Book Review - The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau
I've followed Chris Guillebeau's Art of Non-Conformity blog for awhile, and was excited to see that he had written a book that focused on his message of living life on your own terms. I picked up The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World and started it yesterday evening. I didn't put it down until I finished, and then ordered my own copy today to take over from the library copy I had. This is an excellent book, and has me re-examining why I do what I do (and why I don't pursue the things I really want to accomplish).
Part 1 - The Remarkable Life: Sleepwalkers and the Living World; Setting the Terms of Your Unconventional Life; Smashing Through the Brick Wall of Fear; How to Fight Authority and Win
Part 2 - Reclaiming Work: Competence Is Your Security; Graduate School vs. the Blogosphere; The Power of Your Own Small Army; The Personal Finance Journey
Part 3 - The Power of Convergence: Radical Exclusion and the Quest for Abundance; Contrarian Adventures; Your Legacy Starts Now
Conclusion: Dangerous Ideas
Postscript - The Most Important Thing; Gratitude; Partnership with Charity - Water and Ethiopia; Frequently Asked Questions; Online Resources
Chris has never been one to do the conventional thing. He went to college after dropping out of high school as a sophomore. He enrolled in multiple colleges at one time to get his degree more quickly and save money. He started numerous businesses as he didn't want to work for someone else and be dependent on them for a paycheck. He volunteered on a medical ship for four years in West Africa. He has a goal to visit all 192 countries in the world (and he's within striking distance of it). Basically, he's accomplished more than any five "normal" people put together, and it's all because he refuses to let others dictate his lifestyle because "that's the way it's supposed to be done." Rather than say it's better to ask forgiveness than permission, he figures (and rightfully so, in my opinion) that most situations don't require *either*. You simply have to make up your mind to do something, and then act. Chris shares his philosophy and experiences in a conversational manner, and it reached past my normal cynical filters and made me consider what it is I do and why I do it.
I've got some dreams and goals I haven't been pursuing with any level of commitment or urgency. The Art of Non-Conformity made me realize that I'm so much further ahead in some areas than I give myself credit for, and there's no reason why I can't build on that and start to accomplish those things that I think about when I let my imagination go. Once my copy shows up from Amazon, I'll be re-reading certain chapters and focusing on making 2011 a far different year than 2010.
Obtained From: Library