How to Live. 27 Conflicting Answers and One Weird Conclusion

Author: Sivers, Derek

Publication Date:

January 2021



Original language and publisher

English | Sivers Inc.

Territories Handled

World excl. English

Territories Sold

Albania (Minerva)
Portugal (Porto, at auction)
China (Hangzhou Blue Lion Cultural & Creative)
South Korea (The Business Books and Co, at auction)
France (Piktos, in a two-book deal)
Spanish (World) (Urano, in a four-book deal)


Personal Development

Number of copies sold:


Foreign Covers

The Business Books and Co

How to Live. 27 Conflicting Answers and One Weird Conclusion

Author: Sivers, Derek


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, The 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

Brilliant. 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. — Diego Montejo

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

Here’s how to live: Be completely independent and free, keeping all options open.
Here’s how to live: Commit to one career, one place, and one person.
Here’s how to live: Be fully present. Experience the only moment that is real: now.
Here’s how to live: Delay gratification. Invest for the future. Be a great ancestor.

Many books have conflicting answers to the question of how to live. But in How to Live, by Derek Sivers, each chapter believes it has the answer, which deliberately conflicts with the rest. Each chapter convinces you that its answer is right, and others are wrong. Then each successive chapter does the same. It’s a masterpiece of pop philosophy — either the best self-help book ever, or a take-down of the whole genre, or both.

The first draft of How to Live was 1300 pages, taking two years to write. Then Derek took two more years of full-time editing to chop every unnecessary word until only 113 powerfully succinct pages remained. No philosophers are quoted. No -isms are named. Only the core ideas. The end result is more poetry than prose. A very unique and special book.

Derek Sivers has been a professional musician, circus clown, successful entrepreneur, popular TED speaker, and world citizen. How to Live is the culmination of everything he has learned so far.

The first 20,000 early buyers of How to Live have posted hundreds of 5-star reviews at — but it is now being released to a wider audience.

Foreign Covers

The Business Books and Co