photo credit: tibchris
After writing this two-part series on following your bliss, I’ve come to realize one of the biggest obstacles to going after what makes you happy is actually standing up and bucking conformity if that’s what it takes to get it.
It’s all well and good to have figured out what brings you lasting and authentic joy, to acknowledge you want whatever that is, and to accept that being in alignment with it will make you happy.
It’s a whole other thing to stand up to the forces that be and declare you’re going to go publicly do whatever brings you joy, especially when it’s not the norm. And that, dear readers, is exactly what makes Chris Guillebeau’s debut book The Art of Non-Conformity (affiliate link) so timely, reassuring and downright practical.
The Young Grasshopper of Non-Conformity
I’ve been following writer and world traveler Chris Guillebeau for about a year. Sensing a kindred spirit (we both love to travel, travel-hack and write) after connecting with his blog, I immediately raised my hand for an advance copy of his book when he offered it and was lucky enough to get one. Now about half-way through my read, I realize we share another key trait: non-conformity.
Like many readers of Chris’ book will undoubtedly discover, I owe him a debt of gratitude for emboldening and empowering me to set my own rules and go after the life I really want. Because you see, Chris is a freakin’ non-conformity master.
In his early 30’s today, Chris is a man who refused from an early age to accept the status quo. He dropped-out of high school after two years (mostly from what I construe as boredom) and went straight to college. Taking classes simultaneously at a community college and local university, he graduated with not one but two (count ‘em, two) bachelor’s degrees at the end of his second year as a college student. His friends from the brief time he’d spent in high school were just finishing their freshman year.
Chris then went on to do a variety of non-conformist things including a short stint working the night shift at Fed-Ex at age 20 followed by starting and running an eBay business, and more notably, spending four years as a volunteer aid worker in West Africa. While in Africa [click to continue…]