Book Reviews

The Art Of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

10. The Art Of Non-Conformity - Chris Guillebeau

Get it on Amazon

Rating: 7/10

Date of reading: 22nd – 28th of February. 2018

Description: The world is filled with bad ideas which a lot of people follow without ever questioning them. The biggest life regret of dying people is that they never lived their life the way they wanted to, but they instead listened to society, parents, spouse or someone else. The Art of Non-Conformity teaches you how to find your way of life and live it through.

My notes:

PROLOGUE

“”If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” The idea is that it’s not good to do something stupid, even if everyone else is doing it. The logic is, Think for yourself instead of following the crowd. It’s not bad advice, even if it’s sometimes used to exert control more than to support independent thinking. But one day, you grow up and suddenly the tables are turned. People start expecting you to behave very much like they do. If you disagree and don’t conform to their expectations, some of them get confused or irritated. It’s almost as if they are asking: “Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren’t you?”” ( :12)

“Whenever you find yourself confronted by a request, obligation, or expectation you don’t like, it helps to look carefully for the motivations and rationale behind what you hear.” ( :12)

“The possibilities are unlimited, but it all begins with the deliberate choice to think differently.” ( :12)

PART I
The Remarkable Life

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU” ( :14)

“After working in West Africa for four years as a volunteer aid worker, I returned to the United States to attend graduate school in the fall of 2006. The official story is that I completed a two-year master’s degree in International Studies at the University of Washington. The real story is that I spent $32,000 to learn about motivations.” ( :15)

“Just as faking it can be an effective way to get through higher education, mediocrity is the standard by which much work is judged once you get out of school.” ( :15)

“”Always look carefully for someone’s motivations and agenda.” Whenever you read a book, for example, ask yourself, “Why did this person spend months or years crafting this material?” and “What is their agenda?”” ( :15)

“haven’t learned this lesson before, congratulations, you are now $32,000 richer from having skipped graduate school. No need to thank me, but feel free to apply this lesson and start thinking about motivations and agenda whenever you read.” ( :15)

“I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative, religious or agnostic, rich or poor, or any other category we are often grouped into by people who like to argue.” ( :16)

“11 WAYS TO BE UNREMARKABLY AVERAGE 1. Accept what people tell you at face value. 2. Don’t question authority. 3. Go to college because you’re supposed to, not because you want to learn something. 4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere safe like England. 5. Don’t try to learn another language; everyone else will eventually learn English. 6. Think about starting your own business, but never do it. 7. Think about writing a book, but never do it. 8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30 years paying for it. 9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work. 10. Don’t stand out or draw attention to yourself. 11. Jump through hoops. Check off boxes.” ( :17)

“Our past may be somewhat responsible for defining who we are at present, but it does not need to define our future. If you had a terrible childhood or someone deeply hurt you at some point in the past, here is your chance to prove them wrong. If you had a nurturing childhood and have never known deep hurt or social disadvantage, you’re better off than the rest of us. Where much is given, much is required, so it’s time to step it up. Regardless of where you fall in that spectrum, from here on out, win or lose, you must be willing” ( :17)

“My first week I made $19 an hour, which was more than twice as much as I made at FedEx. The same day the auction sales went through, I was scheduled to return to work after a three-day weekend. It was December, and Memphis was suffering a rare ice storm that left much of the city incapacitated. Ice storm or not, life at FedEx went on, so I prepared to pull out of the apartment driveway. Despite the needs of busy retailers during the holiday season, my car felt otherwise: as I began to back up, the car slid under the ice, lost control, and narrowly missed crashing into the parked truck belonging to my neighbor. “Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. I turned the engine off, went back inside, and never returned to the world of traditional work.” ( :19)

“Together with Jolie, who was working as a high-school teacher at that point, I signed up for a twoyear commitment that turned into four. The job and lifestyle were both extremely transformative. I worked with refugees, warlords, and presidents, and bounced around West Africa as I negotiated on behalf of the medical charity that operated the ship. Even though I worked for free, it was the best job in the world, and served as a better foundation than any university could have been.” ( :20)

“My story is not complete, and I certainly don’t know it all. An important part of the guru-free philosophy is that no one is better than anyone else, and most of what you need to know, you already know—we’re just going to fill it out a little. If you’re just starting on your own unconventional journey, the best way to understand it is to talk about monkeys.” ( :20)

“t goes like this. Five monkeys are thrown in a cage by a sadistic monkey-hater.” ( :20)

“The next day another monkey is replaced, and then another, and the process repeats itself: the new monkey lunges for the bananas, gets pulled down, and adapts. After five days, no monkey from the original troop remains, and no monkey has ever been soaked with cold water—but every monkey knows they are not supposed to climb the ladder. One of the monkeys finally asks, “Hey, why can’t we eat the bananas?” The others shrug their shoulders and say, “We’re not sure—we just know we can’t.”” ( :21)

“This is completely true, but there’s even more good news: there are very few things you need to ask forgiveness or permission for.” ( :21)

“We need money to live in a modern world, and we should find a way to get what we need without harming anyone else. However, by itself, money has no value—the value is produced only when we exchange money for other things. The reason why this is important is because many people don’t know how much money they really need to do the things they want. They often wildly overestimate or underestimate how much money they need to exchange for their desired life.” ( :22)

“A certain amount of money produces happiness, and a bit more produces a bit more happiness, but beyond that, the correlation between money and life satisfaction is null.” ( :22)

“Throughout history, most people who have made fundamental shifts in science, humanities, or the arts have been frequently accused of being impractical. At various times it has been impractical to think that women are equal to men, that humans should not own other humans, that criminals should be rehabilitated instead of merely punished, and so on.” ( :23)

“As a final note, don’t waste time in taking action toward assuming control of your life. As a general rule, it’s usually better to do something than not do it. This may not always be the case—if you’re on” ( :23)

“the fence about robbing a bank to buy donuts, it might be good to think of another way to acquire the donuts—but speaking generally, we tend to regret what we haven’t done more than what we have.” ( :24)

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. —GEORGE BERNARD SHAW” ( :25)

