The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World

Individuality
Individuality by Gretchen Wilson-Kalav

Who’s fooling who? Whether the question is (grammatically) correct or not doesn’t really matter. (That grammatically incorrect question worked very well for Eric Clapton so I stole it. Thank you, Eric.) What does matter is the essence behind the question. Are you happy with the life you lead or are you just fooling yourself into believing it’s all good? Do you like the 9:00-5:00 routine? Letting someone else write your playbook? Being a follower rather than a leader? Putting off what you really want to do for something you have been told needs doing?

If the answer to these questions are all “big fat yeses”, then it’s time to read The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau. I’ll just leave it at that…

About the Author:

Art Of Non-Conformity

Chris Guillebeau is the author of the online manifesto A Brief Guide to World Domination. Besides running ChrisGuillebeau.com, he is a contributing author to several other publications, such as Business Week and Huffington Post. He is also on a mission to visit every country on the face of this earth – he’s closing in on the final stretch. Though he makes his home in Portland, Oregon, you’re more likely to see him on the streets of Hong Kong or Madrid. His other book titles include The Unconventional Guide to Discount Airfare and The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself among others.

The Review:

As I read the first few pages, I began to experience a mild case of deja vu.

Chris’ book came with me when I was called upon to care for a close friend over a few days. The thought of being able to read without my normal daily interruptions was a very agreeable one and I proceeded to open the front cover. As I read the first few pages, I began to experience a mild case of deja vu. The content was quite familiar – ideas and concepts I had encountered several years ago. In reflection, The Art of Non-Conformity was echoing the teachings of Werner H. Erhard (Erhard Seminars Training aka EST) and those of Kurt Goldstein who coined the term “self-actualization”. Abraham Maslow proceeded to expand on Goldstein’s “self-actualization” theory a few years later.

All three put forth the concepts of personal transformation and taking responsibility for one’s own life. By doing so, such actions would not only create positive personal changes but also generate positive changes in a larger population simultaneously. As I kept reading The Art of Non-Conformity, I thought “Come on Guillebeau, give me something new here”. (Sorry Chris.) This feeling continued through more than half the book. Not until my (above-mentioned) friend and I started discussing things we would love to do but probably would never do them, did I get something new. It wasn’t a new concept or idea – it was the realization that three generations have come into this world since my encounters with Goldstein and colleagues. Three generations have not necessarily gotten the self-fulfillment messages yet.

This revelation allowed me to view the book from a different perspective. Though Chris’ messages are similar to those mentioned above, he has taken them in a different direction – one which incorporates the modern day internet world, people’s wanderlust (for travel or other endeavors) and the generating of change across the globe.

Rules Outback
Rules to follow if you decide to off-road in the Outback, Photo by mmb856

Chris defines various techniques for breaking down the wall of conformity most of us bang our head against daily. It is a playbook that really says don’t play by me, rather play by the one you create for yourself.

Using his own personal experiences and those of people he has encountered along his many journeys, Chris defines various techniques for breaking down the wall of conformity most of us bang our head against daily. It is a playbook that really says don’t play by me, rather play by the one you create for yourself. Here is how I “wrote” mine – if it helps – wonderful, but if not, that’s okay too. This book is for the individual who believes maintaining their individuality is paramount to living a full and fulfilling life. A life where everyone can hold the keys to the kingdom they have designed and built for themselves.

Buy now: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Nobles, Chapters or your local bookstore

Editor’s notes: This article contains affiliate links. The book was also received compliments of the author for review.

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Discussion »

  • #1Gibbering madness

    Wow, great post! I’ll have to pick up a copy of this book.

  • #2Rane

    I love reading and this looks like an interesting read. So, I will definitely be trying it and I will be coming back for any feedback regarding the book.

  • #3Expat in Germany

    This book looks right up my alley. I’ve recently moved to Germany from Canada and am in the process of “reinventing” my life so this book would be a perfect read for me!

  • #4Doreen

    This was a very cool post.
    Going to get the book it sounds good.

    We live a very different life to most people.
    A 65 foot sail boat is home to our family of five.
    Yes you can do it live life of non-conformity.

  • #5GutsyWriter

    I discovered Chris Guillebeau yesterday and blogged about him today. Funny how like-minded people and travelers and expats, can find one another. I haven’t read the book yet, but listened to his interview.

  • #6Tai Yuni

    Chris certainly is very inspirational!

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