The Art of Non-Conformity

Over the weekend, I had the chance to attend the Madison stop of author/blogger Chris Guillebeau's 50 state, "Unconventional Book Tour". I had the chance to grab a copy of his book and listen to him speak about the advantages of living a non-conventional life.

Here are the main takeaways I learned from Chris.

Pursue meaningful adventure over efficiency
All too often, we focus on checking off tasks and getting a certain amount of work done. While efficiency is not a bad thing per se, don't overlook other opportunities at it's expense. Instead, seek out meaningful adventure. Chris epitomizes this principle with his goal to visit all 192 countries before his 35th birthday.

Leave a legacy
We should not only seek to leave something behind, but focus our efforts on what we can contribute that will help make the world a better place. We should ask ourselves what we can offer that no one else can.

Follow a passion that resonates with others too
Frequently we hear that we should follow something that we are passionate about. But a sometimes forgotten caveat to that is to select something that others are passionate about as well. You may love watching TV on the couch, but if you can't sustain yourself doing this or make a positive contribution, it may not be the best choice for you. This principle reminds me of the Hedgehog Concept.

It's not too late
With the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and hundreds of other amazing ideas that have spread throughout the Internet, it is easy to think that we have missed the boat and that we are too late to make our mark. The response to this is that we can always make a difference in world and we shouldn't let late timing prevent us from trying. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone can make an impact.