“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. —WALTER BAGEHOT” ( :25)

“I believe in helping other people, but I also believe in relentless individualism. I believe that the crazy dreams and big ideas we have when we are young can be more than just fantasies. No, in the end it is not all about you—but there is also nothing wrong with doing things entirely for yourself.” ( :26)

“Some people call this selfishness, but I tend to believe the answer is more complicated—without the energy I derive from being by myself, I know that I wouldn’t be of much use to anyone else later on.” ( :26)

“Because we usually need some time to figure this out, I’d like to voice an opinion right from the beginning: when it comes down to it, most of us do not want to sit on the beach and take it easy every day for the rest of our lives. Some of us would get tired after only a few days; others might enjoy it for an extended period of weeks or months. But just as we wonder “Is that all there is?” about conventional careers or life paths, after the initial detox of sunbathing and margaritas, we’d be asking the same questions about beach life—or whatever our vision of fantasy land is.” ( :26)

“I already had the life I wanted. I felt like I was in the 90th percentile of happiness and fulfillment.” ( :26)

“Instead of fantasy land, most of us crave a life of adventure and personal growth. Joseph Campbell understood this years ago when he wrote about the meaning of life. “People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life,” he began before clarifying, “I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. What we seek is an experience of being alive.”” ( :27)

“For their part, spiritual leaders offer answers to the deep questions of creation, mortality, and ethics, but typically give little guidance on how we should actually fill our days. Thus, the cycle continues.” ( :27)

“book Wishcraft by Barbara Sher. One of the things Barbara said in the beginning resonated with me for a long time: “Whatever your dreams are, start taking them very, very seriously.”” ( :27)

“The typical life list contains a wide variety of goals, ranging from the trivial (“try 100 fruits”) to the difficult (“camp on Antarctica”).” ( :29)

“One -Ye ar Goals: This list gets reviewed a few times a year, and I create next year’s goals each December. I break this list down further into specific categories. Some of mine are Writing , Health, Business, Friends, Family, Service, Travel, Income, and Giving. Five-Year Goals: This list gets reviewed once a year and contains some of the “big things” you hope to do in the near future. Note that as some of the goals on the one-year list are completed, other goals from the five-year list shift down. Lifetime Goals: This list gets reviewed once a year and includes everything that you want to do, but either don’t have a timeline for or will take a long time to accomplish.” ( :29)

“This is because we tend to overestimate what we can complete in a single day, and underestimate what we can complete over longer periods of time.” ( :29)

“A FEW SUGGESTIONS (WHAT’S IN/WHAT’S OUT)” ( :29)

“What’s In • All the time you want for the people you love • As much time as you need to think or plan • Work that is fun, fulfilling, and challenging • Some kind of financial independence (we’ll look at this much more in chapter 8) • A few “adventure” goals, like climbing Kilimanjaro or trekking through Nepal • Some kind of travel goals, based on your own preferences (see chapter 10 for more info and ideas) • Something that other people “don’t get” but that makes perfect sense to you” ( :30)

“What’s Out • Drama and whiny people • Busywork, or any work that ultimately lacks value • Schedules that are set by other people • Unnecessary obligations or things we do out of a sense of guilt” ( :30)

“Nor do the experiences have to be exotic to be serendipitous. I also enjoy sleeping in at home once in a while, going out for coffee in the afternoons, playing video games, and deciding on a whim to do something completely different one day.” ( :30)

“I’m free to change it up whenever I want. If anything, it’s a flexible-but-purposeful environment.” ( :30)

“• What needs can you meet? • Who looks to you as a leader? • What bothers you about the world? • How can you make things better? • What can you offer the world that no one else can?” ( :31)

“When you reach the convergence between getting what you really want while also helping others in a unique way. I call this “world domination,” where you live a life of adventure and focus on leaving a legacy that makes a radical difference for other people. There’s no need to settle or accept anything less.” ( :31)

“No one else needs to lose for you to win (and vice versa).” ( :32)

“To take over the world, or do whatever you want to do, you don’t need to be especially intelligent. In fact, in some cases high intelligence can be a handicap, because smart people are very good at making simple things complicated. You will, however, need to be fairly determined.” ( :32)

“”Wow! I wish I could do that.” Here’s the thing: I realize that there are plenty of people out there who are not able to travel or make the same choices I can.” ( :32)

“The people I talk with now who tell me they “wish” they could do something but feel unable have usually made a number of choices that prevent them from doing what they wish. They have chosen to prioritize other things above their stated desire.” ( :32)

“If you get a few things in order, the stages of growth are exponential. It takes many small businesses a long time to make $1,000 a month. I remember when I first made $1,000, I was ecstatic. Never mind the fact that I worked days and nights for several weeks to get the $1,000—when you’re just getting started as an entrepreneur, it’s sometimes better not to do the math.” ( :33)

“Sometimes the smallest decisions can change your life forever. —KERI RUSSELL” ( :33)

“But to go from $1,000 a month to $5,000, it’s not usually five times as hard. For some reason no one completely understands, it’s usually only about twice as hard. In other words, if you can find a way to make $1,000 a month on your own, you can usually find a way to make $5,000.” ( :33)

“sedentary lifestyle to a completely active one? One year the guy is an overweight smoker who eats and drinks too much. The next year he undergoes a remarkable transformation where he quits smoking, radically improves his diet, and becomes a fitness freak.” ( :33)

“amazing parts are the first steps. Somewhere along the way, momentum kicks in and never stops. Momentum carries marathon runners from mile 24 to mile 26.2.” ( :33)

“Bo Bartlett, a professional artist who spent 20 years painting for free before his paintings started selling for $50,000 each, put it this way: “It is not the decision you make that is most important; it is the degree of commitment with which you make the decision.”” ( :34)

“The absence of fear is not courage; the absence of fear is mental illness. —PO BRONSON” ( :35)

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. —ELBERT HUBBARD” ( :35)

