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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
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Top customer reviews
I loved the whole book probably because I love traveling and you've just given me great ideas. But one thing Chris stresses a lot here is the importance of valuing our time on this planet.
Although I'm still in a cubicle, I've got great inspiration and ideas from this book, I was hooked from the beginning and devoured it VERY QUICK.
I recommend it to all of those who want to challenge their own paradigms at any age in any circumstance. Even if everything doesn't apply to you it will make you think.
I gave it 5 stars because this is one of those books that I could read again and again.
Thanks for your work Chris Guillebeau, I hope to meet you one day!
I don't think without so much positive momentum and encouragement could I have ever written my own short books! I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking a little more positivity and motivation towards doing something they love. This book is for sure not for anyone, only those who have an open mind to doing things differently from the norm.
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.
We don't need to depend on external sources (i.e. an employer) or gain the approval of others based on following the social norms on how to live or gain an education. I strongly agree that a University degree is not the be all and end all. Ofcourse, it has its place but it should be viewed as an a necessary tool for a specific profession i.e. to become a doctor, lawyer or accountant. To be a doctor or do anything medical requires a degree and I personally would want to be seen by a doctor who has such credentials! But what Chris is trying to say, is that not everyone needs to box themselves into thinking they need a degree in order to be successful. Nor do they need to follow the expected path of 'job security' by being dependent on employer/s, moving up the corporate ladder and then retiring aged 60+. We all know that such a 'secure' path is not even realistic based on economic instability and the unsure job market.
Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, experience and life story, Chris. It's great to see people like you getting your voice out there. It gives us other non-conformists hope that we can get out of the rut we are currently stuck in.