From the very first chapter, Chris Guillebeau is clear about the fact that he subscribes to a “guru-free” philosophy, and that’s exactly what makes his book The Art of Non-Conformity [amazon link] so effective and endearing. Chris is not hovering over the rest of us, dropping nuggets of wisdom into a pond and watching as the “inspiration-starved” ducks fight over the crumbs. Rather, he is living every word of his advice and challenging the rest of us to do the same.
And he makes a very convincing argument for why we need to wake up from our place among the “sleep-walking” masses and aggressively pursue life by design rather than default.
But the book is not just a flyover or a shot in the arm. Chris gives very practical advice based upon his own experience of designing a life around writing and travel. He shares insights on how to build a small army to aid you on your quest, how to organize your finances to make it all feasible, and how to pursue ambitious goals by breaking them into measurable chunks.
In short, if you are at all considering a break from the status quo and want advice from someone who is already living it, this book is an absolute must-read. Chris has (literally) written the book on jump-starting your non-conformist life. (You can also hear my recent interview with Chris here.)
Disclosure: I received this book from Penguin/Perigee for advance review, though I plan to buy several copies and give them to friends as a “swift kick”, if you know what I mean.