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How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living
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How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,534 ratings  ·  505 reviews
The popular pastor and New York Times bestselling author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God shows us how to pursue and realize our dreams, live in the moment, and joyfully do the things that make us come alive.

Each of us was created for something great—we just need to figure out what it is and find the courage to do it. Whether it’s writing the next
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by HarperOne
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(3.5) Bell left his pastoral role to become a motivational speaker so, unsurprisingly, this book is closer to self-help than theology, though it’s still from a Christian perspective. He’s good pals with Elizabeth Gilbert, in fact, and this book would make a great companion piece to her Big Magic and/or Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious by David Dark. It’s about how to find what gets you out of bed in the morning, what the Japanese call your ikigai, and how to live mindfull ...more
Liz Knowles
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I mean... I finished this book in a day. I've always been a Rob Bell fan and each book challenges me in another way. So much good truth in this book. Well worth reading and it even causes you to look at your life differently. ...more
“Do you see your life as something you create?
Or do you see your life as something that is happening to you?
The blinking line raises a compelling question:
What are we here for?” p. 8

Rob Bell came to my attention when he published Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived . Although Bell comes from a different strain of Christianity, I liked Love Wins. It fits my theology. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth came to tell us about God’s love and that any Christ
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I listened to the audio-book (read by Rob Bell himself) and I enjoyed it very much. It is uplifting and encouraging, and not just for people who think of themselves as "creatives". Bell wants everyone to recognize their uniqueness and the call on their lives to create a life worth living. Instead of asking "Who am I to do this?" Ask, "Who am I NOT to do this?" ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
1) Someone should advise Rob that Elizabeth Gilbert already wrote this book and did it much better. 2) 2 page chapters featuring 2 words per line is not "style", it's laziness 3) this is the literary equivalent of Nickelback. I couldn't be more disappointed. ...more
Camden Morgante
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Perfectly average. Short and easy to read like all his books. A collection of stories, metaphors, and examples about living in the present and following your purpose. No practical or concrete advice about how to do this.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This would have been an excellent essay, but there is not enough here to call it a book. It is repetitive and overly simplistic. I like the ideas, but there are much better ways to get to them. 2.5 stars.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day - couldn't put it down. Rob Bell always writes in such an engaging way. His gift of communicating complicated ideas to the masses is unparalleled. This book takes common life themes (such as failure, success, life purpose, etc.) and deconstructs them, carefully shedding light on the real truths of our expectations concerning these matters. Bell writes from an incredibly authentic place, being honest with his own successes and "failures" and makes his own life relatable ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Read in preparation for a talk that will supposedly be mostly about this book. This book contained exactly one idea new to me: the Japanese word "ikigai". ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: metaphysics
Rob Bell just gets better and better. Try his latest book out and you'll see the Light, expounded in simple and clear language that can communicate to layman and priest-pastor-Pope in a manner bereft of complicated theological speculations, hardened doctrinal coercion or intolerant dogmatic assertions.
Reading 'How to be Here', I was reminded of how in 2011, the Evangelical Fundamentalist preacher-teacher John Piper wrote off Rob Bell with his famous "Farewell, Rob Bell" tweet when Bell's promo v
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Eww. And I mean EWW. I read this book at the request of a friend. I actually read two-thirds, couldn't stomach any more, and skimmed the rest.

HOW TO BE HERE contains a great deal of false information, interspersed with barely useful, tired (but true) platitudes. Oh, and Bell gratuitously includes countless lengthy illustrations from his own random life experiences.

Where to begin? Or, I should say, where is my number 1?

For starters, we don't create our own lives out of nothing from within oursel
Bryan Cook
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 10-for-2017
I read about 50 pages of this 200-page book in roughly 30 minutes.

I couldn't even bring myself to finish it at that pace.

This is one of the most vapid, useless, unhelpful self-help books I've ever encountered. It felt like Bell wrote the book just to namedrop some LA friends he's met, yet he somehow marketed this book as a motivational text. There are about 4 sentences per page, and each chapter is about 3 pages long. I've literally read tweetstorms longer than this book, and most of them were
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spir-tual, self-help
“For thousands of years humans have been aware that our lives intimately and ultimately depend on our breath, which is a physical reflection of a deeper, unseen reality. It isn’t just breath we’re each given-it’s life itself. Before anything else can be said about you, you have received a gift. God/the universe/ultimate reality/being itself—whatever word you want to use for source—has given you life. Are you breathing? Are you here? Did you just take a breath? Are you about to take another? Do y ...more
Brian Adams
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
How to Be Here by Rob Bell is timed perfectly with my place right now. I'm at a juncture, a turning point in my vocation/avocation. I have chosen to shift my gears once again in my education career - taking on a job in my local town as a teacher/advocate of the performing arts.

