The Art of Non-Conformity | Chris Guillebeau

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


Do you want to break free from an ordinary life and embrace a more fulfilling, extraordinary one? ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’ by Chris Guillebeau will help you set your own rules and take charge of your destiny. Through the stories of people who have dared to challenge societal norms and expectations, you’ll find insights on acknowledging your fears, deriving job security from your own competence, challenging gatekeepers, and building your army of supporters. This book encourages you to align your financial goals with your values and manage your time effectively to achieve your dreams. Uncover the secret to living a life brimming with purpose and create a legacy that will have an enduring impact on others.

The Importance of Having a Life Goal

Many people lack a clear sense of purpose, which leads to an unremarkable life. A common example is working a desk job for 40 hours a week, paying off a mortgage for 30 years, and avoiding risks. Choosing to define and pursue a life goal can lead to a fulfilling life, as seen in the case of Bernard Lopez, who pursued a bike ride adventure and subsequently found a rewarding career. Feeling like there’s more to life indicates a need to break away from a mundane routine and strive for personal greatness.

Overcome Fear of Change

Acknowledge and mentally prepare yourself to conquer fear of change to realize your potential.

It’s common to feel afraid of change and taking the leap towards the unknown. In such times, we tend to hear a voice in the back of our head saying we are not good enough or will never succeed. However, we need to acknowledge our fear and transform it into a positive force. For Sloane Berrent, charity work was meaningful, but leaving her executive job and committing required her to conquer her fear. Fear heightens our senses and can be used to zone in on our intuition. Mentally preparing ourselves is the next step towards conquering fear, as this increases the odds of success. Asking ourselves, “What’s the worst that can happen?” puts big decisions in perspective, empowering us as the worst-case scenario is usually not that bad. Promising ourselves a reward for conquering our fear links achievement and motivation. Overcoming our fears is difficult, but it’s crucial to acknowledge and prepare to conquer the fear, as it will lead to feeling competent, rewarding, and ready to rise to the challenges.

Job Security Through Competence

The key to job security is relying on your own competence instead of seeking security in a reliable paycheck. This can be achieved by becoming an entrepreneur or taking small actions to increase your competence at work, allowing you to feel more secure and in control. Examples include a former newscaster starting a successful yoga business and an employee taking “Life Experiments” to improve his job satisfaction and advancement opportunities. By valuing your own skills and abilities, you can achieve greater job security and control in your career.

Breaking Through Gatekeepers

Encounter and challenge gatekeepers in order to achieve what you really want. Tim DeChristopher broke through the Bureau of Land Management’s unfair auctions that only allowed Big Oil companies to have access. Challenge the gatekeepers by realizing the “democratic” options available to you, then change the rules of the game by finding an alternative approach that works for you. By taking unconventional actions, you can successfully achieve your goals.

Building Your Army of Followers

To achieve personal or professional goals, you need a loyal and supportive army of followers. This book summary explains how you can cultivate a loyal following by creating content that serves people’s needs. By sharing helpful information and inspiring others, you can build a community that will help you succeed.

If you want to achieve your life goals, you need to create a strong and loyal community of followers. This applies to everyone, from international charities to musicians, small businesses, and even you. To build your small army, you need to think about how you can help others get what they want. People will support you only if your work serves their needs.

The author of the book learned this lesson when he created a website chronicling his worldwide journey. Instead of just sharing travel essays, he also included topics focused on achieving big goals and creating a life of personal freedom. By serving other people’s needs, he attracted a huge following and was able to earn a living from his work.

Similarly, the blog Zen Habits gained over 100,000 subscribers in under a year by sharing helpful and inspiring content about simplicity and goal-setting. By creating content that uplifts people, you can build a loyal community of followers who will support your goals.

To build your own army of followers, you need to focus on creating content that serves people’s needs. Think about how your work can help others achieve their goals or overcome challenges. By sharing helpful information and inspiring others, you can build a community that will help you succeed in your personal or professional life.

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