book to help one think outside of the box and challenge the brain to take a new look at life. — Molly Shane King
The book is vintage Sivers.
Concise and thought provoking. Don’t be misled by the short chapters. There are gems in each. — Tom Michel
Truth lies within the paradox. Perhaps the best way to describe How To Live is through this Zen fable: "One day in late summer, a farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he let his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.
Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, “What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are! You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?” The farmer replied: “Who could say? We shall see.”
Two days later the old horse came back rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainside while eating the wild grasses. Returning with him were twelve new and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.
Word got out in the village of the farmer’s good fortune and it wasn’t long before people stopped by to congratulate him on his good luck. “How fortunate you are!” they exclaimed. You must be very happy!” The farmer softly said, “Who could say? We shall see.” — Dan Drake
I love this book.
It's very useful for me. And fun. And short.
I can open it on random page - and read just for some minutes (even seconds sometimes). — Наиля Шаймарданова
Warning! You may suffer whiplash. I found myself nodding my head, “Yes. That’s a great way to live.” Then part way through another story, that presents a near-opposite approach, I again find myself nodding in agreement. I love it!!! — Mike Boldrick
Love this book. Plenty of great (conflicting) ideas with very clean and concise writing that makes me reflect and think. In the end, the book seems to simply encourage me to make my own ways on how to live. — Darman Haslim
If you ever wondered "What makes a good life good?" Derek has some intriguing insights for you - way more than 27. Zero fat and uses the simplest of sentences. Super fun to read and tons more fun to experiment with. — Rakesh Chaparala
This was the hardest of the three books to read. I don't really know why. It seems to be at an even deeper level. It doesn't really leave you any room to hide. This is where the rubber hits the road.You'll probably need to give it more than one read... but don't put off reading it the whole way through the first time. It's a road map! — Barry Mc Cabe
I really enjoyed it, it's the kind of book you read and re-read, like a wonderful companion. And you always find new things in it. — Martina Pugliese
A mind expanding journey into what life could and should be. This book will challenge your beliefs in the most fascinating way. — Merrick Mosst
Derek’s latest work is applied modern philosophy. Such a fan and appreciate that he puts this work out into the world. — Joe Sack
I came to know this book after watching Derek TED talk about the meaning of life. I like his style of writing, straight to the point. If you just only a few chapters and forgot the overview picture, you might misunderstand his points. There isn't only one answer for the question "How to live", the answer absolute depends on "your choice". You are the composer and conductor of your life.
Recommended it ! — Phat Nguyen
How to Live will have you questioning your ideas on what it means to live your best life and give you much to ponder. Read this book slowly and take time to think. — Drew Robert Piva
Fascinating to read through and see people I know (real or fictional) being described, and learning more about myself while reading. — Matthew
Valuable advice and insights that all make sense, depending on which point of view the case is being looked at. Good reminder that POV on itself has great impact on how one can live and experience life. — Frederik Gowy
Great book to use as a toolset, picking a tactic that suits your character, your life situation and your environment. — Nikolay Moroz
A book with an abundance of thought-provoking messages that I'll return to again and again. — Todd
Great book, very different from anything else I've read in a good way. Very thought provoking. — Robert Balfour
It helped me realize that there isn't one "right" way to live and that it's up to us to choose how we live our lives. The conclusion was my favorite part, which is what made me realize this. Even if I've already finished reading the book, I know it's one of those books I'm gonna have to read over and over just to really internalize some parts of it. Great book, as always. — Ian Stanley
This book is an absolute essential read. How To Live is Derek Sivers's best work yet. — Julian Stephens
I really loved this book. The way Derek is able to balance seemingly incongruous ideas is similar to listening to a bunch of Zen koans. — Morley Sullivan
I viewed this book as a modern version of stoic philosophy which I practice. Reinforced that balance is important via contradicting short readings. Reminders that Life is not black or white. This book was a pleasant surprise and provides great takeaways. I can refer to it again and again. — Cristina Varner
Really enjoyed this! I found the use of one-sided arguments very clever - Derek's written them in such a way you either respond with "Yes" or "Hell no". I was scribbling notes and enjoyed reading them back again to try and craft my own view that's slightly less one-sided. — Sam Franklin
This is the masterpiece of life's philosophy. While reading it, I want to buy a copy for each of my loved ones. I truly feel like this book can help anyone be a much better person for themselves and others. — Marc Andreu Fernàndez
Nice tapping into Derek’s mind on his recent thoughts on how to live. Insightful and provoking! — Mingming Wang
A great way to discover new vantage points on your life. Expect to get back to it many times for inspiration and advice. — Ivan
Think and act different is the stand-out message from Sivers in this book.
And he shows us how to do this via 27 specific examples in major categories of life and work.