This book is a comfortable overlay of principles and ideas surrounding one's life meaning and purpose. It is an encouragement to consider the value of one's work (professional or amateur) and instill values that will lead
May 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
I heard Rob speak recently and he was fantastic. Most of his talk was based on chapters from this book. His writing is tough to get through. Stream of conscious. Better off hearing Rob teach and than read Rob's books... ...more
Tricia Culp
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a helpful God-centered summary of attitudes and steps to take in your life to move toward meaning and and joy. And it’s short- you could read in in a couple quick settings- worth a read!
Tristan Sherwin
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So let me be really honest before we start.

I am no fan of self-help books. As I've written elsewhere, they can have a tendency to tap into fear more than hope; feeding our anxiety about being a nobody. They're usually full of cheap clichés and impotent anecdotes and twelve steps that lead nowhere. And often, they result in leaving people more exhausted, burdened and disillusioned as they try and exhibit the book's mantras.

Take for example those relationship books that promise a better, more enri
Jim Thompson
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I've read most of Rob Bell's books, I've watched his Nooma videos, I've watched his "Everything Is Spiritual" YouTube film, I've seen him give a live talk. Fair enough to say I'm a fan.

I haven't disliked anything I've come across, but some work is better than others. This one doesn't rank among my favorites. Strange thing is that though I'm not a Christian myself, what I find best in Bell are his explorations of Christian faith, his more "theological" works. "Jesus Wants to Save Christians," "L
B.J. Richardson
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
In one of the early chapters of this book Rob Bell talks about how he got an idea for a book and put it on an index card. As time went by over the course of the next year or two he would get another "idea", or "insight", or "inspiration", and he would add it to his growing collection of index cards. Finally, the time came where he felt he was ready to write his book. Rob Bell then sat down, spread all those cards out, and started putting words to paper. When he had finished his book his publishe ...more
Courtney Roberts
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you know me, you know I'm a huge Rob Bell fan. This book may have been one of my favorites. It helps you find realistic day to day ways to be present in your life. Ways to help you stay grateful, ways to be full of grace, especially when interacting with yourself! A wonderfully hopeful and encouraging book! ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: goodreads, memoir
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
This was a pleasant read. Quick and easy book to read and there were a few smiles along the way.
Jonathon Hagger
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Light on content, big on inspiration. Enjoyable but not deep.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This has been a tough summer. I took on some extra work, and I didn't take the time to rest and restore my mind before starting that work. There wasn't time. It got to be June, and I was nervous, couldn't focus on grading, people, or books. And so I pulled out How to Be Here by Rob Bell, a book I started a long time ago and which I put back on the shelf, a book shared with my by my daughter Kirsten. Not that the book wasn't good. I just didn't have time.

Or maybe it wasn't time. Mid-June 2018 wa
Patrik Hallberg
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Rob Bell used to be a pastor before he started writing books and this gives the book a fresh perspective to the genre self-help books. It's an easy read and you get sucked in and almost wants to finish the book in one read like many of the reviewers here on Goodreads also quoted. Rob talks a lot about finding your one thing which reminds me of another book I'm reading called "The one thing" by Gary Keller. It's also a key concept of "Getting things done" by David Allen. Always start with Nr 1 an ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book helps you to really want do change your life and do what inspires you. Rob Bell talks about things you already know but does it so good that you finally gonna do it.
If you need a push to do something you always wanted to do this book is perfect for you. If you wanna quit your job, start your own business or let everything behind and go on an adventure this book helps you to finally do it.
Aug 09, 2017 added it
Reading this book was sort of like having The Ghosts of Christmases Past and Present walk beside me through a few days of my life, like having a trusted advisor point out the obvious I wasn't always seeing. Thanks, Rob Bell, for making my makeup run on the way to work, for sharing morning coffee with me —albeit not out of my fine china cups—, and for helping me to see the oceans outstretched before me. ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
I listened to this on audio book and will probably read it properly at some point, and then will no doubt get more from it - but I can confirm it's full of wisdom and humour and all in easily digestible chunks. And Rob Bell narrates his own book very well. ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Rob Bell. He's the only contemporary Christian thinker I've read, and I really like his blend of religion and spirituality and science. I found this book inspiring and bits of it stick with me and ground me. I wish it had more specific tools for implementing some changes, but it's full of great phrases to serve as reminders and mantras. ...more
Katy L.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was an easy read and great reminder to focus on “the next right thing” rather than getting overwhelmed by the details. Although Rob Bell was a pastor and uses examples from the Bible, the tone is not specifically religious.
Kelli Houts
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hit home for me. Gave excellent advice and examples on the discussion of living presently and focusing on what makes you happy versus what you can do well. We only get one life and this helps you see that you have a choice on how you live it.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #81 How to Be Here by Rob Bell 1 1 Dec 10, 2017 01:47PM  

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Rob Bell is a bestselling author, international teacher, and highly sought after public speaker. His books include The New York Times bestsellers What Is the Bible?, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Love Wins, as well as The Zimzum of Love, Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars.

At age 28, Bell founded Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, and under hi

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