Stop what you’re doing right now and take a moment. Ask yourself, what makes you feel alive? It’s not an easy question to answer and some of us go our entire lives without ever discovering the answer. But there is hope. One documentary series aims to take a step in a new direction and help people discover their aliveness.

The Search for Aliveness

The Search for Aliveness is a new documentary series produced by the Tuthill Corporation. Its host, Chad Gabriel, travels the world to discover how people express their appreciation for life. The series encourages people to take a break from technology and their busy schedules to reflect on what makes them feel truly alive. Not just happiness, but all emotions: sadness, anger, fear, excitement, joy, and affection.

To do this, The Search for Aliveness focuses on five key aspects: purpose, connection, energy, being present and engaged, and the full range of human emotion. The producers seek people from all walks of life to deliver unique perspectives on each topic. So far, their journey has brought them to countries like Mexico, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with their next destinations being Europe and Asia. Because the documentary is not-for-profit, every interviewee is a volunteer solely dedicated to spreading the message of aliveness.

The Search for Aliveness host Chad Gabriel sits playing guitars with Jim Peterik of Survivor
Chad Gabriel (right) interviews Jim Peterik (formerly of Survivor) Photo courtesy of: Tuthill Corporation/The Search For Aliveness/Laura Orrico PublicRelations

So, what have they discovered that makes people feel alive? Chad tells us that while many people find connecting to nature and expressing creativity through art to be major contributors, one component stands out. Human connection.

“Nothing can replace real life human connection. Eye contact, touch, energy flow, conversation, and love cannot be replaced by any amount of digital touchpoints.”

Chad Gabriel

The Sherpa of Purpose

Chad Gabriel

If you ask Chad, he’ll tell you he’s just a regular guy. He grew up in a blue collar family, has a wife, two kids, and a beard. His grounded personality and approachable nature are what make him easy to relate to in the documentary.

According to the AFSP, men are 3.63x more likely to succumb to suicide than women. While many factors contribute to this, a lot of the times it’s because men are too afraid or embarrassed to reach out for help. Chad hopes that by having other guys see him discuss deep thoughts on camera, it will break the stigma behind men not being able to talk about their emotions.

“I’ve been able to facilitate some leadership retreats [at Tuthill] and one of my favorite questions is, ‘Show of hands…How many people like helping people?’ Everybody raises their hand. Everybody likes helping people. And then I ask, ‘How many of you like to ask for help?’. And there’s barely ever one.”

Chad Gabriel
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Chad Gabriel sits with Tuthill Chairman Jay Tuthill
Chad Gabriel interviews Tuhill Chairman Jay Tuthill. Photo courtesy of: Tuthill Corporation/The Search For Aliveness/Laura Orrico PublicRelations

At first, Chad admits, he held a sort of resistance towards the company retreats because he didn’t want to open up. But now, as Tuthill’s “Sherpa of Purpose”, he believes that asking someone for help is an honor to that person because it shows that you respect them enough to seek them out. He wants men to know it’s okay to express deeper thoughts and seek human connection.

“I’m hoping that just the nature of this [documentary] delivered from a regular guy will give them permission to slow down and think about it without feeling uncomfortable.”

Chad Gabriel

According to Chad, it was the Tuthill family’s love of human dignity that sparked the idea for the documentary. They want people, inside the company and out, to get the most out of their lives and make the biggest impact on the world.

Turning Aliveness into Awareness

Man playing guitar on a hill
Man playing guitar on a hill. Image via Envato Elements

So far, The Search for Aliveness has received positive feedback from viewers. As one commenter puts it, to be alive is to be present and aware of every moment. For Chad, he feels most alive spending time with his family and coworkers, playing guitar, and fishing on the lake. For others, he has discovered, it’s hiking, skydiving, and creating art. The Search for Aliveness hopes that by giving viewers a glimpse into what makes others feel alive, it will encourage them to do the same.

The purpose of the documentary or this article isn’t to cure mental illness, but to raise awareness. Awareness of self. Awareness of what makes us feel alive. You can get the most out of life if you discover how you want to live it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe you’re good at what you want. The important thing is that it fulfills your deepest wish and sparks that aliveness.

So, take a moment today to reflect. Ask yourself: what makes you feel alive? Better yet, ask yourself: what do you do to feel alive? The tangible activities. And then, think about how you can create time to do those things more often.


The first episode of The Search for Aliveness is now available to stream on YouTube, Facebook, and the official website. Let us know down below how you search for aliveness.