Just one last note to readers: read slowly. — Peter Hung
I really enjoy reading Derek's blog, in particular his possible futures folder idea.
I look at this as a collection of 27 possible futures packed with advice, wisdom and benefits for each one.
I really enjoyed reading this and to let my mind wander to possible futures very different from my current.
Of course, you do not have to choose only one but may cherrypick different ideas to create your own unique future.
I'd warmly recommend it, and I see myself putting this book under the Christmas tree. — Magnus Ramstad Dahl
Amazing! A series of thought provoking ideas on living life. I have already read it twice and plan to read it once a year going forwards to see how my reactions change. — Jim Lobenhofer
This was a life-changing book. Every time I opened a page and read it, it spoke to me. Like, I needed someone to tell me that, and so it was there. Thats was (still is) great. Thanks Derek! — Giovana Vitola
Very thought-provoking on a deep level. It gave me insights into my own way of living some specific situations and it's helping me to see them from a wider point of view. Great book, to read and re-read, I'm sure I'll do it several times.
Sandra — Sandra Mori
This is a compelling work, one which keeps your senses alive while deciphering it. Its not for the lazy, the content is dangerous! You can strike it big on the positive side as long as you're careful not to be too literal. I simply loved it because tossing the contents to and fro in ones mind leads to wonderful conclusions as well as conundrums. I can't recommend it too much! — Steve Kusaba
A shotgun approach to advice. Use the ones that make the most sense to you.
If you want to push the envelope others will take you right out of your comfort zone. These days the comfort zone is even more appealing.
Many are conflicting, but such is life. Lots of good ideas and good concepts and principles. Others not so practical these days since COVID has moved the goal posts.
Recommend. — Neale Blackwood
New ways of thinking of regular or habitual ways of being that we no longer question. I realised the contradiction of so many of my ways! Read it through just to get to the weird conclusion and then go back to really digest each point. — Staci Katsivalis
The life you live is an result of the decisions you’ve previously taken. Good decisions are made when several perspectives are reviewed. This book gives you the different perspectives you need to make your own great life decisions. — Herman Högström
Very thoughtful little book. There are so many ways to live the 'right' live and none of them is better or worse than the other. I very much enjoyed reading it. — Oleg Giberstein
Fantastic - another great read by the great Derek Sivers. As are all of Derek's books - it's an easy read with a powerful message. — Mike Bush
Once again another phenomenal book by Derek Sivers. I love the style of how this book is written. It's easily read in bite size pieces if you can put down the book that is. The advice is timeless and will be another book that I continue to read once a year. Granted, I read all of Derek's books once a year to remind me that everything is not always according to your perception. Thank you Derek. — Benjamin Sol Ignacio
I loved this book...it may be your best yet! The pithy and seemingly contradictory chapters, combined with the very short but deep conclusion, made me think about how I want to design my life. I also interpreted it as saying life can be seasonal in a way (i.e. two contradicting chapters can be two stages of a full life). — Patrick Boyle
Life is lived in the tensions. How to Live is a rare book, one that pushes you to consider all sides of an issue. It unsettles and reassures. I loved it. — Darryl Dash
An imposing title with a glib subtitle for a long life's worth of big-thinks.
I've taken Sivers' counsel to "read slowly, one line at a time" seriously. You must, otherwise the nutritious rain drops turn to run-off and never sink in. This is deep stuff. (Actually, the simple, clear lines incite your mind toward the deep stuff.)
I'm on page 2. I'm up to "Being independent means you can’t blame others."
The book makes no judgement, the conflicts are the sign of an open mind.
Reading a line in the morning sort of perfumes my day...
If I ever get a vacation in a place I just want to sit and read, this is the only book I'd bring.
