Win a Copy of the New Book How To Be Alive


This week, I’m giving away a brand new copy of Colin Beavan’s new book, How to Be Alive:  A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World. Colin gained notoriety when he wrote No Impact Man, a book about his year-long experiment to lead a zero net-impact existence in the middle of New York City.

If you’re reading this blog, I know you’re going to love How to Be Alive. Colin has a very friendly, engaging writing style, and I quickly connected with his premise. He challenges each one of us to figure out how to live truly happy and fulfilling lives, so we don’t leave this planet with deathbed regrets.

Beyond figuring out our own true needs and desires, he encourages us to find our calling and consider what we might do to improve things around us. He explores many spiritual concepts throughout the book, without ever being the teensiest bit preachy or judgmental—an approach I found so refreshing.

Author Colin Beavan

Colin Beavan

I loved reading Colin’s personal experiences woven throughout the chapters, like the story of when he decided to buy a boat and how boat ownership was so different from his original bliss of being out on the water on a friend’s boat. Haven’t we all experienced disappointment about a possession we bought thinking it would bring us joy?

This is a book that covers many deep topics, and yet at its heart it’s a surprisingly practical guidebook to help us figure out and map some of life’s big decisions. In fact, one of my favorite sections of the book is “Bootstrapping Your Way to Where You Want to Be” about small, low-risk steps we can take now to move us closer to thriving and crafting more meaning in our lives.

As a writer, I loved the exercises throughout the pages that challenged me to consider my life’s trajectory. What would I save in a fire, and why? What could I do to be more self-reliant? What is the gift that I want to give my community, town, state, or country?

If you’d like to win a hardback copy of this wonderful book, just answer this question on the Comments section of this page:

What is one improvement you would like to make in your life?

The drawing is open to readers in the U.S. who reply between now and Thursday, February 18 at midnight MST. I’ll do a random drawing and announce the winner the following day.

Grateful thanks to Colin Beavan, TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins Dey Street Books for providing the book for this giveaway.


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Colin has a great blog, too. For a laugh and some excellent advice, you might enjoy starting with his post “No Impact Man Gets a Colonoscopy.”


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Win a Copy of the New Book How To Be Alive

  • Bonnie

    At 68 years old, I’d like to retire from a meaningless job and find the life I was meant to lead.

  • Lisa F

    I’d like to take care of myself more. I’ve been mom/wife for almost 30 years. (Read:nonstop movement) I don’t know how to relax. I feel guilty if I sit still for loo long, my mind takes over in a bad way. (What if somethings wrong with one of my children? Or my grandson? I had better get up and clean something…etc…no rest or peace)

  • Kristy Petree

    I need order and organization. I grew up with OCD and I was always so “together”, everything taken care of and in it’s place. I never procrastinated. I was on top of everything. Then, several years ago, some things shifted in my career, as well as some other anxiety issues escalated. I feel like I’ve let my whole self go. I just need to get back on track and lift that dark cloud that looms over me. I need to simplify my life by getting organized and I want to try that minimalist approach–less stuff, less hassle.

  • Sue

    I’d love to be able to live freely without the need for money and being ruled, but that’s not really possible unless I go and live in a tribe somewhere. I guess I’d be content to live on just what I need and be in a place where I want to be like the coast where I feel most at home.

  • I’m glad you found some inspiration in this book! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  • Audrey Bergeron-Morin

    I want to wait less and do more.

  • Emilia

    There are many positive changes that I could make, but one overarching thing I would like to change is to live without regrets. I would like to be happy with my decisions and look forward rather than back.

  • Robyn

    I want to improve my listening… Compassionate listening… Loving listening…. Not talking right away… Not thinking about what I want to say… Just being there for others.

  • Ginny

    I want to stay the course. I have read about so many great ideas for a simpler, greener and healthier lifestyle. I need to focus on the ones that will work for me. Much is in place now. Over the years I have simplified and am trying to live lightly. However, it seems that I always get pulled back into materialism and excess.

