School –> Work –> Family –> More Work –> Retirement
This was an effective model for many of our parents and grandparents, but times change:
- College is getting expensive, forcing people to question their return on investment
- Quality jobs are becoming scarcer
- Men have less incentive to marry
- People don’t have to wait decades until they retire (insert 4 Hour Workweek)
Now the efficacy of this model is starting to be questioned.
Enter: The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (Amazon).
Another Life-Hacking/Digital Nomad type book?
There are too many books out there along the lines of: Quit your job, start an internet business, travel the world etc.
This idea has a lot of merit, but a number of drawbacks. I’m not going to debate this premise now, but what I will say is that if someone is going to read a book on this subject the book should bring something new and unique to the table, as opposed to rehashing the same old hackneyed advice.
As for The Art of Non-Conformity, it has a lot of unique insights, a few that really resonated with me:
After volunteering in West Africa Chris enrolled in a Graduate program for international relations. He was not thrilled with the experience, and felt that his $32000 could have been put to better use. Such as putting it towards the ‘One-Year, Alternative Graduate School Program‘.
He gives a lot of good insights as to how to approach college:
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go [to college]— once I accepted the fact that 80 percent of it was a waste of time, I enjoyed my experience with higher education.”
Chris has traveled to every single country in the world. Truly he is passionate about travel and he shares plenty of thoughts and stories on his adventures, and how you can do the same.
He volunteered for four years in West Africa, and you can tell he is really passionate about philanthropy. This is a nice chance of pace from the ‘Sit on the beach and drink Mai Tai’s every day’ crowd.
Why You Mustn’t Conform
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you probably have big dreams. Perhaps you’re working towards them as you’re reading this, which is why you want to read this book.
Your dreams and big ideas belong to no one but you, and you never need to apologize for or justify them to anyone.”
Situations and environments may change, but dreams rarely do. Finding a way to make your dreams a reality is possible, but it definitely will require you to embrace ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’.
After reading many similar books such as the 4 Hour-Workweek, this book wasn’t a game changer. That said it provides plenty of unique insights which made the book worth reading.
Click Here to purchase a copy of The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau on Amazon.