If everyone read this book, a line or two at a time, humankind might have a chance on this big blue marble! — Blair Richwood
Loved it. A fascinating read. I found myself simultaneously agreeing with one passage, then reading another that was totally contradictory and loving it just as much! It’s a beautiful and thought-provoking work on the realm of human experience, desires, and modes of living. — Austin Sherwin
How to Live provided a much needed “throw a wrench in the gears” moment for me. It made me uncomfortable, even angry at times. Then it gave me a blanket by the fire right before throwing water in the fireplace and reminded me it’s summertime and to go play and enjoy it. — Edward Cisneros
If you’d enjoy thinking deep about how you live your life or seek inspiration to change it fundamentally, this book will tease your brain with inspirations as if there’s no tomorrow. It’s a master piece! — Stefan Heineken
AS usual, Derek's books are short but heavy in perspectives & knowledge. I am still reading this book, sometimes one sentence at a time, digesting a slow pace.Each time I read, I come out with fresh ideas and perspectives. This is definitely a book I will keep reading every year. — Priya
It's a fun and inspiring little book. Derek's writing style is amazingly easy to read, it kind of gets you hooked. I could see this particularly useful for someone who feels that they're in a rut. — Sebastian Juhola
Really incredible book - it's a lifetime of valuable wisdom compressed into a short book. Derek's writing style is beautifully concise and you can tell how much each sentence was crafted and deliberated over. I've read it twice since getting it, and it's become one of my favorite works of practical philosophy. — Ryan Bush
Sometimes a person needs a little push to break them out of a down cycle. This book certainly provides that push, and some significant insights from the one-sided arguments as well. I took a long walk this morning and my brain was filled with noise, but I thought about the chapter about doing nothing, so each time my thoughts wanted to spring to action, I told my mind to be still and to do nothing. I plan to reread whenever I need a bit of inspiration or a change in mental direction. Thank you for the wonderful book! — Derek
Life is about choices and without dedicated intentions and attention to your thinking and actions you can end up not living the life you want. This book gives different ways to think about How you Live so when faced with critical life decisions you have a strategy for how to make the decisions. I found this helpful to decide not just how to live but how not to live. Can not wait to get the hard cover book. I think this is how books were meant to be read. — Jason Kunio
Derek writes with simple yet elegant prose. He distills wisdom from experience with the humble recognition that perspective will shape the lessons learned. Each short chapter provides a full meal of contemplation. Highly recommended. — Jason Hughston
Awesome exercise in multifaceted wisdom. It's like going to 27 different people and asking them to give you the best advice they can--and of course their views are going to conflict. But that's precisely the point: take in everything that resonates with you, leave the rest behind. And Sivers provides ample resonance throughout.
Each section thus works twice: by itself and by contrast with other sections. The content is not utterly novel, but the way it's presented is very efficient and to-the-point. No filler here, all good stuff. Thanks a lot for the inner trip! — Simon Frappier
'How To Live' packs a lot of wisdom into concise sentences and sections. I love its complete absence of wordiness, attitude or 'airs'. A book like this can only be written by someone who has really lived it.
It has a lot of unconventional ideas. I love unconventional, contrarian thinking - and I need all the encouragement I can get. On page 48, "Here’s how to live: Pursue pain.... avoid pain, you avoid improvement... The softer the chair, the harder it is to get out of it."
I really appreciate the way that Derek refrains from telling me to get out of the comfy chair. I don't want anyone telling me what to do. Instead, he simply explains that comfort is ultimately incompatible with ambition. I also appreciate his willingness to make contradictory claims because changing circumstances often require them. — Walt Sargent
A great read. I found this to be quite a thought-provoking collection of very concise, interesting, contrasting and mind-expanding perspectives. It's a great book to enjoy one chapter at a time, to allow oneself a moment, or a day, to engage in a necessary contemplation. — Trance Blackman
Derek has been one of my favorite thinkers over the years. I first heard him talk about some of the content in this book on a podcast with Tim Ferriss and since then, I was eager to read all of it. This book hands-down delivers a great experience that most people never get to do: Run through thought-provoking thinking experiments from beginning to end. — David Iskander
I hated math. Didn't know why it was useful at all. But it expanded my mind.
And now I've found your book. On every page, I found something that I disagreed with. But oh how it has made me think!
There are hundreds of books on life and philosophy. Some deep, some shallow. But "How to live" is in a league of its own... the book is like a gym for the mind. Every paragraph is quotable. Every chapter makes you think deeply.
The book took me 28 days to read and process. And I want to start re-reading it instantly.
Thank you for writing a super helpful book Derek. — Ankesh Kothari
Derek’s sentences and ideas are crafted with thought and care; I sense this more with his writing than almost all other modern authors. As I read them, their brevity and punch help me see the world in new ways.
In ‘How to live’, he’s unapologetic, bold, and challenging. He’s not trying to win me over, and that makes his work more endearing.
The advice in this book at first felt contradictory, but as I read more, I came to understand that we’re all fluid and contradictory creatures.
And that what we need right now may contradict with what we need at earlier or other moments in life; and to be okay with that.
Derek’s suggestions for living are concepts I will return to in the years to come. It’s a wise collection of thoughts that will help recalibrate my life compass. — Dan Cullum
Derek provokes and inspires both my thinking and behaving in a uniquely combined way. It sticked from the very first moment I listened to his rants. With How to Live Derek secured at least one member of his audience. — Hans von Mühlen
My first thought while reading How to Live was that life is full of contradictions. Some passages with their aphorisms resonated strongly while others seemed downright outrageous. But that offers perspective into the ways others choose to live their lives and that makes me smile.
The chapter on Mastery left an impression: "People don't fail by choosing the wrong path — they fail by not choosing."
Thanks for shipping your work, Derek, and offering perspective and wisdom. I wonder how many of these lives he has lived in this lifetime. 🤔 — Brenton Crowley
Each chapter in this book has 2 opposite ways to live your life and you have enough time in your life to live both ways to experience it. Great book!!.Must read.