  • Amy

    One improvement is to possess less stuff. The feeling of relaxation while on vacation if you are rent a condo is the simplicity of the stuff inside of it. Easy to care for, easy to live. I want to live like that

  • Jamie

    Oh there are so many. My biggest goal at this point is to accept things that I cannot change or control. I tend worry myself sick over the illnesses of family members or others bad choices. I have to accept that there are things that happen and decisions that others make and there is nothing that I can do about it. I can only control my response to it.

  • Katrina

    The improvement that I most desire is to share my forest garden with others…to teach how simple it is to create one. I am hesitating because I live in old trailers instead of a beautiful cabin. (fear of rejection)

  • Jessica

    One? One big one…find inner peace. I believe many of the external goals posted by the other commenters are necessary to reach inner peace. Best wishes to all as you work toward your goal!

  • Carrie

    Our last child left the nest 2 years ago. It would greatly improve my life if we could downsize our home and live a more minimalist lifestyle.

  • Mary

    One improvement?
    Just one?

    I’m doing things that have scared or intimidated me in the past. I haven’t gotten as far as singing karaoke in public (horrors!) but I’m on page 412 of War and Peace, I’ve returned to the French lessons on the computer, and just bought a canvas to paint something on. My life will be improved, I believe, if I stop living in fear of “what if?”.

  • Cindy

    I would like to stay present more consistently instead of putting half my attention on two things.

  • JoAnne

    Spending less time on Facebook and more time on Biblical themes or Bible study, and more time praying. A relationship with Jesus is the most important thing to show His love to others.

  • Jackie

    There are so many things I would like to change about my life but if I have to pick one that I haven’t been working on already it is to think and speak positively. Don’t talk about others unless it’s in a caring supportive way. It’s so easy to get caught up in negative gossip. Practice having good thoughts, kind words, and caring gestures. Namaste

  • Karissa

    I would love to make time for a social life like having others over to dinner once a month.

  • Elizabeth

    I would like to remember this rule before I speak: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? I often don’t filter between my brain and my mouth.

    Thank you for this opportunity!

  • gina

    I want to enjoy my grandson more. I feel stressed all the time which takes away the joy

  • Catherine

    I’d like to improve how I feel about myself. I’m always putting others first. I truly need to nourish myself

  • Lori

    One improvement I would like to make in my life is to figure out what I want to do now that my kids are older and set goals to get there. I want to make it part of me not another thing that is a ‘have-to’.

    Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  • Lois

    To live in the moment more and not in the past or in the future…it’s good to have goals and reflection time but need to appreciate where I am and what I am doing NOW!

  • Kimberly Schrieber

    This year, I would like to reduce my “stuff”. We are downsizing from 2000 sq ft to 800 sq ft home. I traded in the Durango for a small Toyota Corolla (we live in Wyoming, no public transportation in the mountains). We did not purchase any items in the month of January, we lived off the food, dry goods, etc that was already in our home.

  • Anne

    An improvement which is important and vital is to help others which i do now but not to the detriment of my health which has been affected. I give of myself and then I am depleted.

  • Marissa

    I really like to help others, i think thats one of the reasons we are all here but i need to learn how to let go (in a nice way) of certain people and situations that are not my concern nor responsibility to fix, or which end up causing me more heartache in the long run, and not feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for saying no

  • ONE improvement in my life?! Ack! I’d love for my house to be less cluttered (working on that!) and to have more money to be able to give to charity (I think for us, this might be a timing issue, since we have two small children and another on the way!). I’m constantly looking to improve my life/be more content with what I have, so this really speaks to me.

    Thank you for being on the tour!

  • Brandi

    The improvement I would like is making a better use of my free time. It is so easy to waste time cruising the internet or tv binging. I would like to use my time either on self or world improvement, so I’m trying to make an effort to cut time wasters from my life.

  • Sue

    One improvement I’d like to make is to have a daily ritual for my home, so I never feel overwhelmed with household chores.

  • The one thing I would like to change in my life is my ability to not take responsibility for other people. I believe in being of service but sometimes I take it to a level where it depletes me.

    I MUST visit my friend in hospice because no one else will. I MUST support a friend whose son died. I MUST provide the best possible experiences for my clients. I MUST volunteer when I know I can make a difference. And, I can make a difference a lot.

    The truth is that I MUST nurture myself and rebuild my resources. It is only from that place that I will be able to serve at the level I want to.

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