in Books/Reviews

In Review: The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

I have been following Chris Guillebeau’s remarkable work via his blog since last couple of years. So when I heard about his new book “The Art of Non-Conformity”, I could not wait to order it. I am glad I did, because this book instantly made it to my favorite books in 2010 which also includes Seth Godin’s Linchpin.

The book is sub-titled “Set Your Own Rules. Live The Life You Want and Change the World” – very apt because the book tells you how to do that using a combination of powerful personal stories, anecdotes and some solid advice on success and living a remarkable life.

The underlying message that Chris delivers through this book is, “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” According to Chris, we all have a choice. To comply to the rules set by others or to rewrite the rules. He says, “The possibilities are unlimited, but it all begins with a deliberate choice to think differently”.

That choice of living a remarkable life starts with waking up to our current realities, setting your terms for the unconventional life, challenging the status quo, undertaking contrarian adventures, building serious competence, organizing your personal finances, living in possibilities and thinking about your legacy now. The journey through this book contains these important milestones and some very practical advice on each of these.

I loved it when Chris divided all our work in two parts – “’busy work (responding to things)’ and ‘legacy work (creating something that outlasts us)’. Each chapter has number of such useful ideas that will help you surge ahead.

The messages in this book are so powerful that when I was reading it, I was compelled to take short breaks to reflect on what I had just read. This book will push you to think about your life and how you want to live it.

“The Art of Non-Conformity”, in many ways, adds to and complements the ideas presented in ‘Linchpin” by Seth Godin. This led me to ask one question to Chris (the same one that I asked Seth Godin about in Linchpin’s book review).

Tanmay: Changing the world is impossible without actualizing with one’s gifts (that we are all born with). How does one discover these gifts and unwrap them for the world?

Chris Guillebeau: I’m not sure it’s impossible, but I agree it’s a lot easier to change the world if you know what you are good at and what you are motivated to do. It’s very difficult to motivate yourself into doing something you don’t care about. When you find something that keeps you up at night with good ideas, start thinking seriously about how to do more of it. That’s where the unwrapping comes from.

Tanmay: Your book made for a wonderful read. I just wanted to thank you for writing a book that will change people and world around us for better.

Chris Guillebeau: Thanks, Tanmay! That’s very kind of you to say. Good luck with your own world domination plans.

If you are looking forward to lead a remarkable life, or if you think you are stuck, this book is a must read for you. For readers in India, “The Art of Non-Conformity” is available via Flipkart.com. Go, get it and you will be doing a worthwhile investment in yourself.

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Chris Guillebeau is a true non-conformist himself. He is on a mission to help people live unconventional lives and he sets a powerful example for others. He is on a personal quest to visit every country in the world. He has been to more than 125 countries so far. The book carries some very interesting anecdotes from Chris’ travel in different countries.

Have a GREAT week ahead!

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