#015: How To Be Alive - Author Colin Beavan


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Colin Beavan is a man of impact. Or no impact. Author, transformational coach, and instigator of thought and action, Colin lived in New York City for a year with a net zero impact on the environment. He joins host Fran Racioppi on this episode to discuss his mission in life to drive people to take action for what they believe in, even if at first it doesn’t seem important. He shows us that we should become Lifequester’s and drive ourselves towards personal change before we can try to change others.

Colin challenges us to break through the limiting beliefs and the standard life approach that society has defined for us. He also explains the importance of servant leadership, the pressure fame puts on your voice and podium, and how Zen philosophy can help us to understand that we may not be able to change the world, but we can certainly try.

Colin is the author of How to Be Alive: A Guide To The Kind Of Happiness That Helps The World, No Impact Man, and one of the best historical accounts of Operation Jedburgh. Colin has been named one of MSN’s Ten Most Influential men and one of Elle Magazine’s Eco-Illuminators.

Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website.


-The importance of being a “doer” vs a “sayer”

-The difference between an organization’s mission and their vision. Mission is an action. Vision is an idea.

-The four tenets of being a “Lifequester” and their need to take a stand for what they believe in within society.

-How to challenge the “Standard Life Approach” society has defined for us as what we need and want.

-Limiting beliefs are false pretenses that prevent us from taking action. We must break through these.

-The importance of “servant leadership” and “engaged citizenship” to drive change in ourselves and society.

-The loss of “agency” if you put your fate in the hands of others.

-“Ukulele Approach” to learning new skills and driving change.

-Zen philosophy and how Zen can teach us to try.


-"To make change we need to think about taking gentle first steps that aren’t so huge and are more manageable. It’s a training-wheel approach to changing your life. The big things can come later.”

-“Just as I have to accept certain things about the world…the world has to accept certain things about me.”

-“In community when one person floats up we pull others up with us.”

-“I didn’t want to write a book about how all of you people should change. I thought I maybe should write a book about how I can change.”

-"The old concept of leadership conflated leadership with status. Real leadership is based in listening.”

-“The real expertise of a leader is to listen to the concerns of their various stakeholders.”

-“Sometimes the most generous act we can do is accept the fact that we can be publicly wrong.”

-“To make change the first thing you have to do is measure where you are.”

-“People can be more forgiving than you think if you are really sincere about making change.”

-“We can’t insist that we are praised.”

Colin’s Three Daily Foundations of Success:

-Daily meditation to calm anxiety and worry

-Envision the world as loving, kind, safe and equitable to determine how I can help the world get there today

-Talk to my daughter

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