“I’m scared every day. I’m scared people won’t think I’m doing this for the right reasons. I’m scared since I’m everywhere at once and nowhere all the time I won’t have the opportunity to settle down and have a family. I’m frightened something will happen to a loved one while I’m too far off to reach them and I won’t be there for someone who needs me. But here’s the thing. I’ve also realized that fear is normal. If I didn’t get a little tug in my stomach before something big, it wouldn’t be the right thing. Fear is energy mangled and a powerful motivator, so I just turn it into something positive. When you’re scared your senses are heightened. I use my fear to hone my intuition. I’m alone a lot in countries and situations people at home wouldn’t be comfortable in, but nothing bad happens to me. Why? Because I make smart decisions, but also because I use my senses and I trust my fear to have its place when there is something to truly be scared of.” ( :36)

“Dean Karnazes running a 200-mile relay race as an individual contestant,” ( :36)

“wasn’t that she was fearless; it was that she found a way to accept the fear and work with it to do something that mattered more.” ( :36)

“Fear begins with an undefined worry, a voice in the back of your head that says you’re not good” ( :36)

“enough, you won’t succeed with anything big or significant, and you might as well give up and stop trying to stand out. The implied message is, “Who are you, anyway?”” ( :37)

“Always do what you are afraid to do. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON” ( :37)

“To break the cycle, the fear of the unknown has to become less than the stale acceptance of the current situation. There are two ways to make this happen: • Increase the pain of the current situation • Decrease the fear of the desired situation” ( :37)

“At first I was annoyed, but I tried to operate under the principle that it was an accident and everyone involved in fixing up the unit was acting on good faith. We set up camp in the living room for what we thought would be a night or two. A night or two stretched into a week, then two weeks, then nearly an entire month. During that time we continued to sleep on a mattress in the living room, a situation we termed “urban camping” in an attempt to stay positive.” ( :38)

“After a few tense calls to the landlord and the construction supervisor, we still didn’t know what was going on. The water might be coming back on in the morning, or it might be coming back in two weeks. Who knows? The implied message was that we should be grateful for our not-so-nice apartment and the mattress on the floor of the living room. Hearing the news about the water sent me over the edge. I could deal with urban camping and bogus insurance companies, but I wasn’t willing to deal with not having water for an undetermined period of time. At that moment, the pain of remaining in the situation became greater than the pain of making a change. That was the moment I became ready to move. Jolie agreed, and we immediately started looking for a new home. Less than three weeks later, we moved a few hours south of Seattle to a new home in Portland, Oregon. We hadn’t really planned on changing states, but since both of our careers are flexible, we decided it would be about as much trouble to move to a new state as it would be to move across town. We had been interested in Portland for a while, and we took advantage of what was originally a negative experience in the form of a flooded apartment. I’m glad we made the change, but it never would have happened if the pain of the apartment situation had remained strictly an annoyance instead of the disaster it turned into.” ( :38)

“Some were interested in self-employment merely as a possibility, whereas others would do anything they could to get closer to the goal. To put it another way, some of them were ready to embrace the uncertainty of change, and others weren’t.” ( :39)

“The desk job at home was bad. “Basically,” he told me with a look of resolve during our first meeting, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get out of this situation.” We talked for a while and I gave him a long list of resources. “Will you have time to look at these things soon?” I asked. “Are you kidding?” he replied. “I’ll be going on this stuff for the rest of the afternoon. Then if I have to, I’ll stay up until midnight.” On the way out of the coffee shop, we passed by his Subaru. “Nice car,” I said. “It’s nice,” Sean agreed. “But I’m going to sell it. This car will not take me where I want to go in life.” Sean sounded pretty serious, and I was almost convinced. The only thing that kept me from being fully persuaded was the reminder in the back of my head that I had heard t” ( :39)

“Jolie and I flew to Europe and met up with our friends before continuing on to West Africa. In the hustle of the work, I forgot about Aaron, and he never got in touch. One year later, we visited the United States again and spoke at another event. Guess what? Aaron was sitting in the front row. He came up to me afterward looking a little sheepish. He said he had intended to follow up, but a number of other things had happened. He began a new relationship that he thought would lead to something serious, for example, and so he put the plans on hold.” ( :40)

“I met with Aaron in a coffee shop this time and we talked for 45 minutes. Many of the questions he asked were the same ones from the year before. My answers hadn’t really changed: here’s the brochure, this is who you talk to, this is what you need to know, you just need to get started. Aaron kept saying, “I really want to do this,” but always with a trace of hesitation. When we said goodbye, he promised to follow up again.” ( :40)

“Andy Warhol’s advice, “They say time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself.”” ( :40)

“”Being willing to walk away from a job that most people thought was great felt scary and exciting at the same time,” he told me.” ( :41)

“”Being willing to walk away from a job that most people thought was great felt scary and exciting at the same time,” he told me. Two weeks later, his boss came back with an answer: thanks, but no thanks. Sean kept his part of the deal; he packed his bags, including the laptop he would use to create his own small business, and headed out for a new adventure in Bangkok, Thailand.” ( :41)

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. —DALE CARNEGIE” ( :42)

“At first, I panicked. There I was in Poland, scheduled to fly to Asia in a few days, and I had no way home a few days later. When I managed to calm down, I asked myself the “worst case” question: what’s the worst thing that could happen? In this case, I’d be stuck in Japan without a way home, and I’d probably need to buy another plane ticket. It’s not fun to buy a one-way ticket from Japan on less than a week’s notice, but in the long arc of life, it’s probably not that big a deal.” ( :43)

“Give yourself a carrot. Some people may be uncomfortable with linking rewards or punishment to achievement (“Shouldn’t the process be enough?”). My philosophy is, hey, use whatever works. I bought a new round-the-world plane ticket when I sold the proposal for this book.” ( :43)

“I sat next to an actress who gave me some good advice. She said, “People don’t want you to be an actor. They want you to be yourself.”” ( :45)

“I don’t think Sean is a better person than Aaron. They are both smart, ambitious guys who studied and worked hard. The difference was that Sean was able to conquer his fears and Aaron wasn’t. For both Sean and Sloane, the process of fear-conquering was never easy, but it was definitely worth it.” ( :45)

“The question is not who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me. —AYN RAND” ( :46)

