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Lee's Library

I read to escape and to learn.  I like science fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and adventure stories. 

Currently reading

Hunting Season
Nevada Barr
The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker, 12 Quilt Projects
Elizabeth Hartman
The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events: A Seth Book
Jane Roberts, Seth (Spirit), Robert F. Butts

The Art of Non-Conformity - Bust it out, Baby!

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

I love the first sentence of chapter one, “The purpose of this book is to transform your thinking about life and work.”


I’m ready for a change, I’ve been busting at the seams for months with an excess of energy and looking for a way to direct it effectively.  This is the kind of book that will immediately appeal to you or not.  If you’re completely happy with your life and not ripe for change, you’ll probably find all sorts of objections to the author’s message and many things to criticize about the book itself.  I am going to focus on the positive and what spoke to me.


The next passage that struck me was this one.  “My motivation is to help people challenge authority and live unconventional, remarkable lives.  The mission is to support a full-scale revolution with a simple underlying message: You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.”


Oh boy, give me more!  For the first forty odd years of my life I lived in fear.  Fear was so much a part of every decision; I was completely unaware of the amount of power I’d given it.   Fear of standing out, not being liked, not being normal, not being good enough?  What a load of crap.  I actually have had moments of fearlessness and adventure but sadly, many more moments of conformity.  Looking back, I see my spirit aching to break out and succeeding for short periods, only to be sucked back into the morass of a conventional life. 


In the latter parts of the book, the author asks you to think about what kind of legacy you want to leave and to start living immediately with that vision in mind.  I used to be the kind of person who wished for some divine inspiration to strike me about the purpose of my life.  I used to wonder why I didn’t know what to do with myself.  And what was wrong with me that I couldn’t figure it out? 


Recently, I asked myself a series of questions that led to the crafting of my own vision and purpose.  I’ve stopped waiting for some mysterious inner or outside inspiration.  Since that moment, my vision has been driving every purposeful and conscious action.  I am more at peace and less anxious than I’ve ever been.  I say, if you don’t know what to do, make it up and make it powerful!  You will inspire yourself! 


There is a chapter about setting goals in order to create a flexible but purposeful environment for yourself.  He provides a series of simple but useful questions to ask, which will help define what you might like to do.   At the end of each chapter, there is a short, point-form summary of the main points.  The writing is clear and formatted in bite sized chunks.  This is very easy reading.


It’s been many years since I travelled.  Other experiences have been explored and become more dominant in my life but I cannot deny that travel altered my world view in a way that nothing else has.  While being an armchair traveler is fun, the desire to fully experience the pleasure and discomfort of being outside my familiar world has been re-awakened and I’ll be adding a few destinations to my bucket list. 


Inspiring quotes are peppered throughout the book and one in the “Contrarian Adventures” chapter struck me particularly. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous. If anything I’ve written strikes a chord with you than you might want to pick up a copy of The Art of Non-Conformity.  It’s not that scary.