I wrote a book review about Derek Sivers’ Anything You Want here. Derek Sivers replies to every email that he receives. I introduced myself, and he replied back warmly. I got onto his email list, and he sent out a link to purchase an E-book version of his newest book How to Live. I purchased it almost instantly. Just like Anything You Want, Sivers cut out unnecessary words and distilled the book into a concentrated solution.

“Please read slowly.
One line at a time”,

Sivers exhorts the reader before they start reading.

The book consists of 27 chapters. Each chapter outlines a strategy on how to live, and examines that strategy in great depth. The very first strategy is “Be Independent”. This is the first paragraph:

All misery comes from dependency.
If you weren’t dependent on income, people, or technology,
you would be truly free.
They only way to be deeply happy is to break all dependencies.

I loved these words! Was I reading the words of Buddha, or an Upanishad? I read this chapter slowly, and took the advice in. 

Now, some approaches might conflict with each other. The second chapter’s title is “Commit”. This is the antithesis to being independent. If you commit to a job, then you are no longer independent from income. If you commit to a social circle, you are no longer independent from people! The point is, each of these is a fine strategy in and of itself, if explored deeply. And Sivers explores each strategy in depth.

It is possible to mix and match few strategies together. One strategy reads “Master Something”. This can be pursued by people who choose the “Be Independent” strategy, as well as by people who choose the “Commit” strategy.

The permutations and combinations of strategies to choose from and explore are quite exciting and fascinating. I’ve read this book twice, I intend to read this several times over, until I get a good feel for the strategies, and decide which ones I want to be pursuing intensely.

This is a fascinating read, I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone – regardless of who you are, I bet that you will find a strategy that appeals deeply to your way of thinking.

Image Credit: Derek Sivers

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