The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau Book Summary

The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau | Free Book Summary

The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau

The Art of Non-Conformity teaches you how to play life by your own rules by giving you practical glimpses into the world of self-employment, a new approach to travel, to-do list minimalism, and conscious spending habits.

Non-Conformity: The Premise

“Asking “why?” to everything like a three-year-old is helpful in making sure you don’t jump off the bridge without at least considering the alternatives.

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The Art of Non-Conformity teaches you how to play life by your own rules by giving you practical glimpses into the world of self-employment, a new approach to travel, to-do list minimalism and conscious spending habits.

The Remarkable Life

Most of us don’t want to chill on a beach for the rest of our lives; we want to work on something meaningful to us.

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We need to create some idea of our own “ideal life.”

Here are some ways:

Write out what a perfect day looks like to you. Then assess what needs to change to help you get there.

Create a life goal list, like a bucket list, to give yourself some direction around what you want to accomplish.

Live An Interesting Life

When you can think in terms of abundance or scarcity, think in terms of abundance.

If you’re unsure about taking a leap of faith, take it.

You can have unlimited dreams and goals, but not priorities.

The Obstacle Known As Fear

Our biggest obstacles are usually our own fears and insecurities. 

We’re usually afraid of three things:

1. Fear of failure

2. Fear of success

3. Fear of change

We typically resist making any change until the pain of making the change is less than the pain of not making the change. To make a change, we must make it painful to not make it.

Do Stuff That Others Usually Don’t

Plan and execute a one year, self directed, alternative graduate school where you broaden your life horizons. 

Acquire at least three new skills during the year. Suggestions: photography, skydiving, computer programming, martial arts.  

Cost: variable, but each skill is probably less than three credits of tuition at a university.

Personal Finance: Basic Rules

  • If you can’t pay for something now in cash, don’t buy it
  • Time is more valuable than money.
  • Don’t cut expenses, earn more money.
  • Work towards financial independence, but never retire.

The Power of Convergence

  • To exclude everything unnecessary from the life you want:
  • Eliminate unnecessary distractions. Ask yourself “why should I do this?” and “what will happen if I don’t?”
  • Come up with the 3-5 things that most drain your energy right now and stop doing them.

Show yourself that you are non-conformist

Becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner. Showing yourself you can run a blog, make $2,000/month from it and do work you enjoy will surely boost your confidence.

Setting your own rules at work, for example, by visiting art exhibitions during your lunch break or moving to a lower-paying job on purpose with more opportunities to develop.

Options: The Illusion Of Freedom

By giving you a bunch of options, gatekeepers make you think you’re completely free to choose, but you’re really limited to the choices they give you.

The stuff that really matters to you is often left out. In order to see what’s really possible, you have to challenge the rules those gatekeepers set for you.

Produce Work That’ll Live Longer than You Do

Chances are, a life that’s built around you and you alone won’t really make you happy in the long run. That’s where legacy work comes in. It’s what happens when you use your unique skills to help others in ways that would not have been possible without your contribution, and it has a long-term impact.

Set a metric to measure your progress with your legacy work once you’ve decided what it will be about. For example, if you write 1,000 words a day, donate an hour to your charity, and publish a blog post every day, your progress will be measured by this metric.

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