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The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.) Paperback – September 7, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
The underlying message of Guillebeau's book, based on his popular blog, is that "You don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to." Those who are open-minded, ready to challenge the status-quo, hard-working, and personally responsible can lead lives of rare authenticity through radical goal-setting, the author counsels, rewriting motivational standards in edgier prose: "The pathway to world domination, or whatever it is you want to do, begins with clearly understanding what you want to get out of life." Although directed at readers of all ages, his message is likely to appeal most to those without dependents. Although he believes that "competence is your security," many readers may feel a need for more of a safety net than that, such as a retirement plan. The ideas presented here are interesting, the advice grounded in logic and common sense, and, ironically, the outlook based in the same outside-the-box thinking that corporations are coming to adopt. The author challenges the status quo on college degrees, spending and saving, employment, collecting, and other issues, and coaches for success with a likeable, energetic voice. Peppered throughout with stories from his own life, Guillebeau's intriguing guide will motivate readers to listen to their impulses and realize their goals. (Sept.) (c)
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"Chris Guillebeau is the Indiana Jones of career experts. With his signature insight and humor, he tackles a critical question: How do we forge the life of our dreams in the face of overwhelming pressure to conform and avoid risks? In The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris adds a fresh perspective, drawn from his non-conforming adventures, to the lively debate. Those who follow Chris’s wildly popular blog will welcome these ideas in the more comprehensive book form—or give it as a gift to people who need it."
-Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
"This is a direct, honest and truly scary book. I hope you have the guts to listen to what Chris has to say, and not become one of the monkeys he warns you about."
-Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
"The Art of Non-Conformity is like a lightning bolt to the head. Read it and your brain will spark and sizzle."
- Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome
"The conventional world order has blown up, much to the relief of students, cubicle dwellers, artists and activists who knew there was a better way. This brilliant book will wake you up and inspire you as it guides you to create a new life on your own terms, earn a great living and positively impact your corner of the world."
-Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation
"Some people are content to report on others' success. Not Chris. He lives and breathes what others dare to dream, pushes the envelope of possibility, then shares his experiences, lessons, tools, ideas and strategies in a way that makes it all seem not just doable...but imperative. Go! Read this book now!"
- Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade
"Chris Guillebeau's delightfully rebellious book, The Art of Non- Conformity, teaches us how to live with gusto, on our own terms, and bring excitement into our lives. His encouraging and witty tone will inspire even the least courageous person to make bold steps. I love this book!"
-Barbara Sher, author of I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was
"Here's the way to find your own path, set your own rules and find your own purpose-and all with courage and grace, resilience and style."
-Michael Bungay Stanier, author of Do More Great Work
"Chris Guillebeau is an inspiration. Many people talk about living their dreams, and here's a young person who has actually done it- traveling around the world, giving back to the community, and getting paid to work on his own terms. The Art of Non-Conformity tackles the toughest problems associated with following your passion, and Chris supports the provided viewpoints with eye-opening statistics and anecdotes. He derives valuable life lessons from all of his experiences, and we have been privileged to go along for the ride."
-Alexandra Levit, author of New Job, New You
"Do not be surprised if you start noticing the guy next to you in the coffee shop or the woman seated across the aisle on your plane intently reading a battered copy of The Art of Non-Conformity. It's not just a book, after all, it's a beloved companion for those who know that life is an adventure worth exploring."
-Barbara J. Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job
Top customer reviews
Our whole lives we grow up thinking, because we're inherently taught to go to HS, then college, then get a job, then come marriage and kids - where was the "enjoy life" part? Do what you want to do not what just presents itself in front of you. Yes, kids and marriage are great and my statement was not meant to mean don't do that but we're hard wired to think we have to do them in a certain order by a certain time frame or else something is wrong with us! A very easy and quick read with life long transformation possibilities.
This book isn't for everyone. this book will challenge your status-quo thinking. I recommend looking up and reading Chris's Manifesto and seeing if it resonates with you first. If it doesn't, this book isn't for you. Google AONC Manifesto.
1. The Remarkable Life
2. Reclaim Work
3. The Power of Convergence
Eacg section is designed to get you to challenge assumptions, to question traditional thinking and to ask what conformity means to you. Each section also walks you through making powerful decisions about what you want to do.
What I like most is that this book lays bare the excuses and roadblocks we set for ourself either through direct confrontation or through the stories that others who decided to live a "non-conforming life" and the fears, they and those around them have.
The Remarkable Life - Create Your Own Rules
First of all, the book starts out by not trying to be a book that tells you exactly how to be or how to live. It lays out a nice framework for determinging what is important to you and encourages you to break through the barriers that have held you back in the past. Chris gently guides you and sometimes sharply prods you through creating your own set of rules that not just work for you but that are supported by your belief system.
Reclaim Your Work
In The Second Section Chris breaks down thinking about work and education. He really pushes hard on overcoming life avoidance. I think this is one of the most important sections of the book as he helps people get clear about their next steps. He also helps those who are not sure what to do figure out the very next step and then gets them to take it. This section alone will be worth the price of the book to those people who are in a career and deciding whether or not to make the jump to entrepreneurship or whether to stay and design their own job. The two most important sections are Becoming a Rockstar and Redefining Your Workplace by Hiring A Boss. The are definitely non-conformative ideas for people who decide to stay employed.
The Power of Convergence
The final section of the book has you get actively involved in consciously creating your legacy. Intentionally living the life you'll remember and that those around you will remember you for. Not necessarily for the places you went and the things you did there (it's those too) but what is the mark you'll make on the world and humanity? You'll think deeply about what your legacy means and how you want it to play out. I think the big point Chris makes is tyhat you don't leave a legacy you live your legacy . . . and a whole lot of people who aren't living their legacy now will find hope and a way to develop a plan for action here.
Whether you are trying to decide what to do with the rest of your life or just need a kick in the pants or a good idea to get restarted on your path, this book is a great, fast read that will make you happy and get you moving!
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