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11 March 2013

Monday Motivation: The Art of Non-Conformity

Last month one of my goals was to be more intentional with the media that I consume. To only spend my time on things that truly add value to my life - even if that value comes in the form of how hilarious I find videos of cats ringing doorbells... (Sidenote: have you seen this? ITS TRYING TO GET IN LIKE A PERSON) Back to the point though, when I set this I meant it to be mostly about the Internet - I wanted to spend less time aimlessly surfing, less time on the computer in general and more time doing things I really enjoyed. Like reading, for example.

Reading is something that I always find myself doing a lot less of when I'm at Uni - partly deliberately but mostly accidently. The thing is, when I get stuck into a really good book I become physically inseparable from said book/kindle until I've finished it. Which is rarely a good thing when I have work to do, because it goes something like this..."Hey look, time for a break - think I'll read a chapter of my book" then 4 hours later the book is finished and I've done no work. Or I force myself to wait until I go to bed and then spend all night reading. I just can't help it. Its a problem, okay? So I end up reading 'fluff' - books that I don't particularly dislike, I just don't like them enough to get really involved. But who wants to read a mediocre book? Not me. No siree. 

So in solution to the 'I want to read good books but I don't want to fail my degree either' dilemma, I've been reading quite a few non-fiction books recently. I don't get as 'involved' in them but I still really enjoy them & I get a lot out of them. On Saturday night I started reading 'The Art of Non-Conformity' by Chris Guillebeau,   I wasn't really too sure what to expect - I read Chris' blog because he's trying to visit every country in the world & I think that's a pretty amazing thing to do - but I didn't really have any idea of what the book was about. 

Turns out it is exactly what I need to be reading right now. This stuff is magic. I'm almost half-way through it & its been a real thought provoker. If you're a little unsure what you want to do with your life, if you're feeling like you're being pushed in all the wrong directions or you want to go in a completely unexpected direction but are worried about it then I really do recommend giving this a go. I'll probably (maybe) write about this again when I've finished it, but for now I'll leave you with my favourite passage so far...

"When you were a kid and wanted to do something your parents or teachers didn't like, you may have heard the question "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. 

Its 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 expectation, 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?"

Motivation Mondays is a series where I share images, quotes, videos or whatever else I find that really gets my brain going and/or my creative juices flowing. Being on a motivation/inspiration high is such a beautiful feeling and I want to really push myself to discover it every. single. week.  Ideally every day, but no-one's that positive, right?! 

11 comments:

  1. That is great advise and so true! I may look that book up. I'm defiantly in a "in between" time in my life! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I've had this on my Amazon wishlist for a while - the pile of books on my bedside table tells me I shouldn't buy it but since you say it's so good, I might treat myself and save it for later! :)

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  3. Sounds like just the book I need at the moment! During my degree I ended up reading hardly any books that I actually enjoyed either!

    Lauren x

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  4. this is a brilliant idea! I'm finding the motivation to blog very difficult to maintain at the moment with work.. I have noticed that I've started reading a lot more lately! The book sounds great! I've heard mixed reviews though, but you'll have to let me know how you find it


    Hannah xx

    Ps. thanks for your comment! I love your blog and just added you to GFC :) Looking forward to you keeping me motivated on a Mon from now on too!

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  5. this is a brilliant idea! I'm finding the motivation to blog very difficult to maintain at the moment with work.. I have noticed that I've started reading a lot more lately! The book sounds great! I've heard mixed reviews though, but you'll have to let me know how you find it


    Hannah xx

    Ps. thanks for your comment! I love your blog and just added you to GFC :) Looking forward to you keeping me motivated on a Mon from now on too!

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  6. One of the best books Ive read in a while. Just buy it, you won't regret it. Do It Now.

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  7. I love that thought - why follow everyone else jumping off the cliff? It doesn't make any sense to do so.

    Thank you, I needed to read that right now.
    x

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  8. I like this a LOT. I think he's got it spot on- now I'm in the working world, I really feel like I have to try to conform to what other people expect me to be. Which is RUBBISH! I'm definitely going to make sure I do what I want a bit more from now. x

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  9. Oh wow this sounds great, maybe I'll give it a go. I never read much for fun at uni because I was so sick of reading for essays! Recently I've been back into it in a big way. My friend did a year of just reading non fiction, which is a bit extreme but the idea is a good one, maybe less time! xxx

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  10. This looks like a really interesting book. I have just read his book called "$100 startup" which was interesting. I might give this one a try too.

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  11. Motivation Mondays is a great idea for a series - always good to see something a bit unexpected I wouldn't necessarily find on other blogs!
    Also, I'm a huge fan of non-fiction books (I genuinely can't remember the last fiction book I read despite the fact I read daily!) so always good to hear about interesting titles!

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