Book summary

The Art of Non-Conformity is the culmination of Chris Guillebeau’s ideas and writings on his popular blog of the same name. In it the explores the ways and means of living a unconventional life, which for him involves extensive world travel, professional blogging, humanitarian adventures and a healthy disrespect for the accepted rules of society.

The book includes sections on: dangerous ideas, contrarian travel, setting your own rules vs the norm, traditional education vs on online writing career, how (and why) to build your own small army, personal finance journeys, challenging authority and deriving security from your own competence rather than a full-time job.

      

 

Why I liked it

This is the perfect read for anyone who suspects there’s more to life than the daily grind of joyless conformity.

Being self-employed, I was inspired and encouraged by Chris Guillebeau’s take on ‘creative self-employment’, in particular using the internet. Though I don’t share his passion for travel, I can relate to his quest for the freedom to live a life of creativity, flexibility and fun. His advice is less about becoming wealthy enough to travel the world and more about engineering the lifestyle you love doing work you enjoy. (I’m all for that!) Aside from the work/career/employment advice, there are also some strategies for general life-imporvement (I loved the To Stop Doing list) and tips on how to handle the ‘play-it safers, the creatures of the commonplace and the slaves of the ordinary’.

The Art of Non-Conformity is an enjoyable blend of anecdotes, insights, how-to advice and soul-searching questions. There is also an altruistic thread throughout the whole book, exploring what we have to offer the world, in terms of our talents, service and legacy – a healthy and refreshing balance to the pursuit of the our ideal lives. Inspiring insights, encouraging stories and provocative questions- a fab read. Really enjoyed it.

      

 

You’ll like this if you:

• are interested in world travel (and saving money on world travel)

• are considering self-employment or entrepreneurship

• would like to change the world

• like the idea of setting your own rules for your own life

• want to challenge the status quo

• care about the legacy you will leave

      

 

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