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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"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
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.
- Underdogs can win using unconventional strategy (statistics on page 79 based from Malcolm Gladwell article in NY Times on 5-11-09
- Create a peer network (LifeRemix)
- Set goals even on a weekly basis.
- Set up an alternative graduate school experience (of things to read and do, like read Bible, read Economist, etc, publish on a time schedule)
- Ralph Nader: "I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers"
- Education is fine but inspiration and personal component is even bigger. Why should someone care about what you are doing? That is the point. He says, people don't necessarily care that Guillebeau travels around the world to every country. So he had to do more than just write about his travels around the world. So he focused on "achieving big goals" and "creating a life of personal freedom". There needs to be a good answer to the "reason why".
- What is the single, most important thing I can do today? How much time did I spend creating today? Did I move closer to achieving a big goal?
- Measure your work in output, not hours. Create.
- Create a metric for your work. 1,000 words a day is 300,000 words per year or about 100 blog posts, 20 newspaper columns, 20 guest articles, 3 information products, 1 book.
- Focus on deliverables and metrics.
- Process (journey) is more important than the final destination. Time is needed but make the work count.
- Original goal: accumulate enough wealth to live off the interest. Now: create financial security through an income-based strategy. Self-created income. Increase and diversify your income.
- Win-win: you enjoy your life and at the same time make the world a better place
- Define what we want and then find a way to make it happen. Take your dreams more seriously.
- Life list (of goals)
- Be prepared to work for it though.
Thank goodness I took a chance. Months later my life has been changed. I left my corporate job and set out on my own to start a business - called Unconventional Innovations (thanks to Chris Guillebeau for putting Unconventional in my head to begin with.)
I tell you this because when I look back at my journey, the Art of Non-Conformity was the first in a series of dominoes that set me free and started me down a path to a life of fulfillment and living the life I have imagined.
So the question then, is not whether you should by this book... but rather - can you really afford not to? The world is waiting to be changed in each of our own little ways, and Chris Guillebeau has provided a catalyst in the form of this book to set your best self free on the world. Step 1: Order this book and let it challenge you to think differently!
I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I've recently been reading a lot of books on time management, thought processes, and business. These have radically opened my mind to new ideas and helped me reflect a lot more about myself and my life.
The Art of Non-Conformity is one of the books that has had a profound impact on the way I think not only about myself, but also the world.
Although a lot of the ideas presented in the book seem to be largely 'simplistic' in nature, reading them all in one place together, along with detailed explanations and storytelling really makes them stick with you.
Since reading this book, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want out of life, and how to achieve it. I realized that I've been letting myself get drawn into the buzz of daily life without planning my future accordingly.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to change their life for the better. It will help you clarify your thought processes, and make you more self-aware of your own life and actions.