Guillebeau’s Brief Guide to World Domination

by Megan M. on December 30, 2008 · 6 comments (Blog) |

This afternoon I read Chris Guillebeau’s A Brief Guide to World Domination: How to Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World. I strongly suggest downloading the PDF from the link he provides, and reading it. Right now. (Or, you know. Soon.)

Here’s my notes redux…

  • You don’t have to do what other people say you have to do.
  • There’s no point in saving your crazy for close friends. Tell everybody. (The polarization effect is incredibly liberating… and revealing.)
  • I know a disturbing number of unremarkably average people. I guess you do too. I am alarmed and dissatisfied with this realization. Let’s print this book out and give them a copy. Deal?
  • Working backwards, and my life’s “set point”. I have always speculated on working backwards, but it sometimes takes time to pin down the thing you really want (and sometimes that thing will change). It occurred to me while reading (thanks, Chris!) that working backwards can very much be like changing your life’s “set point”—having the life you want and being unwilling to give it back, so therefore making all the right things happen that allow you to keep it. Think about where you are right now. Where I am now, I would find living without a computer completely unacceptable. And I have 3+ computers in my life that prove I’m capable of making sure I get to live that way, regardless of financial circumstances and whathaveyou. Tons of people who are perfectly happy live without computers. What if I found living without a yacht completely unacceptable? Interesting train of thought.
  • Ignore anyone who tells you that you can’t have both. I don’t care what “both” refers to. They’re wrong.

  • “The world is in short supply of truth-tellers.” Chris says, and I agree: The world is desperate for the simple truth. This man is not putting you on. We are lied to so much. The truth is bent and slanted and side-stepped in so many different ways, every moment of our lives. Our entire culture is built on a system that rewards conformity rather than truth. If you’re willing to tell the truth—for real—you’re ahead of the game. That is so, so important. Wake up, y’all.
  • He was talking about gatekeepers, and all I could think of was college. In college I was constantly coming up against some rule or customary practice that was different than what I wanted to do. This is how you proceed in higher education. This is how you become well-known as a singer. This is how you advance your career. This is how you go on to sing in an opera house. This is how you build your website, this is how you dress, this is how you talk. It’s bullshit, guys. I have tremendous respect for the people who have made their careers following those rules, but it’s still bullshit. There is more than one right way to do anything in the world. I promise. Do NOT let them tell you otherwise.
  • It’s everywhere. Kill it with fire. So many people think the rules have to be followed, even when they’re convinced they’re not actually following them. It’s embedded into our upbringing, into everything we encounter. This kind of thinking is so brainwashingly prevalent that it’s a shock to the system when someone pulls out of it. All you have to do is be brave. All you have to do is push. And because most people don’t… you’re suddenly in the front, making waves.

Just… do something. Stop talking about it and try. When you stop just talking and start doing things, you’ll be amazed at what begins to happen. Your whole life changes.

Go read this book. It’s short. It’s easy. It will take almost no effort (and Chris writes awesomely). Spend half an hour and improve your entire life.

  • Betsy Wuebker

    Isn’t it a great piece of work? I loved it! We affiliated with his Unconventional Guide series, too. Very smart and a fellow Triiiber.

  • Greg Digneo

    Great piece! Thanks for the notes. Happy New Year!

  • ps_pirro

    Megan, I downloaded this book a month or so ago and have read it twice so far and will read it again and again…. yes yes yes to all you write and then some. Here’s to an outrageous, screw-the-rules life.

    xox, peggy

  • Nick

    ohhh!! now this sounds good.

    i’m going to glance.


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