“The bidding started, and Tim raised his placard high, beating every other bidder for the first plot of land. For the second auction, he did the same thing, and then again for every other auction that morning. By the end of the morning, Tim had accomplished several different things. First, his arm was sore from holding the placard in the air for two hours. Second, he was now the new owner of 13 plots of land, a total of 22,000 acres, for the rock-bottom price of only $1,700,000. As soon as he paid up, the auctioneer told him, the land was his.” ( :47)

“A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive a car. —KENNETH TYNAN” ( :47)

“People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional. —WARREN BUFFETT” ( :48)

“really matters. It’s like asking, “Would you like a or b?”—without letting you know that c, d, and e are also valid choices.” ( :48)

“Understanding that few opportunities are truly democratic is the first step toward successfully challenging authority. Generally speaking, universities are open to everyone who has mastered the” ( :48)

“skill of taking standardized tests. Churches and religious institutions are open to all who agree to adopt a particular doctrine that defines acceptable and unacceptable beliefs. If a member sways too far from the agreed-upon boundaries, that member will be defined as deviant and will be ostracized by the rest of the group.” ( :49)

“Note that the role of most of these institutions can be turned around to produce positive change as well. Only about 80 percent of my experience in higher education was a waste of time; the other 20 percent was important and useful. Religious institutions can facilitate communities of individuals and groups seeking to understand faith, where open-mindedness is welcomed instead of shunned.” ( :50)

“When someone threatens tradition or asks questions, gatekeepers will appeal to a logic based on history, even if their recollection of history is incorrect.” ( :50)

“The words that come after “Things will be different when . . .” vary depending on the setting. Common words include “older,” “children,” and “responsibility.” When I was young, I heard that things would be different when I was responsible for myself. Before I was married I heard that things would be different with two of us. Now one of the most common statements I hear in this category is “when you have children”—usually in the context of “You won’t be able to travel the way you do when you have kids.” Perhaps that’s true.” ( :51)

“Since I don’t have kids, it’s hard to respond—which is why this kind of straw man argument can be so effective for gatekeepers.” ( :51)

“Malcolm Gladwell showed how underdogs—sports teams that were widely expected to lose, armies with only a tenth of the size of the larger one, and so on—can turn the tables on the “Goliaths” they are matched up against.” ( :51)

“Results of Conventional Warfare” ( :51)

“Authority kicks underdog’s ass, as expected: 71.5% Underdog defeats authority in an upset victory: 28.5%” ( :52)

“Results of Unconventional Warfare Authority kicks underdog’s ass, as expected: 36.5% Underdog defeats authority: 63.6%” ( :52)

“In Gladwell’s article, the alternatives included Lawrence of Arabia choosing to take a roundabout 600-mile journey through the desert to surprise his enemy, the Biblical David declining to wear armor into the battle with Goliath, and an undermatched basketball team using a full-court press to confuse their opponen” ( :52)

“Martin Luther King Jr. famously noted that “nothing Hitler did was illegal in Germany” at the time. Slavery in the United States (and other countries) was not only legal for hundreds of years, but it was actually against the law to help slaves gain their freedom. Same-sex couples still lack the right to marry in many U.S. states and in the vast majority of countries around the world.” ( :52)

“old Chinese proverb in mind: the person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it. Gatekeepers are good at interrupting, so you’ll need to become good at doing the impossible.” ( :53)

“You need passion. You need to be absolutely passionate about what you believe in. If you don’t feel passionate about anything, chances are you haven’t discovered what you’re really good at yet. Keep looking. You need a vision and a task. The vision tells you where you are going; the task tells you what to do next to get there. You need the answers to the two most important questions in the universe. What do you really want to get out of life? How can you help others in a way that no one else can? Once you have the answers, you’ll be ahead of most everyone else. You need commitment to stay the course. Many people give up too early. Can you continue in your quest for 10,000 hours or more? If so, you’re on the right track. Important: What’s the big difference between the things you don’t need and” ( :54)

“WHAT YOU REALLY NEED If you don’t need most of those things, what do you need? You need passion. You need to be absolutely passionate about what you believe in. If you don’t feel passionate about anything, chances are you haven’t discovered what you’re really good at yet. Keep looking. You need a vision and a task. The vision tells you where you are going; the task tells you what to do next to get there. You need the answers to the two most important questions in the universe. What do you really want to get out of life? How can you help others in a way that no one else can? Once you have the answers, you’ll be ahead of most everyone else. You need commitment to stay the course. Many people give up too early. Can you continue in your quest for 10,000 hours or more? If so, you’re on the right track. Important: What’s the big difference between the things you don’t need and the things you do? Most of the things in the first category come from other people. All of the things in the second category are up to you.” ( :54)

PART II
Reclaiming Work

“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: you have no one to blame. —ERICA JONG” ( :56)

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want,” ( :56)

“and all that is left is a compromise. —ROBERT FRITZ” ( :57)

“I think a better statement is: when times are tough, you’d better get creative. A friend of mine likes to say, “I’m sorry you feel bad about not meeting your goals. What I would suggest is that you begin meeting your goals, in order to feel better.”” ( :57)

“Of all of the things that are difficult to accept, this is definitely one of the most difficult of all. Here it is: your own competence is your best security” ( :57)

“The gap between ignorance and knowledge is much less than the gap between knowledge and action. —ANONYMOUS” ( :58)

“• The Denver TV news anchor who was laid off and started a “Yoga at Work” parttime business for the cost of a $9 domain registration. Within six months she was earning $2,000 a month.” ( :58)

“The brick installation company that started when the founder was laid off from a car” ( :58)

“dealership. He took $18 to Barnes & Noble to buy “some kind of business book,” but ended up buying coffee and looking through books in the café. After a rocky start and a difficult partnership, the business brought in more than $150,000 in its third year.” ( :59)

“The “$50 and a bottle of oil” startup that grew to a $6 million business within five years. • The “Retro Razor” project that launched from a Seattle bedroom after the founder ran out of Gillette blades on a trip to Italy (cost: $75.87 for initial inventory). Retro Razor signed up for Amazon.com’s partner program and sales went crazy.” ( :59)