In the end it teaches you to be both the composer and the conductor of an Orchestra ;) — Punith Basavaraju
Derek is blessed with clarity of thought and vision. He has the ability to cut through a lot of noise and condense and present his thoughts. The Book "How to Live" is exactly an amalgamation of his crystalline thoughts in practical action. Would highly recommend for someone who follows essentialism or wants to have zen-like learning but is stuck on "how to get there". — Damanjeet Singh
In modern life we're so often encouraged to move fast and have all the answers. Derek's writing encourages slowing down, learning to live with ambiguity, and appreciating diverse perspectives.
As with his blog and other books, this is what "How to Live" did for me. Then, naturally, it made me think of what my view is about life and how I want to live it.
This is a great book that leads to appreciating others and yourself. — Joe Brady
Stopping me in my tracks. Bringing my brain to a halt in the everyday things.
And initiating reflections.
This is what makes all of Derek's books I read special to me.
How to Live did this as well. But on steroids. Concise but packed full of moments that make me think. Distilled down to the essentials.
A great and for me important read. — Sven Döring
How to Live is one of my favorite books of all time.
It’s an instant classic and one I’m sharing with my kids and community!
I can't stop gifting this book! — Mark Podolsky
This book is like an orchestra piece, so full and alive and a delight to read! It’s also like a dance and a meal and an artwork and a great movie and a friendship all at once, leaving me feeling refreshed and resourced. And it’s a smorgasbord that I can keep going back to for more ...it’s nourishing! — Sharon Dolenc
I love the book and I hate it. It is a constant inspiration for me, and a check if I on the path I have chosen. So concise, every sentence in the book matters. I am rereading it for the second time. — Nikolay Atanasov
Choose wisely. Actually choose adventureously. Actually dont chose at all. However you decide to choose it will be clearer to you as to why after reading Derek Sivers "How to Live". The ideas expressed in the book feel as though you've know about them all along but have never been written about so succinctly. Enjoy, it's fantastic! — Jack Burum
What I love about Derek's books is that he isn't afraid to tell the truth. Most other books sugarcoat the truth and it gets watered down that way. If you want to succeed at what you love, you're going to have to make some hard decisions. You have to ignore what everyone else is doing and work hard on mastering your craft. It's true, many ideas in this book are contradictory and at first that threw me. But if you use these ideas as more of a suggestion then you can take what works for you and leave the rest for someone else. Overall, it's an inspiring read and if you take action, it can change your life. — Michelle Furedy
It’s like the ‘One ring to rule them all’ in modern philosophy.
Knowing the futility to attempt to summarize an already very succinct body of work, I used a different approach to reorganize the wisdom nuggets into three categories:
- What I’ve applied so far in life
- What I can consider next
- What’s not for me now
I’ll dip into these three cauldron of ‘wisgets’ in my regular life review and reflection. — Mike Lim
Loved this book as all his previous ones.
Read it twice within a week.
It really got me thinking. In each of his chapters, even those where I thought that’s not me at all and no way I could live that way, I still found at least one argument that I could relay to.
Which made me wonder how he came up with all the different ways on how to live.
Was it because he has experienced them himself over the years at least in part?
Anyway, great book. Love the way he writes and thinks. — Frank Lösel
I really enjoyed this book. I found it both entertaining and informative. I have already recommended it to friends and will continue to. For me, it was fun imagining living a life in the way most of the chapters described. I appreciated how it concluded with Balance, appropriate given all of the jumping around throughout the book. — Bruce McCannel
My routine with Sivers books: block out an hour on Sundays, put on the headphones and walk, listening to his audiobooks. I can’t wait until How to Live comes out in audiobook form (Hell Yeah or No is a pleasure listening to) — Jimmy T Tran
Short, concise, pithy nuggets of reason from my fave life guru! — Sean Michael Dargan
This book is different. It is truly unique. You have to read it in order to understand what I mean. Read it...slowly. And then...wait a while...and read it again. — Joel Heffner
Como vivir? Derek nos regala este libro y nos da unas simples pero profundas guías para que nuestro paso por esta misteriosa existencia no sea en vano. Gracias Derek! — Gaston Buschiazzo
As always, Derek Sivers lets you in on his perspective of the world, which is refreshing and comforting. How To Live is a must-read! — Luke McMillan
I love this book! Simple yet complex, brilliantly thoughtful and concise. It will make you think and smile:) Nash — Brian Nash
How to live is unique to you, and you're guaranteed to find your way in one of Derek's arguments (then just double down and stop second-guessing it). — Amber Krowiarz
One of the most thought-provoking books I've read recently. Derek is one of my favorite current thinkers and writers. He describes this book as the best thing he's written, and I couldn't agree more. — Iram Lee
How to live? Be authentic. This book describes it like no other. — Petr
Derek does it again...this is a book you want to own. — Jeff Williams
Loved this book. Highly recommend. — Tom Renk
Live changing. Just read it! — Marcelo Tavano
Derek,Thank you for creating and sharing your book 'How to Live'.
