How to Be Alive with Colin BeavanWhat does it mean to be alive?

And not in some mysterious way. I'm talking about – actually, my guest for this episode, Colin Beavan – is talking about how to be alive in a day-to-day, “What's my moral and ethical compass” kind of way.

Colin is near the top of folks I know with the vibrant life experience and humble confidence to take on giant quality of life issues like our environmental impact and consumer-focused culture.

And perhaps that why he's often known as No Impact Man – the guy from the popular documentary and book of the same name. To me, he's an inspiring multi-media creator with an upcoming book, How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World, which I'm stoked to see get into the world.

His new book and our conversation explored what it takes to have a successful and satisfying life. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you ask me), the 21st Century is no longer about the American Dream and a formulaic path to get there.

Instead, there's a huge amount of joy, fulfillment, and impact waiting for anyone willing to become what Colin calls a “life-quester.” And he's about to help you start or continue this wild quest to find the best communities to support you, remove the limits of your potential impact, and make choices that really matter.

It's not just me who thinks Colin can deliver the goods and is a dynamite all-around guy. He's been featured in places like The Colbert Report, lives with his daughter in and around New York City, and is a Dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen.

Maybe these experiences are how he knows the right buttons to push when he powerfully challenges us like this:

“How do you build relationships with the world that connect who you are and your passions with the problems that concern you?” – Colin Beavan

And as you'll hear him say, it's the path of the good life – and how we define it – that brings what's good for you and me together.

Note: This is the last Smart and Simple Matters podcast under the Value of Simple banner. The show will have a new home on January 11, 2016 at, so listen in for the details and get ready for some groovy changes in 2016!

You're about to Learn …

  • How to help people wake the heck up to their personal power (and what happens when we do).
  • How the “monk and the merchant” paradox applies to you.
  • How to participate in an eco-Sabbath – No Impact Project style.
  • The false separation between being self-centered and other-oriented.
  • How to save yourself to save the world, and save the world to save yourself.
  • Why some people can't be at peace until everyone has a good life.
  • Why social security can be more important than Social Security.
  • How to teach third-graders (or anyone, really) how to recycle.
  • What a life-quester is and how to become one.
  • Two major blocks that stop us from making positive change in the world.



Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode:


  • [06:48] Colin's seeds of awesomeness
  • [10:41] The true inter-connection among all of us
  • [13:38] Relative and absolute fundamental truths
  • [16:52] A mission to help people wake up
  • [21:45] How to conceptualize the “good life”
  • [30:34] Resources and motivation from the No Impact Project
  • [36:19] Why Colin felt compelled to write How to Be Alive
  • [41:23] A primary example of a “life-quester”
  • [46:03] How to get the free How to Be Alive companion workbook

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

Here's some extra love for Kristel who left this iTunes review for the show earlier this month:

“This podcast is the best! I listen to this every time I am not sure what to do and it always offers ideas to solve problems based on good information and sound judgment.”

Kristel, I receive that both personally and on behalf of all the awesome folks who listen to the show. Thank you.

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