“”Is this what you do all day? What happens when no one is sitting here and opening accounts?” She sighed and said, “Well, there’s . . . research. And sometimes . . . administration. We used to be able to use the Internet during downtimes, but now we’re not allowed.”” ( :59)

“Allan’s next experiment led to a temporary move to Paris with his wife and three daughters. “I wanted my kids to see another place without just taking them on a whirl-wind trip,” he said. “Would we kill each other in a city apartment? Would we go crazy from having to navigate in a place where we didn’t speak the language?”” ( :60)

“Over and over I hear from employees at stable companies like Google and Microsoft, who begin a long message by saying, “I feel guilty because my friends think I have it made, but I don’t like what I’m doing.” I don’t think these people are ungrateful; if you don’t enjoy the place where you spend most of your waking hours, I don’t see how you have it made. Allan’s story is a good example of someone who was able to reclaim his independence without completely going off on his own.” ( :60)

“To avoid competing with hundreds of peers who all looked good on paper, Susan had to change the rules and make her own game. Instead of job-hunting, she decided to go “boss-hunting.” She set up a website describing the project, where she posted her CV and background, explained what kind of role 11 she was looking for, and invited prospective bosses to apply.” ( :61)

“What I do have is a history of survival through self-employment, by any means necessary.” ( :61)

“I’ve heard it said that an entrepreneur is someone who will work 24 hours a day for themselves to avoid working one hour a day for someone else.” ( :61)

“The lesson I learned was that you can come back from anything. Even if your supplier disappears off the map and you are 5,000 miles away, a creative entrepreneur has to be able to patch things together somehow. No one else can be bear the blame, or the responsibility for the comeback.” ( :63)

“Don’t just escape from something; escape to something” ( :64)

“Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out. —MARK TWAIN” ( :65)

“My undergraduate career was relatively undistinguished, aside from two things. First, I skipped high school to go straight into college. I wasn’t a genius or kid wonder—I was just bored with high school and not good at following rules. After one disastrous year and one decent year where I was awarded the prize for “Most Improved Student,” I decided to consider the award as a diploma and just didn’t go back for the third or fourth year.” ( :65)

“The dumbest people I know are those who know it all. —MALCOLM FORBES” ( :65)

“straight A’s for the major I would eventually stick with (Sociology), and several C’s and D’s from the classes I simply gave up on.” ( :66)

“In a flurry of registration, I signed up for more and more classes each quarter—at the university, at the community college, at a second community college, and by correspondence with another university a few hours away. Taking as many as 40 credit hours one term, I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees right at the end of my second year. My friends from the brief time I had spent at high school were just completing their freshman year.” ( :66)

“but I also don’t have any illusions that I learned much in the way of actual content from the courses. Instead, I learned how to bluff my way through exams, how to quickly memorize (and quickly forget), and how to make myself look good. These are important skills in college and life, no doubt, but they can also be a hindrance on creating anything of lasting value.” ( :66)

“My theory was that the lack of test results accompanied by a good story was better than mediocre test results accompanied by a traditional application. By some miracle, the gamble paid off and I was accepted —and awarded a “Top Scholar” $2,000 prize, which I thought was ironic but happily accepted.” ( :67)

“After the first quarter, though, I figured a few things out. Once again, I registered for the maximum number of credits and started writing my thesis a year early. I finished two quarters later with a 3.8 GPA and the chance to continue toward a PhD, but at that point I was ready to move on.” ( :67)

“I was faced with a decision to either continue my education with the PhD program on the East Coast or stay in the Pacific Northwest and focus on writing. I chose the writing, and I’ll show you why here.” ( :67)

“MA thesis was read by a grand total of three people. Each of them said nice things about it, but the audience was extremely limited. By contrast, an online manifesto I published around the same time was downloaded (and presumably read, or at least glanced at) by more than 100,000 people in the first six months of publication.” ( :67)

“I also became a member of the LifeRemix network, a small group of personal development and productivity authors. Among others, the group includes popular sites by Gretchen Rubin (Happiness Project) and Leo Babauta (Zen Habits), which allows me to associate with some of the most widely recognized authors in my industry. Within the LifeRemix network, I have exactly 21 peers, nearly all of whom have become personal friends. Being in a group of 22, or even a group of 3,000, is a lot more influential than being in a group consisting of 9 percent of the U.S. population.” ( :69)

“THE ONE-YEAR, SELF-DIRECTED, ALTERNATIVE GRADUATE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE” ( :71)

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. —RALPH NADER” ( :74)

“The price of greatness is responsibility. —WINSTON CHURCHILL” ( :75)

“Before you do anything else, you’re going to need a platform where you can address your small army. At the battle of Agincourt, the army of Henry V was able to defeat the French despite being vastly outnumbered. According to Shakespeare, the rout began after King Henry jumped up on the back of a hay cart to make an impromptu platform for an inspiring message. Despite fighting in the mud against an army five times larger, the “band of brothers” won a lopsided victory in large part because of King Henry’s creative use of a platform to speak to the troops.” ( :77)

“Your message should be “Come join me. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. There are other people who see the world in a similar way.”” ( :78)

“Putting forward controversial opinions from time to time will also help you gain a following and filter out prospects who aren’t a good match. There’s an old joke about the president who asks for a one-armed economist because he is tired of his advisors giving their opinion and then saying, “Well, on the other hand.” The point is that refusing to present a real opinion is always the safe road. Instead,” ( :78)

“take the road of risk by taking a stand.” ( :79)

“Motivation comes in three forms: inspiration, education, and entertainment. When deciding how to train your army, you’ll need to choose from these three forms or create your own combination of them, based on who you are and what your goals are. A combination of two or three forms of motivation is usually best, but of the three, inspiration is the one that will keep your army coming back. This is where you as an individual have an advantage over large companies or other organizations: you can be yourself. You can show the failures and successes on a personal level. Leo Babauta has done this to near perfection on his popular blog Zen Habits, where he writes about simplicity and goal-setting. In less than a year, Leo built a subscriber base of more than 100,000 avid readers and became a full-time blogger.” ( :79)