The book is a powerful medley of life-enhancing insights.
Brevity at its best, every line is highlight-worthy.
Keep inspiring! — Supritha Jain
A book that makes you think — Kent de Bruin
I loved reading this book and I definitely need to read it again, as some of the chapters really hit home! 5/5 — Ervin Szerdocz Nielsen Ottocar
Derek is like my personal mentor without knowing it.
This book has so many life lessons distilled in it, that I will be returning to it often. — Francois Beyers
The book has a simple formula -- take some good life advice, and then start expanding on it until it gets to absurd extremes. This is repeated for 27 chapters with one chapter per one advice.
Because it follows a formula, it gets a bit repetitive and predictable, although most chapters still are gems. The writing style is a bit unusual, it's very rhythmic and poetic, and it took me few chapters to start digging it.
What I liked most about this book is recognizing principles that I personally live by. Some of them seem so obvious and logical that only an extreme take can bring some perspective. — Sergii
A lot of conflicting answers about how to live and you can cherry-pick your own way :). — Patrik Bóna
This book reminded me I don't have to live my life the way other people expect me to.
I am glad I got to read this book. Thank you, Derek! — Justyna Dorsz
I read it,
again. — Stefan Züsli
Derek's ability to deliver deep truths concisely without any fluff is unparalleled. This book, like all his articles, is a treasure trove. Buy it and devour it, you won't regret it. — Robel Yemane
Each page of this little gem is packed with thought-provoking ideas on how to live your life. — Kevin Anderson
Short, provocative and insightful. One amazing book that will make you think! — Julien Dambron
A great compilation of wisdom in one book! — Pavel
Strong and impactful perspective on everything in life. A book that makes you think and reconsider. To read! — Paola Baccigalupo
A great collection of important questions, which apply to most of us in any stage of our personal evolution.
I feel this book was born out of much life experience and reflection and not some "get rich quick" desire.
Nice, short and to the point. — Michel Cevzar
Another gem from Derek, so many stories and things to ponder. Things you know to be true, so it helps when someone puts it on the page for you. Thanks Derek. Reinvent yourself regularly was my favourite read. — Simone Eyles
Amazing writing, as always!! — Steve Mitchell
Taken bit by bit - which is suggested at the beginning, there are nice lessons in here. Taken as a whole, it felt like someone bought a bunch of fortune cookies and laid out the fortunes in thematic order. The parts I appreciated the most or at least wanted to keep reading were the stories - but they were too few and far between. This book felt like it was meant to be paper/hard back and put on my desk, so that every once in awhile I could pick it up, read a few lines, then go about my day thinking about it. It's not really consumed as a pdf/ebook/audio book, because there is no time to think between the lines. That's why, I think, stories worked better - it let me build and envision the world built through that story and the moral of it or the lesson was revealed by the end. Instead of a lesson after lesson after lesson. — Jason
I love this book. It's shows you "How to live" with different intentions taken to it's conclusion. It's unique perspective will open you for new possibilities, if you are willing to be open. — Dan Diaz
I'm reading it slowly like Derek recommends and still haven't finished (22 down, 5 plus conclusion to go). It is fun to switch from one argument to another - even though I usually don't finish one argument/chapter in full, I do often go from the end of one to the start of the next in the same reading! The chapters are built of many paragraphs. Each paragraph is full of short sentences - it really boils down to the essence of each thought but also leaves you space to fill in gaps or apply it to yourself. Stopping and thinking, chewing on ideas, feels good and natural with this style. This first reading I'm reading for pleasure - next one will be to take ideas I want to explore deeper :). — Duane Milne
Great little book with many marvelous gems of insight. Is it the ultimate "power of positivity" book, or is it sheer madness? Highly recommended. — Gregory Cain
At first I didn't quite know how to read this book, it's a different style of writing. Almost a lucky dip of wisdoms.
Lately I've been dipping into it randomly and frequently and it's been brilliant inspiration not only for my songwriting, but for my whole mess of a songwriter's life. — Paul Searles
TLDR/short:If you/a loved one feels overwhelmed/frustrated/... by life's "options" and "how (best) to live it" this book will show options you might not have thought about, and help you to truly visualize/imagine them.
Sivers first book is anything you want which is the first part of his philosophy/biography, (one of) the takeway there is anything but not everything at the same time...
This book expounds on all the different options/ways of looking at/living life and what are "good way" to live/experience it.
I personally read it first back to front but since I've "snacked" on it often by choosing one of the "options" at the beginning and trying to vividly experience/imagine it.
