Tag Archives: liberate yourself

Nonconformists – We Merry Followers

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.

~Bill Vaughn

I’m a fan of getting out of the traditional lifestyle.

Quit the 9 to 5

Escape payday

Work from anywhere

Liberate yourself

Finance your freedom

But when does all this freedom and liberation become it’s own band of merry followers?

Are you a follower?

In our nonconformist bubble it’s easy to fall into a Guru follower mentality where we find our savior in nonconformity and fall in line behind them.  Whether it’s Timothy Ferriss, Leo Babauta, Chris Guillebeau, Clay Collins or others (there are many possible gurus to pick and choose from).

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

~Buddha

Three artists of nonconformity who stand out from the crowd for me are Clay Collins, Jonathan Mead and Chris Guillebeau.  They cut to the chase and don’t let you run blindly behind them.

Chris runs The Art of Nonconformity and is a world traveler who has always been self-employed.  He has become a full time writer in less than a year and the products he sells are accessibly priced and genuinely designed to help. He offers two exceptional e-books free, the latest documenting his transition to becoming a full time writer in 279 Days to Overnight Success.

Jonathan Mead is a name that I see coming up over and over again recently.  His own blog, Illuminated Mind, runs counter to a lot of lifestyle and unconventional life blogs.  My favorite post of his lately is Non-Conformity, My Ass; or Why We’re All A Bunch of Posers.  Read Jonathan.  He’s bursting the bubble for us.

Clay Collins is one person that has been great to interact with and learn from.  One thing that sets Clay apart from other liberation artists and internet marketers is the directness of his advice.  It is occasionally harsh but it is advice from the right place.  Latest kick in the ass: It IS Your Fault.  Clay works hard and expects you to do the same.

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!

~Monty Python

Make sure you aren’t just collecting swords.

When you undertake a lifestyle choice make sure you take the time to examine it in the context of your own life.  What may work for Tim Ferriss in automation might not work with your particular ethic in life.

The most successful liberation artists spend a time analyzing their lives and systems, deconstructing methodologies and finding the roots from which to grow their own process.

A follower accepts systems blindly and without question.

A liberation artist deconstructs systems and uses what works for them.

It’s easy to follow someone you respect.

It’s hard to say no to someone you respect.

Make sure you know what you’re getting into when you start down a deliberate life.  Make sure that each step is deliberate and chosen by you.

How To Lose A Scarf (or all of it)

My advice to you today is:

Cut out the crap that holds you back.

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and I lost one of the most important things I owned. It wasn’t much in terms of money but to replace it emotionally is nearly impossible.

It was a scarf. More precisely a pashmina that I folded over and over into a scarf which faded from light pink to mauve. It was given to me by an ex-girlfriend as a reminder of her when I got kicked out of Canada. I wore it nearly everyday (minus the scorchers in NYC) and it became a sort of signature for me amongst my friends.

Carl and his mauve scarf.

While I was in Montreal someone (mistakenly I hope) took it.

I scoured the dance studio, the bar I had been at, the restaurant I had been at before that, and I couldn’t find it. I became incredibly upset. I would use the word fuming.

In honest opinion I felt naked without it. It had become as much a part of me as my tattoo.

I have recently written on overcoming adversity and sometimes it’s hard to follow your own advice on these things. The easiest thing to follow was to allow myself to actually feel that disconnect from a part of me. It hurt and made me angry.

The next day, a friend handed me a different scarf, orange and sans emotional attachment, and I felt warm again.  It is still winter in Montreal till May sometimes.

In addition to the comfort of having a scarf wrapped around my neck, the loss of this emotionally laden object finally cut me free from a year of guilt. I had held on to the scarf as I had held on to the relationship.  With the scarf gone the residual pain and resentment I held over myself dissipated.

So my advice to you again:

Let go of the objects which hold you back from fully living today. Whether it was a mauve scarf like mine or something else, let it go, feel the pain and become free.