Mike Gyi

June 25, 2021

📚 How To Live by Derek Sivers


My last post for LinkedIn took me a long time so I had a writing break.

Now I'm back! Marvelling at someone else's work.

The majestic Derek Sivers spent 2-years writing How To Live: 27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion. I'm a fan of his positivity and have used his advice to guide some areas of my life. So when I received his email about an e-book pre-release I dove straight in. 

I expected a book of prose, instead, it's a book of directives on how to live. It seems like he's condensed all his years of rich and varied life experience into this book. 

After I got used to the unusual format I loved it. Most statements I agreed with, some I disagreed with, but that's ok as a reminder that we're all oh so different. 

Here are my highlights...

How To Live: Commit

"When a decision is irreversible, you feel better about it. When you're stuck with something, you find what's good about it. When you can't change your situation, you change your attitude to it. So remove the option to change your mind [and fully commit to what you're doing]"  

How To Live: Fill your senses

"See it all. Touch it all. Hear it all. Taste it all. Do it all. Appreciate this wonderful physical world. If you knew you'd go blind tomorrow how intensely would you look at the world today? If you knew you'd go deaf tomorrow, how intensely would you listen?" 

How To Live: Do nothing

"All actions are optional. You don't have to act or react. You don't have to do anything." 

How To Live: Master something

"The most rewarding things in life take years. Only bad things happen quickly." 

How To Live: Value only what has endured

"The world is acting crazy because it doesn't know who it is anymore."

How To Live: Prepare for the worst

"You'll get injured or sick, losing some of your ability to see, hear, move, or think. You'll wish for the health you have now."

"People who become paralyzed or win the lottery go back to being as happy as they were before"

"Touch your favourite people. This might be the last time you do all these things, so appreciate each moment fully."

How To Live: Live for others

"The best way to be connected is to help others be connected."

How To Live: Get rich

"Emotions are the enemy of investing. Investing is easy unless you try to beat the market. Settle for average"

How To Live: Love

"Instant obsessive love is a bad sign that you're thinking of someone as the solution. Projecting perfection onto someone is not love. You say "I love you" but really mean "I love this"."

"Notice how you feel around people. Notice who brings the best out in you."

How To Live: Create

"People don't value what's free. Charge for their sake as much as yours. Charge even if you don't need the money."

How To Live: Make a million mistakes

"Whilst everyone else is nervously preparing, you jump right in, unafraid to fail. Create predicaments. Get into trouble."

How To Live: Balance everything

"When we lack balance, we're upset. Over-worked, under-loved, over-eating, under-sleeping. Focused on wealth, but ignoring health."

"Balance your time with others and time alone."

"Scheduling prevents procrastination, distraction, and obsession."

Which is your favourite from the list above?

Bonus question: which do you think is my favourite?

Thanks for writing this Derek!

Till next time,

About Mike Gyi

UX/Product, ex-architecture, ex-TW, community addict, building https://www.townspot.uk