Anyone who feels "stuck" and/or wants to make a change will benefit from this book.
I imagine it to also be a good gift for a child/family member who's about to graduate from high school and looking at/feeling overwhelmed by all the different options. — Tijl Noe
Another great book by Derek. A great read from beginning to end and I go back to several of the chapters that resonate with me such as Do Nothing, Pursue Pain, Learn, and Live for Others. Very enjoyable read. — Byron Kastilahn
Concise and up to the point.
Apply what you feel resonates with your circumstance. — Aishath Shama
Paradoxical wisdom. Do, don't, yes, no, yeah that's correct or maybe not. Read if you like gaining new perspectives for life. — Sam Ko
I loved the book how it was written by removing every unnecessary word. These 27 arguments were so deep in terms of reading and contemplate them. I will study this book twice a year to try each and every argument and find "How to Live."
Starting from the first paragraph is so powerful for how to live
"All misery comes from dependency.
If you weren't dependent on income, people, or technology, you would be deeply truly free.
The only way to be deeply happy is to break all dependencies."
It was the first book I bought from you and I really enjoyed while reading it and I will find the hidden truths, gems while re-reading in the future.
I know how much you put effort to write this book and thanks Derek for doing this.
I love reading your blogs. — Rahul Kumar
Many years ago, Derek had this TED Talk about the meaning of life. That's actually how I first came across him. In the talk, he compared life to trying to learn Mandarin, and it was fun and interesting and thought-provoking.
This is basically the book version of that. — Al Ibrahim
It's the wisdom I wish had been dished up over many shared meals with a dear friend. Best devoured slowly between the shadow and the soul. — Paige Zeigler
Fantastic book. Loved it. While I found the ending a tad disappointing, I loved how the book gave very interesting perspectives which often totally contradicted with another chapter, and so in this way, it gave me plenty to think about. 100% worth reading. — Dan Dobos
One of my favorite books! — Марат Ахуньянов
I'm taking my time to go through the ebook version. I've already recommended it to someone in my family.
Some of the 27 ways of living resonate strongly with me and can see my own choices there. In other ones I could see people I know. Derek's observations and choice of words are fantastic, as always. — Andrzej Karel
Thank you for writing this book. It's medicine for my mind and soul. Opens up everything! — Anna Jelen
A must-read for thought-provoking minds. — Guillermo Trousselle
I read this book because of my curiosity. It only made me more curious about different ways to live life. One of a kind must read. — Sean O'Connor
Great book, loved it! I try and get my hands on anything by Derek Sivers! — Eric Foster
Again a very good book from Derek. I like his writing style and the answers to the question "how to live" ... and be curious about the "weird" conclusion, whereby I think this one is anything but weird ... — Marco vom Dorp
It's like the distilled version of Principles written by Ray Dalio, but in a format of many small parables, which make it easy to digest.
It's truly a book for everyone to clear their head, and think about what they want to do with their life, and how to do it. — Aero Wong
This book requires slow thinking; imagination is maybe another word you could use. Haven't read a book that can so wildly scale from absolutely fascinating to absolutely boring completely independent of the context and completely dependent on my mood. If Derek writes a similar style book on another subject I will be ordering it (conflicting variations to what the future will look like in 200 years would be a cool one. No holds barred just a bunch of likely possibilities) — John Grace
I'm only several chapters into this book, but I already think it's a generous gift to society. Having all the possible ways to approach life laid out before you helps you assess whether you like the approach to life you've chosen so far. (Or do you want to "try on" a new way of approaching life?) As you read about each approach, you get clarity on what you value, what your North Star is. So, the book is a tool for greater self-knowledge, which I think is everything. (If you know yourself, you'll know how to live!) I can't wait to get to the "weird conclusion" at the end! — Courtney Daniels
A simple, pleasant, and stimulating read. You'll find food for thoughts for every reader here. — Mario Giampietri
As always Derek go straight to the point. How to Live helps to focus in 27 different aspects to a fulfil life. There is no waste paragraphs in this book. I've loved it. — Raul Pereira Borges Filho
Easy read with pears of wisdom dripping from every page. — Sanjeev Shah
You can not go wrong buying, reading, or listening to anything Derek puts out. He is an inspiration. I’m proud to share the planet with such a gem. — Daniel Koja
Great and unconventionnal ideas and thoughts you won't find anywhere else!
