YOCR #14 – The Art of Non-Conformity

Book: The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.
Book: The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.

In my Year of Creative Reading, I’ve gone away from my original goal of reading all 37 books on BuzzFeed’s creative reading list. I’ve gone so far afield that I’m now actively seeking alternate books on creativity, conducting searches for creativity and innovation on my library’s online catalog.

“The Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Guillebeau is one of the books I found this way. Being the sort who tends not to conform, the title attracted me. For those inclined to conform, the book’s subtitle might draw you in: “Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World.” I mean, geez, who doesn’t want that?

The book is an easy read, with the author providing examples of alternate forms of education, travel, and careers based on his own life experience. The book reminded me of Young Son Number 2, who is an unconventional sort that wants to travel and figure things out on his own. I recommended he read it, but he’s not much of a book reader, so he might get more out of Chris Guillebeau’s blog, which he can find here. (The rest of you non-conforming individuals can check it out, as well. 🙂 )

Guillebeau provides a lot of encouragement for living an unconventional life in his book, but he doesn’t stay in the Lollipop Land of Sugarcoated Affirmations. I appreciate that. He says, “All things being equal, we generally resist change until the pain of making a switch becomes less than the pain of remaining in our current situation.” (pg. 49) In other words, a bad situation can provide the impetus you need to work toward the life you want. Negativity can turn into something positive. (If you’re not sure about this, read “Constructive Wallowing” by Tina Gilbertson, which I featured in my last Year of Creative Reading post.)

“The Art of Non-Conformity” definitely gets a place on the creative reading list I’m compiling.