Jan 132011

The Art of Non-Conformity

By: Chris Guillebeau

In the last few years, you can’t have been doing any reading in the “lifestyle creation” arena without having heard the name of Chris Guillebeau.  By they way, I don’t much like the terms “lifestyle creation” or “lifestyle customization” or their brethren.  They aren’t really terms that Chris used, but they do seem to be the more popular terms for the genre. In any case, Chris has certainly made a name for himself.

If you’re unfamiliar with him, I suggest you go over to his site (http://www.chrisguillebeau.com/) and get familiar with him.  He’s a smart guy and has some really great ideas about a lot of the things that we’ll be discussing here.

The Art of Non-Conformity is his first book.

The first thing you’ll notice about this book is that it’s written in a very conversational tone.  It’s easy to read, and easy to understand what it is that he’s talking about.  Which, of course, makes it easy to take in.  It presented itself to me as a blueprint for taking control of your life and making it what you want it to be.  Inspirational, to be sure, but I found it to be lacking in any real detail as well as anything that got too far beyond inspiration.

Here, I think, is why.  Chris has his own experiences to build upon.  His story is a great one and it serves as a great inspirational story to give the reader a kick in the behind on their own way to a life better lived.  Part of me wants more than that.  It’s one of my flaws that I’m continually working on.  I want detailed instructions.  I find it hard to move forward without them.  But, what I’ve come to realize is that what worked for Chris likely won’t work for me.  So, it’s unfair to judge the book just because it doesn’t have those instructions.

So, read the book.  It does have some very good ideas about living your life your way, and it provides inspiration for that.  Don’t expect great detail, but instead use it as an example of someone who was able to break away from the standardized life that we all have been conditioned to expect and is living a life of non-conformity.

If you go into the book expecting just that, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.