“Perhaps most interestingly of all, the people known by your followers may end up being more helpful than the people you know directly. This is because of the social phenomenon known as the “strength of weak ties.”” ( :81)

“Strong Ties = People you know directly Weak Ties = People known to your network (friends of friends)” ( :81)

“A core group of about 800 subscribers typically responds to the call for help, contributing a range of amounts from very small ($5 to $10) to $250 or more, with $50 being the average.” ( :83)

“Presented with the compelling story and a way to help, Scott’s small army of nightclub contacts came through. Relying primarily on volunteers and a few staff members funded by grants, Scott built Charity: Water to a $5 million organization in less than three years. The organization’s volunteer board of directors is responsible for paying Scott’s salary and funding the administrative costs of the organization, while Charity: Water continues to give 100 percent of its income directly to field partners.” ( :84)

“Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said something that has been repeated in graduation ceremonies ever since: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”” ( :85)

“To state the obvious, personal finance is personal. Just as you shouldn’t let anyone else determine your goals and values, you should also seek to maintain control over your own financial priorities. More than almost any other aspect of identity, if you don’t have clarity of purpose over how you view the role of money in your life, you’ll likely end up going along with what other people do.” ( :87)

“You might as well understand exactly how much you need, how much you’d like to have, and what you’ll do with it when you get it. As for me, I’ve made as little as $8,000 a year as a student (and then about $12,000 a year as an aid worker), and as much as $250,000 a year as an entrepreneur during a couple of good years. I can tell you from experience that my happiness level was not significantly different when comparing the $8,000 years and the $250,000 years. Some 16 things are certainly easier with a lot of money, but other things become more difficult.” ( :87)

“o take one estimate, after a person earns around $40,000 a year, the” ( :87)

“amount of happiness doesn’t increase very much. The goal is to know where you fall on the money and happiness scale, so you can then plan your life accordingly.” ( :88)

“1. I happily exchange money for things I truly value. 2. As much as possible, I don’t exchange money for things I don’t value. 3. All things being equal, I value life experiences more than physical possessions. 4. Investing in others is at least as important as my own long-term savings.” ( :88)

“I’m adamantly opposed to exchanging money for things I don’t value. In my case, I don’t feel the need to have a car, and I purposely relocated to a city where public transit is affordable and reliable. I also spend only about $100 to $200 a year on new clothes.” ( :88)

“my decision not to pay $2 to ride the bus home from an appointment one day doesn’t allow me to buy a $4,000 round-the-world plane ticket.” ( :89)

“What if you save for 40 years, putting off all kinds of opportunities, then get hit by a bus the day before retirement? Better to plan for the future while also living in the present.” ( :89)

“For years I stated my preference for renting instead of owning a home, and it was clear from the conversations that I was almost always in the minority.” ( :89)

“To get serious about saving, focus on increasing income more than cutting expenses. This is because cutting expenses is essentially a scarcity behavior, whereas increasing income is essentially an abundance behavior.” ( :89)

“Financial experts love to argue about these things, but the consensus allows for a 4 percent” ( :90)

“withdrawal rate on your total financial assets every year. This means that to achieve wealth-based financial independence, you’ll need to save roughly 25 times your expected annual expenses. For example, to be able to safely withdraw $40,000 per year, you’d need to amass $1,000,000 in savings. For $100,000, you’d need to have $2.5 million. You’ll also need to account for expected inflation, since $40,000 now won’t be worth the same $40,000 years later.” ( :91)

“Instead of trying to accumulate wealth (all the money you have in an investment account), you think primarily about increasing and diversifying income.” ( :91)

“If you live in poverty, you don’t have the luxury to make as many choices—or to put it another way, those who are poor have very little freedom.” ( :92)

“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. —EDMUND BURKE” ( :92)

“It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. —KIN HUBBARD” ( :93)

“I’d really love to see what Chris’s life is like when he’s too old to work. I hope all his” ( :93)

“memories of traveling the world and giving his money away comfort him when he’s eating dog food in a shared-living facility for the indigent.” ( :94)

“Let’s close this chapter with the words of D. H. Lawrence: “Life is something to be spent, not saved.” I agree.” ( :94)

“Hugh MacLeod, full-time artist and author of Ignore Everybody, explained it like this: “If you want to make a lot of people hate you, all you need to do is make a lot of money doing something you love.” You could also replace “make a lot of money” with a number of other phrases that reflect success: “… all you need to do is have a lot of fun …” “… all you need to do is help a lot of people …” “… all you need to do is be better than everyone else …”” ( :94)

“Their worldview comes from a perspective of scarcity, where winning and losing is viewed as a zero-sum game. Just” ( :94)

“because you’re winning does not require someone else to lose, but not everyone understands that.” ( :95)

“People who possess self-confidence and focus are often labeled as arrogant by those who lack both qualities. According to the scarcity perspective, winners are viewed with suspicion because they “must have” taken something from someone else on their rise to the top. It’s easier to bring winners down a notch than it is to rise to their level.” ( :95)

“”Great spirits have always been violently oppressed by mediocre minds,” reported Albert Einstein,” ( :95)

“”Lance Armstrong is embarrassing the tour.”—Head of the Tour de France on Lance’s return in 2009 “Coldplay is the most insufferable band of the decade.”—New York Times’ Jon Pareles “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”—Decca Recording Company, rejecting the Beatles in 1962 “The grotesque scribblings of a child have a naiveté, a sincerity which make one smile, but the excesses of this school sicken or disgust.”—Emile Cardon on Monet, Renoir, and the other Impressionists” ( :95)

PART III
The Power of Convergence

“Every man dies; not every man really lives. —WILLIAM WALLACE” ( :97)

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. —ALBERT EINSTEIN” ( :98)

“He identified what he really wanted and ordered his life around that.” ( :98)

“Ambition is not a vice of little people. —MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE” ( :98)

“If you’ve ever come back tired from a vacation, if you’ve ever used the phrase “working for the weekend,” or if you’ve ever wondered about the elusive life/work balance idea, maybe it’s time to think more about convergence.” ( :98)

