The Art of Non-Conformity

Thinking differently, questioning assumptions, and living a life of grateful adventure

There's No Such Place as Far Away

Discontent is the fuel for transformation.

This month I’ve been talking to people from all over the world, beginning the outlining and research for a new book. It’s a long process and I have a long way to go. Nevertheless, a few observations are slowly coming through.

Observation #1: Discontent is the fuel for transformation.

Whether you talk to someone who has sold everything they owned to walk the earth, or to someone who changed the way they make dinner for their family, the roots of the transition are very similar.

Everyone says the same thing, and it always relates to discontent.

I was stuck in a rut and needed a change.

I always believed there was more to life.

The idea kept pressing on me until I could no longer ignore it.

In big and small ways, we all want to escape routine and find a new way of life. We want to change it up and live adventurously.

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When we experience the discontent, we don’t have to respond to it. We can instead stifle it, packing it back in the box of our psyche, leaving it to wither and go the place where dreams die.

Or we can pay attention to it and use it as a force for good, a launching pad into new frontiers and unseen lands. We can ask ourselves: “What’s next? Where to from here?” and then we can listen to the answer.

Oh, and when people choose to take action on their sense of alienation, they often arrive at another common statement:

I just got tired of waiting for everything to be perfect.

I finally decided to proceed with my new plan, ready or not.

Waiting for perfection is like waiting for the world to change: a way to defer responsibility.

There’s no such place as far away.

There’s no such time as “someday.”

Sometimes you just need to pay attention to the discontent and see where it leads.

Comments here.

Chris Guillebeau travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at


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