How to Be a Non-Conformist & Live Life on Your Terms

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We all let the opinions of others and of society hold us back to a certain degree. Why does this matter though? If you’re looking to live a bold and unique life, it’s critical to understand this concept and figure out how to make independent decisions.

Here’s a breakdown of the best resources on how to live life on your terms and to block out the voices of others.

1. My Favorite Three Quotes About Non-Conformity:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  – Steve Jobs

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

2. Understanding the Dynamics of Social Conformity

I previously wrote: “As much as we all try to claim that we make independent decisions and are our own person, the truth is that we are bound by the rules of the society we grow up in. We naturally conform to the community around us because humans want to be accepted by their “tribe.”

This tendency is biological and dates back to when humans lived in small communities and fitting in with your community meant survival.”

And nowhere is this concept more obvious than in random social experiments such as the one below.

3. My Favorite Three Videos About Being Non-Conformist:

4. How To Change The Way You View Risk

Read my blog post, A College Dropout’s Process For Evaluating Life’s “Riskiest” Decisions.

5. My Favorite Books On Non-Conformity

1. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

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.”

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is my favorite book: a fictional story about carving out your own path in life.

3. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

My second favorite book: a 750-page story about an architect in NYC who lives an individualistic life.

4. The Biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is one of the best examples that you can live by your own rules and achieve outsized success in life.

6. My Favorite Life Improvement Resource by Brian Johnson is my favorite overall life improvement resource by far. If you’re looking to rebuild how you view yourself and life, I highly recommend this resource.

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully, this is helpful to you on your journey! Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me if you want to discuss any of this further.

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I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.