“convergence is the state of being where everything in our lives is in alignment.” ( :98)

“To achieve convergence, two separate (but related) activities are required: saying goodbye to unnecessary tasks, obligations, and expectations—then welcoming in a wide range of other things that enrich our lives.” ( :98)

“you’ll need to be fairly determined, because there will be no shortage of distractions that crop up every day. These distractions include: • The 3,000 marketing messages that most of us take in every day • Busywork given to you by others or that you create for yourself • Unnecessary obligations or responsibilities • Social norms and widely held beliefs about work and time (the belief that you must work a certain number of hours each day, for example—without considering what actually gets accomplished during that time)” ( :99)

“Asking two questions—”Why should I do this?” and “What will happen if I don’t?”—will clarify a great many responsibilities for you.” ( :99)

“”Will the world end if I don’t do this? Will someone die?” Assuming the answer is no, you can safely place the commitment in the unnecessary column.” ( :99)

“You may even need to devote extended periods of time to what I call “radical exclusion,” or shutting out absolutely anything that serves as a distraction from your key priorities.” ( :99)

“”Think Weeks,” where twice a year he would shut out all distractions and head into a room of reading material for several days at a time. An aide would bring in grilled cheese sandwiches and diet soda twice a day, and Gates would plot the future of Microsoft’s world domination strategy. At the time, he was the richest person in the world and the active CEO of Microsoft, so if he could find the time to back away from the world, I humbly suggest that you and I can do so as well. In fact, I’d suggest a correlation between Gates’s radical exclusion and his success.” ( :100)

“Fair warning: when you choose to limit inputs and withdraw from social requests, not everyone will understand this behavior. Some people may get frustrated with you. Meanwhile, you’ll be getting more done and doing more things that you like than all of them.” ( :100)

“To address the concern, he started a personal “100 things challenge.” For at least one year, David committed to living with only 100 items in his possession. Since David’s 100 things challenge was his own, he made his own rules. “Books” counted as one item even though he had a substantial library, and “socks” and “underwear” counted as one item each even though he kept several sets of each.” ( :101)

“J. D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly fame made a similar rule with his personal wardrobe. One January he moved all of his clothes out of the hall closet and into a guest room closet. Whenever he got something out of the guest room closet to wear, he moved it back into the hall closet. Over the course of a year, most of his favorite clothes made it back to the original closet, but there were still a lot of items remaining in the guest room. The rule was that if he hadn’t worn anything in a year, he would donate it to a thrift store.” ( :101)

“I know that I probably can’t change their behavior, but there’s a chance they’ll influence me to be more negative than I’d like, just by my being around them.” ( :102)

“His answer is that he doesn’t watch TV and doesn’t go to meetings, so that gives him four to five more hours a day than most people have.” ( :102)

“At the end of the day, I want to be tired—not from a grind of tasks that leave me with a feeling of “What did I really do today?” but with a sense of wow.” ( :104)

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ( :104)

“When I’m not traveling, I try to take a Sabbath day every week from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. During that time I’ll be 90 percent offline, which means I may log on to read the weekend newspapers, but I won’t be hitting my email or working. Otherwise, any time for work or fun is fair game.” ( :104)

“• Say no to things you would do only out of obligation.” ( :105)

“• Say no to things you would do only out of obligation. • Perform an instant gut check: yes or no? If you have a bad feeling about something, say no. If you feel slightly intimidated but also excited, say yes.” ( :105)

“Let’s embrace more of life, not less. Balanced people don’t change the world, and I’d rather spend my time feeling worn out from meaningful activities and projects.” ( :105)

“Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. —EUDORA WELTY” ( :107)

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. —ANONYMOUS” ( :108)

“The trips were physically hard but emotionally stimulating. I was regularly asked for bribes, I learned to speak French while being detained at the presidential mansion in Guinea, and I had to fend off malarial mosquitoes while sleeping in missionary guesthouses on the beach at night. I didn’t love the mosquitoes, but everything else was enthralling” ( :108)

“During the first year, I went to places as varied as Burma, Egypt, Kosovo, Moldova, and Uganda. The more I traveled, the more comfortable I became, and the more I learned about what I call “travel hacking”—my system of using round-the-world fares, a big stash of frequent flyer miles, and other tricks to bring the cost of my trips down to around $400 per flight anywhere in the world.” ( :109)

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. —ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON” ( :109)

“work toward creating your desired lifestyle. I’m selfemployed but not independently wealthy, and I don’t have any unfair advantage that isn’t obtainable to most of the people who will read this book.” ( :110)

“eb developer Cody McKibben took this approach when he moved to Bangkok, Thailand. He bought a ticket from California, received a 90-day visa upon arrival at the airport, and said to himself, “Great! I’ve got three months to figure out what I’m going to do.” His apartment, which he displayed on YouTube to the amazement of his friends in California, cost a bit more than $200 a month.” ( :111)

“My kind of travel is not about sightseeing or visiting museums. A lot of the questions I’m asked in travel interviews are rudimentary. What kind of backpack do I use? None. What’s the weirdest thing I’ve eaten? I’m vegetarian, so a lot of the “weird” things are off-limits for me. What’s my favorite country? I don’t have just one, but among others, I really like South Africa, Hong Kong, Macedonia, Jordan, and Chile.” ( :112)

“Because I could be anywhere, I try to accommodate the other person’s schedule when working on a group project. In Kuwait I slept from midnight to 4 a.m., woke up for a conference call via Skype, then went for a run along the seashore before going back to bed for the rest of the morning. (If you’re going to run in Kuwait, where the temperature can be more than 120 degrees during the day, 4 a.m. is a good time to do it.)” ( :112)

“• Once you earn elite status with one airline, you can request a “status match” from several others to become a high-fl yer on every major airline alliance. (Just be careful, because some airlines only allow one status match per lifetime.)” ( :113)

“To negate this advantage, use Google to search for “Priceline winning hotel bids” to find several sites that list the hidden information. I’ve used this strategy to stay at the Brussels Marriott for $60 (usually $240), the Prague Sheraton for $45 (usually $195), and many other nice hotels all over the world.” ( :113)