Etienne Pouliot — Etienne Pouliot
There really is conflicting ideas on this book...And some really unordinary thoughts, which even made me feel surprised...Well worth the read, because it is very thought provoking ! — Kutsal Kocer
Read in one sitting. Very unique style. By chapter 2 or 3 I finally GOT the whole idea :) Loved it! — Irina
I highly recommend this book. Read it several times. The life of Derek is really inspiring. — Matteo Zaggia
Wow. All I can say. Ok I'll say more. So well written. Unique takes on many ways to live. So much here that everyone should read. — Steve Welty
Really liked it! Each chapter is short, concise, and well written. I each chapter made me stop, think, and digest what was said and decide if I wanted to apply it to my own life. I would definitely recommend this to everyone as a solid read. — Josh Timmer
A beautiful book! I've been re-reading a little of it every few days. — Yeassuh@gmail.com
One of the most unassailably _correct_ works of practical philosophy written in millennia. — Greg
...I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats...but seriously, my advice to future readers of (another) great book from Mr. Sivers >> take the time to digest each chapter before moving on, then cautiously walk towards the next peak! — Brian Murphy
Original editing in ‘short but powerful’ way for lots of topics covered. I like the truthfulness of the writing. Bad comparison but it’s more like Elon Musk raw conference vs. Steve Jobs highly polish and fine tuned presentations. I love both materials but kind of makes it easier and applicable when raw. — Laurent Ayoun
An inspiring book.
With a writing style, that makes you pause.
About how it applies, to your life. — Chiel Broer
— Anton Chukin
In a nutshell: it's a good book, worth both your money and time.
The long review: I am reading the book slowly now. i reached half the book. And i found myself pausing the reading several times and ponder on what i have read.
It's true that the author will tell you to do something in a chapter then he tell you to do the opposite in the next one.
If you're logic man (say you're Vulcanian or fan of them) you will feel pain while reading it. Despite that i recommend it to you for that the bitter medicine once a while is good for your mental health.
In the other hand and If you're mystic person (say spiritual or philosophy inclined) you will love it, enjoy it, even adore it. — Benamara Younes
Loving it — Andrei Racasan
I'm taking it as a slow read with one chapter every other day and I love it so far. Gives you new perspectives to think about, with each of them having it's own right to exist. — Michael Diener
This book "broke" my brain... in the best way possible. Some of the chapters had me nodding my head... HELL YEAH! Other chapters had me like... HELL NO!
Then it hit me... did someone read my HELL YEAH chapters and go HELL NO and vice versa? [Insert Head Explosion] — Casey Abbott Payne
What a fun book. As always Derek writes brilliant perspectives with a fun twist. — Gordie Bufton
Tao Te Sivers... Contrarian and thought provoking, I like to dip into How To Live when I have something important to decide. It helps me think things through. — Matt Cumberlidge
Derek is a twenty first century Montaigne. If you're searching for yourself, start here! — Srivats Sivanandan
Very insightful! Could see so much of me and others in this book. — Danilo Mendonça
The book is a collection of paradoxical short essays. It's thought provoking - if nothing else it will get you to consider your way of life and how you could change it. — Michael Schmatz
Amazing book. Fabulous insights and very original format. Loved it. — Peter Cook
More classic Derek wisdom packed into one great package - another 'must read' — Peter Svans
You wouldn’t be able to put the book down! So easy and fun to read and full of wisdom. — Lama Jamo
Your books/writings are insightful, inspiring, resonant. I believe it would valuable for school aged children to experience your thought process. 10 years old to 18 years old? "100 things to implement now to boost your quality of life", "Dream, Plan, Live the rich life your deserve".. — david cruz
This book is like a chocolate bar made of 99% cocoa. It's made from great cocoa, but too dry for me. I like it, and I need to read it again, but at first read, I loved most the two previous 80% cocoa books.
Also, since art doesn’t end at the edge of the canvas :) I would expect from you unusual covers, that you don't forget, ... the cover "Anything you want" is clever and memorable. — Alessandro de Simone
Book is a baffling reading experience:-) — Topi Taskinen
Derek is my Yoda-How to Live- Delivers ,
Instead and Both---- Thank you! — Brian Baldasare
I'm only halfway through and from the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a re-read for me. I'm taking it slowly because Derek has a way of making you read something he wrote, pause and read it again because something in your head went "ping!" This book may not change your life, but it will change the way you look at life. Actually, it might change your life. Amazing. — Conor McCarthy
A book to read, re-read, and re-re-read. — Juanra Antón
I loved this book! Super insightful, a quick read and really makes you think! — Jennifer Stickler
So insightful I literally could not put it down. — Olusegun Fapohunda
Read it in one day and will read it certainly more often as it is a timeless tool to reflect on your life and get in the right direction. — Martin Eckardt
A lovely read where the end is reminder you have begun. — Jim Glinn
Always welcome the wisdom and words from Derek Sivers. And this book is no different. Especially if you don't feel tremendously perfect today, you should consider giving this a read to learn more about yourself. — Jim Miller
I enjoyed this book very much. Every chapter is short, concise and thought provoking. — Sam Martin
Thought provoking, disturbing at times, but in a good way :) — Michael Schwanzer
I've never read a book so slowly, on purpose, and it's an amazing work of art delivered by such a unique person.
