5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought-Provoking Read on How to Live Your Life, Jan. 7 2011
If you've read and enjoyed Chris Guillebeau's popular blog of the same name, you're bound to enjoy his book. Synthesizing the thoughts, advice and stories from years of entrepreneurship, The Art of Non-Conformity urges us to think beyond and outside the expectations that bind us and instead figure out what drives us in life. Part autobiography, part advice and part real-world examples of those who have decided to life their lives outside the status quo, the book he suggests we reframe our goals in a different light, take the most out of life and be happier in the process.
Guillebeau has been an inspiration to many via his blog, and has made a point of personally responding to readers and asking questions about how they've chosen to live their lives. As a result, he has aggregated his knowledge from years of travel (and years of volunteering in Africa) and from learning from those around him into his book.
Among other things, what stood out for me was two questions Guillebeau suggests we ask ourselves
'What do I really want to get out of life?' and
'What can I offer the world that no one else can?'
However, he doesn't stop there. Unlike many other 'break free of the status quo' type books, he also urges his readers to use the skills we have and the dreams we've cultivated to help make the world a better place. At the end of Chapter 3, he notes "In the end, it's not about you. Most of us want a life that leaves a positive impact on others."
What this book won't do is give you a point by point 'how-to' manual to change your life. The book is a broad based source of inspiration, with plenty of stories featuring travelers, entrepreneurs and out-of-the-box thinkers. It does provide starting points and to-do lists for beginning the process of answering those two questions above. But ultimately, it is a book to get you thinking about things, not a book to dictate them to you. And for that, it's unique. Guillebeau doesn't claim to have all of the answers, but in publishing this book he wants to help you to find your own.