“When redeeming frequent fl yer miles, you can request rewards on partner airlines, and the value is often better than on the domestic carrier. I’ve used partner rewards to go to Mongolia (Korean Airlines, booked with Delta SkyMiles), Kuwait (Qatar Airways, booked with American Express points), and dozens of other places.” ( :114)

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase “to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy.” The need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution. —STEPHEN COVEY” ( :115)

“as I began my new life in Seattle, you’d hear about it within a few minutes of our introduction. Yes, I knew the president of Liberia, and did I mention that Desmond Tutu and I had coffee together one afternoon in Cape Town, South Africa? If not, I’d make sure you heard about it before too long.” ( :116)

“many challenging and fulfilling experiences I had during that time. But I gradually came to realize that in a lot of ways, I’d have to leave that time behind and go on to something else.” ( :116)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. —ALBERT EINSTEIN” ( :116)

“But there comes another time, not too long after the glory days have ended, that we need to put them aside and move on to something else. If those life experiences were really so great, shouldn’t they provide the motivation for greater challenges? What could the future be like if we applied the lessons we learned and went on to something else that was even better?” ( :117)

“Since my glory days were so transformative, I’d better make sure I find a way to have more of them somehow.”” ( :117)

“Let’s return to the two important questions we looked at briefly earlier: “What do you really want to get out of life?” and “What can you offer the world that no one else can?” Whatever your answers to those questions are, you can likely find the beginnings of your quest to live a full life and make the world a better place for others.” ( :117)

“According to Frankl, we find this meaning in one of two ways: “creating a work or doing a deed, or by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.”” ( :118)

“Sometimes you need to reject a number of other, reasonably good choices to create a legacy project.” ( :118)

“To change is difficult. Not to change is fatal. —ANONYMOUS” ( :118)

“• Vision—how will the world be different because of the project? • Beneficiaries—who will benefit from the project? • Primary Method or Medium—how will you do the work? • Output—what will be produced as a result of your work? • Metrics—how will success be measured?” ( :119)

“Vision: To empower people to live unconventional, remarkable lives Beneficiaries: A group of at least 100,000 passionate individuals who want to live differently and change the world Primary Method or Medium: Writing (I also create multimedia products and do some limited in-person events) Output: At least two articles each week, one book per year, regular guest columns, 300,000 annual total words (more on this in a moment) Metrics: Emails23 Site Visitors/Subscribers/Page Views/Social Networking Stats/Nice” ( :119)

“falls into a category of bad work, good work, or great work. We all know we should cut out the bad work as much as possible, but the key distinction is the difference between good work and great work.” ( :119)

“While most good work is comforting, great work is simultaneously comforting and discomforting because it pushes us to go further. What Michael calls great work, I call legacy work. The goal” ( :119)

“im tracks the rolling average of these three numbers, with the goal of spending at least 50 percent of his time on research and writing, an additional 30 percent on teaching, and the final 20 percent on the remaining catch-all category.” ( :120)

“7 to 10 days, he says, he can still teach and do tasks that fall into the “other” category, but he can’t easily create—the most important category of work. Jim maintains this discipline despite many invitations to speak and consult for large sums of money. Instead of going strictly where the money is, Jim accepts only 18 invitations a year, nearly a third of which he provides for free to non-profit organizations. Jim is addicted to living with intensity and building a legacy that will far outlast his 24 life span. Along with coffee (well, at least I think so), this is a good addiction to have.” ( :120)

“Become upset about an email thread and spend 30 minutes crafting an elegant reply (bonus points for using passive-aggressive language).” ( :121)

“Cre ate a continual metric for your most important work. In addition to the ongoing commitment to write for my blog readers, I write a newspaper column, weekly posts on several other sites, guest posts for other blogs, freelance articles for travel and business magazines, and lengthy reports that are” ( :121)

“for sale in my Unconventional Guides business.” ( :122)

“Accounting for Sabbath days and occasional missed days, this allows me to generate an annual output of 300,000 written words—about 100 blog posts, 20 newspaper columns, 20 guest articles for various outlets, 3 information products, and 1 book each year.” ( :122)

“If you’re young and just getting started, good for you. Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your age.” ( :122)

CONCLUSION
Dangerous Ideas

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-itsafers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. —SIR CECIL BEATON” ( :124)

“One can resist the invasion of an army, but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas. —VICTOR HUGO” ( :125)

“I used to work with a church leadership team that was divided on the issue of hiring staff members versus enabling more volunteers to step up and take responsibility. Those who advocated hiring more paid staff argued that without compensation, no one would be willing to help on a consistent basis. The opposing view was that much of the work of the church should be done by volunteers anyway, and if you asked the right people to be responsible for specific, clearly defined tasks, the volunteers would work harder than someone who was paid.” ( :125)

“ou may already be familiar with the classic “Shackleton” example used to illustrate this point. Ernest Shackleton, who led numerous expeditions to Antarctica in the early twentieth century, famously posted a recruitment flyer with the following statement: Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” ( :125)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.” ( :125)

“Be daring, be different. In choosing to live a remarkable life, failure is a real possibility, but regrets are completely optional. If one plan doesn’t work out, you can try something else—but if you never try, you’ll go to your grave with your song still in you, as Henry David Thoreau wrote long ago. Be impractical. You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. Most inventions were judged to be impractical at first glance. In the history of the world, provocative ideas that challenged authority were rarely welcomed by the people who controlled access to power and wealth. Assert integrity against the play-it-safers and slaves of the ordinary. The world has enough sleepwalkers and cynics; the rest of us need your help. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the path of my own unconventional journey. What I have refused to do is settle, and I hope you won’t settle either. Taking the road less traveled is a good start, but you can also build your own road. I hope to see you out there when our roads intersect, somewhere, sometime. It’s your turn now.” ( :127)

“Someone once unsubscribed from my blog and left a note that said, “Thanks for everything, but I need to go it alone now.” I don’t like losing readers, but I instinctively understood what that person meant.” ( :128)


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