As Derek would say, I want someone who thinks like that for a friend! (or something like that haha) Derek, you always bend my mind with what you write and say!
I can't wait to reread the book multiple times, still at a leisurely pace.
Have a good day. — Simon Paquin
It will make you think deeply in a way you might not expect. — Nick Loadholtes
One sizes does not fit all! Get ready to have your mind warped as you navigate the contrasting viewpoints in this very unique book. — Ben Crowl
I really, really hated this book.
Because I didn't like reading about some things I needed to know.
I sure am glad I read it, though. — Wes Carroll
More akin to a reference guide than a book - better revisited than consumed and discarded. — Corey Stewart
I enjoyed reading this—provocative—book, even if some advice seem to contradict each other. — Guillaume
Sivers at its best. If you like his blog, you will love this book. — Noel De Martin
Review this book. Hmmmm. How do I answer honestly without seeming hype-bolic?
Life had beaten the stuffing out of me.
Sure, things could have been worse. But the clock was running out. Hope, as well.
Out of the blue, The SunIVERSe sent a bulk email message to me, asking if I was real.
What kind of a question is that?
I replied with a question of my own: how does one rekindle his mojo?
Soon after, this book appeared with the answer. (And then some.)
Consequently, I now believe in magic.
As of this writing, the forecast calls for a happy ending.
Funny thing, life. — Richard Sneed
This book lives up to its promise ... highly, highly recommended. I have re-read this anytime I want to think about life in a fresh way. — Jason Goto
This is a great book. Well written, with thoughtful arguments. The conclusion is weird, but the gist I got was that, just as there are many ways to skin a rabbit, there are many ways to live a life. And sometimes living life involves a combination of ways, not just one.
This book changed how I live my life. It made me aware of the kind of life I wanted, and how to go about living it. (That's clarity, right? And with clarity comes direction, an aim.) Now, my life is improving when before it was stagnant. So, yes, buy the book and read the book. It's good. — Chase Dooley
Inspirational book that provides formal and creative approaches for living a good life. — Will Goldby
good job . I enjoy it ,and learn a lot from the book.tks. — Jie Tian
Derek cuts right to what matters in “How to Live” this book is worth reading several times. The best part is realizing that the other opinion from yours is better. — David Humes
It is a fascinating and thought-provoking "self-help-book". A quick read, well-worth your time. Depending on your current worldview, you might agree
with certain positions, whereas others might help you to change your perspective. A book you could come back to again and again and you may find something new. Highly recommended. — Michael Lehner
Very straightforward book without unnecessary words or ideas. So, it is dense and short. Obviously unbalanced so makes you think about your own answer to the question! — Paul Gauthier
''How to Live" is relentlessly full of practical wisdom with a twist. It leaves you with healthy questions about your own life and choices. — Craig Einhorn
Derek Sivers is one of my favorite writers in the world, so I was excited to get this the day it dropped! Amazing to get some new content and ideas, he always puts out thoughtful stuff — Vin Clancy
simple, effective, delightful. — T.R. Steiner
“Mastery is the best goal because the rich can’t buy it, the impatient can’t rush it, the privileged can’t inherit it, and nobody can steal it.” - Derek
I love this book and re-read it regularly.
I focused on mastery on and off.
I realized that the up moments in my life are times when I'm pursuing mastery.
The depressed moments happened with my back turned to mastery.
Thank you for your life lessons Derek! — Kevin Olega
I want to express my gratitude.
This book made a strong impression on me, as I found most of the ways to live compelling and worthwhile. His way of considering radically different lifestyles and presenting each of them in a favorable way is very impressive.
I shall read it again, and share his work with many brothers and sisters! — Aristide Moari
WHEN I FIRST READ THE BOOK I WAS A BIT CONFUSED BECAUSE EACH WAY OF LIVING CONFLICT. BUT I PROMISE YOU, STICK WITH IT.
BECAUSE, EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL REALISE THAT LIFE ISN'T ONE INSTRUMENT. I WILL LEAVE IT THERE BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT TO SPOIL THE JOURNEY. — Kevin Izevbigie
Yesterday I finished it, and it is awesome. It really exceeded my expectations and they were really high. From the first pages I was waiting to reach the conclusion, and it was mind blowing and crystal clear. Lots of concrete ideas and concepts to put into practice on my way to live. I enjoyed it a lot. I read 1-2 chapters every other day and took a lot of notes, and shared/discussed some ideas with my wife. It will be hard to not follow this as "the great book".
Its ideas and guidelines will help us get closer to that deeper happiness we all are looking for. — José Tomás Novoa
Mr. Sivers always has interesting points to make. His observations are always uplifting. — Jim Zachar